Landline Green Sea

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  • Condition Report

    Request Condition Report
  • Provenance

    Timothy Taylor, London
    Private Collection, Europe (acquired from the above)

  • Exhibited

    Venice, Palazzo Falier, Sean Scully: Land Sea, 9 May - 22 November 2015, p. 67

  • Catalogue Essay

    Rendered in thick horizontal brushstrokes of deep blue and green hues, Sean Scully’s monumental Landline Green Sea, 2014, envelops the viewer in a poetic ebb and flow of pure form and colour. Marking a pivotal shift in Scully’s influential practice, this work exemplified the artist’s dramatic transition away from his earlier hard-edged minimalism to his current, looser and expressive style. Covering the aluminium surface with fluid brushstrokes, Scully imbues the pictorial surface with a rich dimensionality, movement and light that vividly elicits the beauty and brilliance of the natural world. Painted in 2014, Landline Green Sea is among the first examples of Scully’s acclaimed Landline series that was inspired by the intense light and beauty of Venice, Italy. Debuting at Scully’s first major exhibition in Venice at the Palazzo Falier in context with the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015, the series will make its U.S. debut in September 2018 at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C.

    As is characteristic of Scully’s oeuvre, the Landline works are based on a memory of figuration and permeated with reference to the outside world. As the artist recalled, ‘In making these paintings I was preoccupied with my memories of Venice, the movement of the water, how it heaves against the brick and stone of the city. From my studio south of Munich I often get in the car and drive a few hours down to Venice. It was the impressions from these trips that I brought back into the studio; I was painting the memories of Venice into the works.’ (Sean Scully, quoted in ‘Sean Scully, Land Sea’, Kerlin Gallery, online). While this brings Willem de Kooning’s abstract landscapes to mind, Scully pursues a minimalistic aesthetic in the vein of modern masters such as Piet Mondrian, Josef Albers, Donald Judd and Ellsworth Kelly. While similarly focusing on form and colour to reduce the image to its abstract essence, Scully crucially diverges from the linear purity found in his predecessors practices. Bringing textured tones and coarse brushstrokes to the fore, he instils the work with a wholly expressive aesthetic that is rooted in Abstract Expressionism while simultaneously reflecting a deep consideration of the natural world.

    As the viewer’s eye moves from left to right across the surface of Landline Green Sea, the strokes of the artist’s hand across the surface creates a sense of movement that seems to hold the viewer in-situ - the horizontal lines recalling the horizon line between land and sea, the textured brushstrokes undulating like ripples in the water. While evoking the sublime Colour Field paintings of Mark Rothko, Landline Green Sea pays tribute to the long tradition of Venetian painting in the vein of Tintoretto’s luminism, Bellini’s tonalism and Titian’s chromatic materiality – all the while insisting on the conceptual potential of non-representational use of colour.

    The present work thus reveals the foundations of Scully’s praxis as he combines real life structures with the poetic allegory of a subjective viewing experience. Commenting on his practice, Scully explained, ‘it’s a question of making something true. Something that can reflect the dimensionality of the human spirit within the grid of our world’ (Sean Scully, quoted in David Carrier, Sean Scully, London, 2004, p. 146). A stellar example of the artist’s influential practice of painterly abstraction, Landline Green Sea epitomises Scully’s singular style of paring down light, movement and colour to its most fundamental forms to evoke the complexities of reality.

Ο ◆10

Property from an Important Collector

Landline Green Sea

signed, titled and dated 'Sean Scully "LANDLINE GREEN SEA" 2014' on the reverse
oil on aluminium
216 x 190.5 cm (85 x 75 in.)
Painted in 2014.

Estimate
£600,000 - 800,000 ‡ ♠

Place Advance Bid

Contact Specialist
Henry Highley
Specialist, Head of Evening Sale
+ 44 20 7318 4061 hhighley@phillips.com

20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

London Auction 27 June 2018