Sean Scully Describes the Essence of Luxury

Sean Scully is a leading representative of a new generation of abstract painters that emerged towards the end of the twentieth century.  His work is strongly acclaimed, and has been exhibited in museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Albright-Knox Gallery, Galleria de Arte Moderna, Bologna and Gallerie Jeu de Paume, Pais.

Sean Scully has moved steadily over the past three decades to his current position in the highest rank of painters working in the abstract tradition.  Scully began painting in the late 1960s and early 1970s amid the dominance of Op Art in Britain. He then moved to America, where, after five years of struggle, he found his painterly voice in the stripe. Scully has relentlessly pursued the possibilities offered by his exploration of colored stripes, always remaining true to his assertion that "the stripe is a signifier of modernism."

  • Transcript

TRANSCRIPT

Question: What does luxury mean to you?

Scully:    Luxury.  Luxury is a question of time because life is time.  Luxury is time and health.  If you have time you can think and experience simultaneously and you have time to use that and I think that’s the greatest gift you can have, if you are fortunate enough to be sitting in the nice body.

Question: What is your version of simple luxury?

Scully:    Well, before I had a situation that I have now, I would say the ability to go to cinema was a big luxury because it cost money.  I think there’s problem of having to acquire is something that we should resist.  And we are terrorized into acquiring because we are terrorized by the consumer index.  So, it goes back to this other point that I’m talking about which is material growth and over population is going to lead to a cataclysm at some point it must because Earth can’t hold a lot.  It can’t endure the punishment that we inflict on it and I think if you look at what you have in terms of an environment just to go for a walk doesn’t cost anything.  To go for a walk and look at the sky doesn’t cost you anything and that’s a beautiful moment of self locations, self revelation.


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