Sean Scully - San Cristobal

February 2018


Works by one of the world's leading abstract artists, Sean Scully went on show at Luis Barragán’s iconic modernist landmark, Cuadra San Cristobal in Mexico City between the 7 February - 24 March 2018. 

Curated by Oscar Humphries, Sean Scully – San Cristobal was the first exhibition to be presented at Cuadra San Cristobal and was also the first time the artist’s sculptures were shown in Latin America. 

The dramatic geometries and strong colours that form part of the architecture were a fitting backdrop to Sean Scully’s powerful and emotive works. Built in 1966 as an equestrian and residential complex, the design of Cuadra San Cristobal represents the apex of Barragán’s ‘high period’.

In the interior spaces, including the horse stalls, paintings on aluminium and copper were shown. Each stall presented a different aspect of Scully’s work, in a sequence made all the more powerful by the repetition of the architecture. The artist's recent sculptures, in both Cor-Ten and painted steel, including the monumental Boxes of Air, were installed in the grounds.

Seeing Scully’s work in such a setting revealed the historic – both ancient and modern – and indeed architectural origins of his practice, by creating a juxtaposition that was both contrary and sympathetic. Produced in consultation with the Egerstrom family - the owners and occupiers of Cuadra San Cristobal for whom the property was built - this sensitive intervention shed new light on this well-known landmark and provided a different perspective on the work of one of our leading contemporary artists. 

Sean Scully first visited Mexico in 1981 and on various trips throughout the subsequent decade, created works there. A 1984 watercolour was the first Scully work to use the title Wall of Light – something he revisited when he began the seminal series of that name. In the 2000’s Scully returned to Mexico with a series of photographs taken there which he included in his book The Color of Time. This exhibition is a celebration of the artist’s long relationship with Mexico, a country with which he has a strong relationship - literal, aesthetic and spiritual.