Sean Scully, Iona, in the artist's studio
A cornerstone of Scully's artistic maturity - The Guardian
One of the great paintings of the early 21st century - The Scotsman
Ingleby Gallery announces the unveiling of Sean Scully's Iona, the first ever showing of one of the artist's most important paintings.
Iona is a giant triptych, painted in Scully's studio in New York between 2004 and 2006. It will stand alone in Ingleby Gallery's main gallery space - a magnificent statement of the continuing relevance of abstract painting and one of the great works of art of the of early 21st century.
Scully's recent exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York confirmed his position as the natural heir to the abstract expressionists of the 1950's, and yet, despite his assimilation into the history of American art, something about his work has retained a resolutely European sensibility. Iona offers an extraordinary paradox: that something so grand in scale and ambition can communicate with such intimacy.
As a compliment to Iona, the gallery will exhibit a group of photographs, originally taken by Scully on the islands of Harris and Lewis twenty years ago, and now published in a large format for the first time. Their subject is a group of broken Hebridean buildings, with details of doorways, windows, and collapsing corrugated walls. Scully doesn't use his photographs to inform his paintings in an explicit way, but has said of the relationship between them that: "the fundamental difference between my working methods and those of the painters of the nineteenth century, who made travel sketches, is that I don't use images of what I've photographed, only the emotions". That emotion, and thus the prevailing mood of the exhibition, is a little melancholic, but there is too a quiet determination.
Sean Scully: Iona, a 72 page book, with essays by Sean Scully and Richard Ingleby, will be published to accompany the show.
A special edition containing an original 8x10 inch photograph, signed and numbered in an edition of 100, will be available priced at €1000.