Sean Scully

American; b. Dublin, Ireland, 1945; lives and works in New York, NY



oil on canvas
102 1/4 x 120 1/2 x 10 in. (259.7 x 206 x 25.4 cm)

Gift of the Women’s Committee of the Corcoran Gallery of Art in memory of Jinx Cutts, with aid of Funds from Firestone Foundation and the Jinx Cutts Memorial Fund
© Sean Scully


Sean Scully’s tools, techniques, and materials—which include oil paint, canvas, and housepainters’ brushes—have as much in common with wall painting and building construction as with the history of art. The artist made Flyer by applying layer upon layer of paint in individual, consistent brushstrokes that accumulate to form larger geometric patterns. In this work, four stretched canvases of varying dimensions and depths are bolted together to form a painting that doubles as a kind of architectural relief. Scully’s building-block aesthetic—he refers to the parts of his paintings as “bricks”— creates a wall-like relief for his marks, gestures, and layers of paint.