Monumental in scale, the works featured in the Kind of Red exhibition and accompanying book demonstrate Scully’s mature confidence and unwavering drive for experimentation. Indeed the focal point is a powerful five-panel installation on aluminium, that is unlike any work previously made by the artist.
Music, particularly jazz, has always played an inspirational part in Scully’s practice and Kind of Red references the seminal Miles Davis album, Kind of Blue (1959) which Scully absorbed while making these paintings in his German studio.
Davis’ album was pioneering for its exploration of the possibilities of modal jazz, using musical modes while keeping chordal movement to the minimum and allowing the music to billow and stretch more freely, promoting a feeling of space and calm. Similarly, by repeating the motif of twinned blocks of reds, greys and blacks in differing orientations across five separate panels, Scully establishes an expansive, pulsating rhythm.
‘I wanted to set up something that was very rhythmical, so that the images were on the support but not secured to it, so that they could float around and set up these rhythms between them, up and down and from side to side, playing with the edges…’ — Sean Scully
Kind of Red also features a select number of paintings from the recent Landline series. Defined by broad horizontal bands of blues and greys that appear to hover above one another, the sense of movement in these works is more restricted, yet a distinct visual ‘humming’ emanates from the vibrating colour zones.
Published on the occasion of the exhibition, Sean Scully: Kind of Red at Timothy Taylor Gallery, London (11 June – 12 July 2014).