Sean SCULLY, Bigland Enlarge 1 /1


Ireland born 1945

  • to Great Britain 1949, to United States of America 1975

Bigland 1987-88 Materials & Technique: paintings, oil on canvas

Primary Insc: No inscriptions
Dimensions: canvas 244.7 h x 406.7 w x 14 d cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1988
Accession No: NGA 89.511
  • David McKee Inc., New York;
  • from whom bought by the Australian National Gallery, September 1988

Bigland was called Bigland with the idea of America in mind … [In] Bigland, which is typical of that period, the physicality of the paint [and] of the building of the painting is quite strong, strident and, of course, quite masculine … Bigland is a wall with an abutment and a window. The sides of the canyons in America go some way in explaining abstract expressionism — though of course it was essentially urban, with a sense of the American rural sublime. My own work has been informed also by this duality — being in the vastness of America and working in the grid of New York, carrying with me the love of the intimate compacted European painted surface.

Sean Scully, letter to Michael Desmond, Curator, International Art
(European and American painting and sculpture), [received]
15 November 1999, National Gallery of Australia file 81/1173, folios 82–84.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra