John O'Flynn - Artist

John O'Flynn - Artist

Sean Scully

Sean Scully (left); Sorolla (right)

I passed Dublin’s  Hugh Lane Gallery recently and saw they are advertising a Sean Scully exhibition.
Recently I was also explaining to my daughter my fascination at how all the bits & bytes in our computers are at root based on binary code (ie 0 (zero) & 1(one): the on/off condition of an electric element, arrayed in their gazillions in the circuitry). So for instance when I write the letter “a” on my computer screen, together with its font, position on the virtual “page”, size, style etc are written in the code of MSWord, which in turn is embedded in the code of the computer operating system, Windows, underneath, which in turn is embedded in “machine code” under that, which is the coding in 1’s and 0’s of the alphabet and  the numbers 0 to 9, in the “on/off” electric charges in the computer’s circuits; So the plain letter ”a” in the computer circuit reads as: 1000111
Sean Scully’s painting is something like that: some can see in it the ineffable and sublime rendered in a very, very limited and constrained mechanical language of muted squares in a grid. But why does an artist see the need to disavow the full language of oil painting …is it not like attempting to express the sentiments of a sonnet in binary code?

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