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Sean Scully, b.1945

As Was1993

‘As Was’, which was painted in 1993, is reminiscent of an early Renaissance diptych in which a dialogue is set up between the canvas panel with its bold, horizontal stripes and the matt blue/brown of the metal one. Continuity and repetition are suggested through the use of similar insets of vertical stripes but their meaning is made subtly different by virtue of their contrasting surroundings. Light bounces off the painted metal but is quietly absorbed by the canvas panel. The crisp machine edge of the metal is challenged by the soft and often uneven edges of the painted stripes. The suggestion of a closed ‘frame’ of metal around the inset on the right is neutralized by the openness of the striped ground on the left. In line with the artist’s dislike for ‘closure’, nothing here is fixed.

MediumOil on canvas and steel
Dimensions Unframed, 212 x 305 cm
Credit LineIMMA Collection: Purchase, 1993
Item NumberIMMA.441
Copyright For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].
Image Caption
Sean Scully, As Was, 1993, Oil on canvas and steel, Unframed, 212 x 305 cm, Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Purchase, 1993

For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].

About the Artist

Sean Scully b.1945

Sean Scully was born in Dublin and raised in London. He moved to New York to undertake a graduate fellowship at Harvard in the early 1970s. Scully is now renowned worldwide for his adherence to the stripe in his expressionist painting. In the 1980s Scully loosened the precise grid-like style of his early works in favour of bold rough edged columns and panels of thickly applied paint. Scully was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1989 and 1993. He has exhibited extensively in Europe and the US and is represented in major public collections worldwide.
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