Spanning over 50 years, Square brings together 100 works; oil paintings, watercolours, drawings, sculpture, writings and prints from 1968 to now focusing on the role of the square in Sean Scully's singular career - enjoy a gallery of images above.

Below, Declan Long introduces Square, which opens at Dublin's Kerlin Gallery on Saturday 14th May.


Sean Scully's recurrent concentration on the square is grounded, partly, in historical awareness. Squares of many kinds – small components or organising frameworks, zones of darkness and painterly density, areas of organised colour and expressively nuanced illumination – are presented in styles sensitive to the manifold experiments with fundamental geometric form that defined earlier generations of art. Yet the square is also, for Scully, a figure of empirical, worldly, in-the-moment value: a shape that speaks, not only, of the perfections and complications of two-dimensional abstract form, but also of actual conditions of seeing and being in the world.

Sean Scully, Black Window Grey Land (2020)

The varied specificity of Scully’s squares – as with other recognisable configurations of rectangular layering and patterning in his art – often emerges from considered responses to places, atmospheres and experiences. Geometry, again and again, is brought into correspondence with geography. As such, squares can be key compositional features and, at the same time, diversely implied 'windows’. Squares are structures for seeing that might, from painting to painting, from drawing to drawing, offer generous variations of worldly light or – depending on the agitations of the times – propose more obscured, darkened and troubled views. Scully’s square-centred artworks have grounding but ambiguous presence comparable to what Seamus Heaney once called the ‘there-you-are and where-are-you of poetry.’

Sean Scully, SQUARE, Kerlin Gallery, Dublin until 25th June 2022 - find out more here.