The Color of Time: The Photographs of Sean Scully

The Color of Time: The Photographs of Sean Scully

Saturday, October 11, 2003Saturday, December 20, 2003

Saturday, October 11, 2003Saturday, December 20, 2003

On the occasion of the first retrospective publication on Sean Scully’s photographs the Jamileh Weber gallery is proud to present an extended survey of this still unknown aspect of his oeuvre.

From the early figurative work, to the Minimalist paintings for which he first became known, to the breakthrough paintings of the 1980s, Sean Scully has achieved a reputation as among the greatest of contemporary artists.

Best known for his thick brushstrokes and broad gestures, his paintings manifest dense, yet luminous, surfaces. By applying layer upon layer of paint, the artist enables the viewer to observe his working process. He is using a deliberately restricted vocabulary of lines, bands of color and checkerboards that allude to architectural elements such as portals, windows and walls.

With his photographs Sean Scully leads intentionally to one of the sources of his paintings, he literally puts visual tracks that should stimulate the viewers own remembrance.

This exhibition as well as the book The Color of Time - the first retrospective publication of Scully's photographs - span twenty-five years of photographic work, beginning in 1978 with his photographs of ten anonymous doors in Sienna, Italy, and ending with recent images from the favelas of Brazil. Scully's nomadic wanderings in search of the façades and surfaces, the colors and shapes that speak to him of human hands and the passage of time have taken him to the Dominican Republic, England, Ireland, the Scottish Isles, Germany, Mexico, Morocco, Spain, and the United States.

The book The Color of Time: The Photographs of Sean Scully has been edited by Garret White, with essays by Arthur Danto and Mia Fineman and an interview by Edward Lucie-Smith.

Essays by Arthur Danto and Mia Fineman explore the complex relationship between abstraction, figuration, nature, and the built environment that is so prevelant in Scully's art. As Danto writes in his essay, the juxtaposition of photographs and paintings in The Color of Time makes clear the importance of photography for Scully's artistic project, "[The paintings] are spiritual dwellings, open and sheltering. The photographs that Scully made, once he had found what he was looking for as a painter in the eighties, were of kindred structures in what the philosopher Husserl designated the Lebenswelt - the world of the everyday and the commonplace, where experience begins and against which it must be checked. That he finds his affinities in shacks and hovels, rather than palazzos and cathedrals, has something to do with the way in which the human spirit affirms itself in situations in which things need to be worked out - situations in which the spirit does not so much soar as cope, holding life together against an indifferent or hostile environment."

Sean Scully was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1945. In 1949 his family moved to a working-class area of South London. After apprenticeships in commercial printing and graphic design, he began to take art classes and devoted himself to painting. He was educated at Croydon College of Art, London; Newcastle University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne; and Harvard University. His work has been exhibited internationally and is in major private and museum collections around the world. He lives in New York, Barcelona, and Munich, where he is Professor of Painting at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Munich, Germany.

The show will remain on view through Saturday, November 22, 2003 at the Jamileh Weber Gallery, Waldmannstrasse 6, CH-8001 Zurich. Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 11am to 6pm, Saturday 10am to 4pm and by appointment.

The Color of Time: The Photographs of Sean Scully, edited by Garret White, with essays by Mia Fineman, Arthur C. Danto and an interview with Sean Scully by Edward Lucie-Smith, Book design by Sean Scully, Gerhard Steidl and Claas Möller, 208 pages and two gatefolds with 183 color plates, 13 x 9 in. / 33.3 x 23 cm, Clothbound hardcover with dust jacket, US$ 75.00 / Euro 65.00 / SFr 107.00 (ISBN 3-88243-961-0)

For further information or photographs please contact the gallery, phone: +41-1-252 10 66, fax: +41-1-252 11 32 email:,