Sean Scully, 9.13.02, 2002 Sean Scully, 9.13.02, 2002

In the 1970s, Scully's work fitted under what could be described as Minimalist-inspired abstraction, creating small works which had a grid form. In 2006, the artist recalled how: "I remember growing up in Ireland and everything being chequered, even the fields and the people."
At the start of his career, Scully showed promise, but it wasn't until he broke out on to the international scene that success really came for the artist. Today, his works can command six-figure sums.

In the early 1980s, Scully had moved to New York and by 1983 he became a United States citizen. His influence of his new citizenship was evident, his works became more 'Americanised' echoing the restricted palette of works by the Abstract Expressionists.

By the end of the decade he was nominated for the Turner Prize and was again nominated in 1993. Although Scully moved across the Pond, his impact on Ireland's contemporary art scene was still strong, in 2006 he donated eight of his works to Dublin's Hugh Lane Gallery, which opened an extension that year with a room dedicated to Scully's works.

''I've managed to take the information back and forth between America, the land of Minimalism, and Europe, the land of humanism,'' the artist explained.

In 2015, Scully was in charge of an incredible restoration project, which he described as: ''This is going to be there for 1,000 years. That’s about as high as it gets.''

Scully was asked to restyle the Santa Cecilia Chappel next to Montserrat Abbey in Catalonia. Inside, Scully hung 22 of his artworks, energising a space that is more than 1 000 years old.

The monastery of Santa Cecília was founded between 942 and 945 as the first sanctuary for Benedictine monks in the area. The Abbey of Santa Maria was built after this and became tourist attraction thanks to its art collection and a dark-skinned statue of the Virgin Mary.

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Inspired by the Rothko Chapel in Houston and the Matisse Chapel in Vence, France, Scully, as well as donating works, replaced the windows with stained glass; designed candlesticks and painted frescoes on the walls.

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''The monastery is the confluence between the best of Western spirituality and the best of contemporary art,'' explained Father Laplana said. ''And Scully is a painter who creates from the heart, to the heart.''

Scully's works come from a a dark place, on describing his childhood he explains how ''it was traumatic, and of course art doesn’t come out of rosy gardens. It comes out of damage.''

His fans include U2 frontman Bono, who described how ''Sean approaches the canvas like a kickboxer, a plasterer, a builder. The quantity of paint screams of a life being lived.''

Scully paints in oils, layering them thickly to create a textured surface, sometimes show his frustrations with the flatness and thickness of the pain application, which he sometimes applies by dragging a household brush on to the canvas.

The work featured will be part of Morgan O'Dricsoll's Irish & International art auction on 10th April, 2017. Check out more here.

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