Sean Scully Explores Creativity and a Winning Mindset

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


Question: How do you stay creative?

Scully:    Well, that’s a very good question.  And the answer is I don’t know but what I am aware of is that if you don’t work things don’t happen and if you work too much things don’t happen.  So, you have to find your own balance.  Go for work.  Look at something as I said.  Play with the cat.  Go out with my wife, etc. etc.  See my friends but I am always gearing everything towards work but the perfect solution to this eternal problem, I don’t know. 

Question: Do you go into your studio with a winning mindset?

Scully:    Yeah, I think that, I think that the doubt is a highly overrated commodity.  And then in the world of art, I remember in the 70s’ it was very popular and fashionable, intellectually to promote the value of doubt.  And I think that doubt is not an artistic aid.  I think that love and confidence and a cat strange kind of arrogant humility is what are comes out of.