Sean Scully: Passenger - A Retrospective
Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest,
14 October 2020 - 31 January 2021
Curator: Dávid Fehér
The Museum of Fine Arts - Hungarian National Gallery is proud to present the first retrospective in Central Eastern Europe of the life's work of Sean Scully, one of the most important contemporary exponents of abstract art. His oeuvre combines formal reduction with referential complexity, geometric construction with vivid self-expression. Since the 1980s, he has developed his own unique pictorial language, built on a subtle synthesis of apparently contradictory qualities. Starting with the early figurative experiments of the 1960s and the minimalist pieces from the 1970s, the exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts - Hungarian National Gallery encompasses every major period of Scully's career: works from the 1980s, based on expressive bands of colour and giving off a sculptural feel; groups of works associated with window and wall motifs; and his recent - and to many people surprising - turn towards figuration. The exhibition features around 110 works by Scully, from monumental paintings to works on paper, a sculptures and a photographic work. His dialogue with the art historical past is crucial for understanding his oeuvre. Separate sections focus on his reflections on such major artists as Vincent van Gogh and Pierre Bonnard. Over the years, Scully has devised a kind of emotional geometry, characterised by the dynamic of instinctiveness and intellectual reflection. The exhibition examines how Scully reinterprets the traditions and broadens the concept of abstract art: seen from the perspective of Sean Scully's art, the history of painting and the classical artworks in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts appear in a different light.