Sean Scully: Doric

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This exhibition presents Sean Scully’s Doric paintings, a series of works he has produced since 2008. The title references one of the three orders of ancient Greek architecture, the least ornate Doric order, and the paintings were conceived as a celebration of the contribution of classic Greek culture to humanity. The Doric order impressed Sean Scully for its simplicity and force, “the spaces between the columns are space for thought, for light, for questioning and growth.”

The monumental Doric paintings combine austerity with luminosity and solidity with movement and rhythm. Variations of black, grey, and off-whites are arranged in broad, horizontal and vertical bands, use an abstract visual language which is unique to the artist.

Born in Dublin, Sean Scully is one of the world's leading abstract painters. Based in New York, he has exhibited extensively and over the last decade has held retrospectives in Metropolitan Museum, New York, Philadelphia museum of Art, and the National Gallery of Australia.

This exhibition also includes earlier works that are thematically linked to these recent paintings. They include a series of watercolours inspired by the architecture in the Greek island of Simi from the 1980s. Scully writes: “Most of these watercolours show windows and architectural inserts… All affected by Simi. All reflecting a classicism that is embedded in the simplest of structures. And of course, there is the constant still light.”

Sean Scully: Doric is curated by Oscar Humphries and is presented in association with Benaki Museum, Athens and IVAM, Valencia.