Sean Scully: The Shape of Ideas

May 19–August 9, 2020

Journey through the distinguished fifty-year career of artist Sean Scully, who experiments with color, material, and light to create rhythmic works of great emotional and visual power. Simultaneously majestic and intimate, textured and refined, the paintings and works on paper in the exhibition trace the evolution of the artist’s practice and his emergence as a central figure in the history of abstract painting.

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Preview the Exhibition

Get a sneak peek at works in the exhibition.

About the Artist

Sean Scully (born Dublin, Ireland, 1945) works in the mediums of painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, and photography. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Peter Stuyvesant Foundation Prize, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Harkness Fellowship. He has been nominated twice for the Turner Prize.

Scully’s works are in a number of private and public collections, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut; and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, among others.

In 2015 Scully participated in the Venice Biennale with his solo exhibition Land Sea at the Palazzo Falier. For the 2019 Biennale, the artist presented Human, a solo exhibition at the historic Basilica of San Giorgio. He currently splits his time living and working in New York and the Bavarian countryside of Munich. Learn more about the artist on his website.

the artistArtist Sean Scully. Photo by Felix Friedmann © Felix Friedmann Photography


Sean Scully: The Shape of Ideas is made possible by the Annenberg Foundation Fund for Major Exhibitions, the Robert Montgomery Scott Endowment for Exhibitions, the Kathleen C. and John J. F. Sherrerd Fund for Exhibitions, the Gloria and Jack Drosdick Fund for Special Exhibitions, the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Exhibition Fund, and Constance and Sankey Williams.

The accompanying publication has been generously supported by Lisson Gallery, which also provided support for the exhibition.

Timothy Rub, The George D. Widener Director and Chief Executive Officer; and Amanda Sroka, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art

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