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Sean SCULLY Biography

Sean Scully is an Irish-born American artist known for his abstract grid paintings. Scully was raised in South London and studied at Newcastle University before receiving a graduate fellowship from Harvard in 1970. After graduating, he moved to New York and continued his grid paintings. When asked to elaborate on his inspiration, he remarked, "I remember growing up in Ireland and everything being chequered, even the fields and the people."


Scully describes his checkerboard canvases as going against the current fashion of the bizarre and odd. His paintings are done in earthy oil tones composed of harsh and soft lines and sometimes incorporate multiple canvases. Scully has said that his work is a “battle between system and emotion,” and he is constantly coming up with new compositions. In 1989 and 1993, he was nominated for the Turner Prize, a high honor given by the Tate to a British artist under 50. The artist currently spends his time working between New York, Barcelona, and Munich.