Distributed August 21, 2001
For Immediate Release
News Service Contact: Mary Jo Curtis

Opening reception Sept. 7

Bell Gallery to present work of Sean Scully Sept. 8 through Oct. 28

The David Winton Bell Gallery will present Sean Scully: Walls, Windows, Horizons from Sept. 8 through Oct. 28, 2001. Scully, an internationally acclaimed artist known for his abstract paintings, will discuss his work during an opening reception Friday, Sept. 7, 2001, at 6 p.m. in the auditorium of the List Art Center.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The David Winton Bell Gallery will present an exhibition of the work of artist Sean Scully Sept. 8 through Oct. 28, 2001, in the List Art Center. Scully will open the exhibit by discussing his work on Friday, Sept. 7, at 6 p.m. in the List Auditorium; his talk will be followed by a public reception.

The Irish-born Scully is an internationally acclaimed artist best known for his abstract paintings featuring patterns of stripes. This exhibition, titled Sean Scully: Walls, Windows, Horizons, will feature the artist’s recent paintings, as well as his photographs, works on paper, and a selection of pastels, watercolors and prints.

Editors: Digital images of Scully’s works are available from the News Service. [Left: Wall of Light Brown (2000); Collection of Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; gift of John J. and Judith Hannon, 2000.]

“The aim of show is two-fold: to reveal the artist’s creative process, rooted in the recognizable world yet expressed through abstract shapes, and to explore his use of interchangeable media,” said Bell Gallery curator Vesela Sretenovic. “By juxtaposing Scully’s painting vis-a-vis his photography and other works on paper, the exhibition examines how certain motifs of concrete, visible reality – such as walls, windows, and doors – are transported from photography to painting, as well as how certain colors and lights of the sky and horizon are transported from paintings to photographs.”

Sretenovic said the inclusion of Scully’s pastels, watercolors and prints further emphasizes the artist’s preoccupation with the same motifs in different media.

“Although the scale and materiality of the painting are seemingly sacrificed in these works on paper, something else comes in exchange – the softness of surfaces and intimacy of paper,” she said.

The centerpiece of the Bell exhibition is the painting Wall of Light Brown (2000), borrowed for this exhibition from the Guggenheim Museum in New York. Monumental in its scale (110 x 132 inches) and visual impact, Wall of Light Brown “radiates immense energy, bodily and spiritually,” observed Sretenovic.

“I am trying to give light a feeling of body,” said Scully, expressing his thoughts on the Wall of Light series, which he began in 1998. “Light means hope or illumination. The words ‘light’ and ‘spirit’ are interchangeable, in my opinion. I’m trying to capture something that has a classical stillness and, at the same time, has enough emotion or dissonance to create an unresolved quality.... I am looking for a new kind of transcendental realism.”

Scully was born in Dublin in 1945 and grew up in London. He studied at Croydon College of Art in London and later at Newcastle University in North England, then spent his last year of college on fellowship at Harvard University. He moved to the United States in 1975, opening a studio in New York. He now lives and works in New York and Barcelona. He has exhibited widely in Europe and the United States, and his work is found in museum collections worldwide, including the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, Albright-Knox Gallery in Buffalo, Art Institute of Chicago, Corcoran Gallery in Washington D.C., Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, Tate Gallery in London, and the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin.

Throughout the exhibit, three short documentaries on the artist will be shown in the List Art Center lobby: Sean Scully, a film by Cursui Ealain; Passenger, a film by Robert Gardner, produced by Harvard Center at Harvard University; and Artist’s Journey: Sean Scully on Henrie Matisse, produced by BBC television.

The exhibition, screenings and opening reception are free and open to the public. The David Winton Bell Gallery is located in List Art Center, 64 College St. The gallery is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For further information, call (401) 863-2932.