Sean Scully was born in Ireland in 1945. He studied art at the Croydon College of Art and at the University of Newcastle. In 1972 he received a Knox Fellowship to study art at Harvard University. Inspired by such as artists as Henri Matisse, Piet Mondrian, Pollock and Rothko, Scully’s work incorporates geometric shapes that evoke architectural forms. His earlier work had harder edges, but softened later. Recently, he has used patterns or stripes that is suggestive of a checkerboard. This is his way of expressing how he remembers Ireland. He stated, “I remember growing up in Ireland and everything being chequered, even the fields and the people.” Part of Sean Scully’s philosophy that is applied to his work is that paintings, like life, are a means to discover and rediscover. He described his form of abstraction as being “meant to embody deep emotion. I believe that’s its job, in the history of art.”
Scully was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1989 and 1993 and was elected a Royal Academician in 2013. Today, Sean Scully lives and works in New York, Barcelona and London. His work has been exhibited at the Hirshhorn Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art and the High Museum. His is included in museum collections of the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Tate Gallery, London, Instituto Valencia d’Arte Modern, Valencia, Victoria & Albert Museum, London and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.