Staring at art from the Tate's collection and thinking about it

Sunday, 10 February 2013

#3 - Sean Scully

Sean Scully, #3, 1992, aquatint on paper, 319 x 260 mm, Tate.

Further into the Heart of Darkness with Sean Scully.  A simple checkered pattern given a rippling, liquid feel by the looseness of the borderlines.  I find I'm actually enjoying Scully's work a lot more sat at home in front of my computer than I have ever done when looking at it in a gallery.   There are two possible reasons for this.  Firstly, Scully's work is often grouped with other artists who rose to prominence in the 80s as part of the 'return to painting'.  In the company of their muscular, anxious, Expressionism-on-steroids works, his look unadventurous and timid.  It seems he really deserves his own space.  Secondly, the Heart of Darkness prints were never designed for gallery viewing.  They are book illustrations.  They are intended for the personal, domestic space.  (Glad they're online though.  The book currently retails for $4,500.)  So while any aesthetic joys that might be possessed by the Anthony Caro paper sculptures are lost when flattened by photography and parceled through cyberspace into your living room, these prints actually thrive.  Which is good, because there's about a month's worth coming up soon.

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