Maesta

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Sean Scully says that his stripes "push out into the world, trying to be more than paintings." He thinks of color and light as expressions of life, and his multipaneled works are meant to affect the viewer physically as well as spiritually. Scully titled this oil after the famous triptych by Duccio, a Sienese painter of the thirteenth century. The power of Duccio's painting emanates from the ranks of angels, saints, and donors surrounding the Virgin, much as Scully's stripes, in contrasting lights and darks, seem to vibrate outward into the viewer's space. The thickly painted bars pushing in different directions suggest a crowd of people, making the triptych the kind of physical event the artist strived for.Exhibition Label, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2006
Topic
Abstract\geometric
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Copyright Credit Line
© 1983, Sean Scully
Artist
Sean Scully, born Dublin, Ireland 1945
Credit Line
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment
Medium
oil on canvas
Dimensions
89 3/8 × 119 1/2 × 9 1/2 in. (227.0 × 303.5 × 24.1 cm)
See more items in
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
On View
Smithsonian American Art Museum, 3rd Floor, East Wing
1983
Type
Painting
Object number
2004.1A-C