Znaki Czasu Contemporary Art Center in Toruń. New Exhibition: “Shawn Scully. Painting and Sculpture”

Sean Scully (born 1945 in Dublin) He exhibits his paintings and sculptures for the first time in Poland and is immediately a retrospective exhibition, presented on an area of ​​2,000 square meters – Including the 7-meter-high Column Hall at CCA. As he himself says, it is one of the largest exhibitions of his work ever held in the world.

The artist is considered a representative of the trend of color abstraction, some critics add and himself: emotional abstraction. One could also add: meditative, existential, or spiritual. Scully He seems to continue to imitate the American educator Mark Rothko and other creators of the trend called “painting of color planes.” (color field drawing) from the 1950s, as Barnett Newman and Clifford Steele. It also refers to the distinctive works of Kazimierz Mallewicz (for example in the painting “Black Square” from 2000 or the series “Dark Windows”).


Photo: Znaki Czasu Contemporary Art Center in Torun

Sean Scully – “30 Too” (2018)

Sean Scully It is currently one of the most important summaries, and has been ranked highly in all contemporary artist rankings. For example, in the list “Who is the greatest painter in the world today?” Published by CAI (Contemporary Art Edition) in 2021, it ranks 11th between Anselm Kiefer and Jasper Jones (obviously the same German for 20 years – Gerhard Richter and Georg Baselitz).

“So we have prepared a one-of-a-kind exhibition by a top-notch artist at CCA”

The exhibition “Sean Scully. Painting and Sculpture” will open on May 13 in Toro at the Znakai Zasu Center for Contemporary Art. It will last until September 11th.


Photo: Znaki Czasu Contemporary Art Center in Torun

“Shaun Scully. Painting and Sculpture” (exhibition poster)

We will display 50 large-format oil or acrylic paintings on canvas or aluminum from different creative periods (from 1973 to 2021) and 24 works on paper– We read the announcement of the event.

The exhibition will be a regular retrospective, where you will be able to trace different strands of Scully’s work and changes in his style. The most important part of the exhibition will be the display of a series of antique paintings from the “Doric Series” (“Doric Series”), created in the years 1990-2020. Incidentally, these 12 panels, appearing for the first time as a complete series, are a homage to the Doric Order tradition. (His “Doric” was first shown in Athens in 2012). “Therefore, we will present massive paintings in a huge colonnaded hall, often colloquially referred to as the ‘church.’ In the intent of the content creator and we as organisers, this space will best reflect the mystical and sacred nature of the series. The Doric series will fill the length of the hall. 1,000 meters, and in the center of it, between the columns, a large-scale, multi-colored sculpture by Scully will be located.


Photo: Znaki Czasu Contemporary Art Center in Torun

Sean Scully – “Happy-days” (1991)

By discussing the contents of the exhibition, It is impossible not to mention that it will contain a painting that the artist decided to donate to the CCA group. It’s titled “Wall Landline Irena”, created in 2021 and dedicated to the memory of a Polish woman, Irina Gott, who suffered a fate ruthlessly during World War II – first at the hands of the Soviets and then by the Germans. The woman saved 12 Jews from inevitable death. Her life story is a harrowing synthesis of the history of the peoples of Eastern Europe during and after the war. Mrs. Irina Obdek, née Gut, was born in 1922 in Kuzenis. In 1949, she immigrated to the United States. She died in California in 2003. In 1999, she wrote her memoirs, on which a stage play was based. The drama and heroism of Mrs. Irina made a huge impression on Sean Scully, who decided to honor her by dedicating his painting to her and also donating it to the Polish Center for Contemporary Art..

The painting has a value of about 3.2 million PLN (insurance value of 750,000 US dollars), and its inclusion in the collection of the Center for Contemporary Art will increase by almost 50%. The aggregate value of the group is for 12 years. And since we are with the funds, it must be said that the entire exhibition is insured with about 160 million PLN. It is the most valuable exhibition in the entire history of the Contemporary Art Center and perhaps one of the most valuable nationally in the field of contemporary art.


Photo: Znaki Czasu Contemporary Art Center in Torun

Sean Scully – “Yellow-Mask” (2003)

Sean Scully is Irish, lives and works in New York, Königsdorf in Bavaria, Aix-en-Provence in southern France, and also in Berlin, where he owns a huge studio. During 50 years of his career, he has prepared more than 200 solo exhibitions including. At the Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest (21/2020); The Modern, Fort Worth, Texas, USA (2021); Albertina, Vienna (2019); The National Gallery, London (2019); Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice (2019); Yorkshire Sculpture Garden; Wakefield (2018); State Russian Museum, Saint Petersburg (2018); Museum of Multimedia Art, Moscow (2017); Hubei Museum of Art, Wuhan (2017); Pinacoteca do Estado do São Paulo (2015), National Gallery of Ireland (2015); Chinese Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (2014); Philadelphia Museum of Art (2012-13); Center Georges Pompidou, Paris (2007); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (2004); National Gallery of Art, Washington (2001-2002); Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich (1989) and many others. this year, After exhibitions at the Benaki Museum in Athens, the Langen Foundation in Neuss near Düsseldorf and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the role of the retrospective will be at the Znaki Chasso Contemporary Art Center in Torun.

Sean Scully’s works are in the collections of, among others, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and Whitney Museum of American Art in New York; National Gallery of Art, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Museum of American Art in Washington; Modern, Fort Worth, Texas; San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Tate, British Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Neue Pinakothek, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich; Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden; Staatliche Museen, Kassel; Staatliche Kunsthalle building in Karlsruhe; the Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart; Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main; Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen K20/K21, Düsseldorf; Albertina, Vienna; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; IVAM – Institut Valencià d’Art Modern, Valencia; Guangzhou Museum of Art, Guangzhou; Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing and many others. Since 2022, the Znaki Czasu Contemporary Art Center in Toruń has joined this list.

Sean Scully’s work will be featured in the exhibition at the Center for Contemporary Art, courtesy of the artist and Sean Scully studio.

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