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Sean Scully: The Shape of Ideas

Sean Scully: The Shape of Ideas

by Timothy Rub with Amanda Sroka
With a preface by Marla Price and an essay by Kelly Grovier

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“A well overdue overview. . . . Beautifully illustrated [and] astute.”
—Rupert Loydell, International Times

In a sustained exploration of the possibilities of abstraction, Sean Scully (b. 1945) has created a rich body of work throughout his fifty-year career. Sean Scully: The Shape of Ideas sets his entire output within a detailed biographical framework, closely examining the relationship between the artist’s paintings and his lesser-known drawings, pastels, watercolors, and prints—areas of Scully’s production that are rarely considered together. At the heart of the book is an investigation of the development and reception of Scully’s work based on historical and contemporary reviews as well as extensive interviews with the artist.

Featured contributions include a preface by Marla Price, author of Scully’s multivolume catalogue raisonné, and an essay by the poet and art critic Kelly Grovier on the unique contribution Scully has made to the history of abstraction. Published to coincide with the artist’s touring retrospective exhibition, this publication presents sumptuous illustrations and detailed accounts of his most significant bodies of work, offering new insight into his practice. It is an indispensable resource to understanding Scully’s wide-ranging oeuvre and his influential place in contemporary art history.

About the Authors
Timothy Rub is the George D. Widener Director and Chief Executive Officer, and Amanda Sroka is assistant curator of contemporary art, both at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Marla Price is the director of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Kelly Grovier is a poet and art critic.

256 pages
9 ¾ × 12 inches
Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2020
ISBN-13: 9780876332955