Sean Scully: Los Años Mexico, Museo Cabañas

Curated by Oscar Humphries & Andrea Wild Botero, May - September 2019


This exhibition is a celebration of the artist’s long relationship with Mexico, a country with which he has a strong and profound bond - literal, aesthetic and spiritual. Sean Scully first visited Mexico in 1981 and, on various trips throughout the subsequent decade, created works there. He had not made watercolours since he was at art school and it was only in Mexico that he began to reconnect with this medium. His works on paper are not considered a very important part of his practice. 

A 1984 watercolour was the first Scully work to use the title Wall of Light – that he revisited when he began the seminal series with that name. In the 2000s Scully returned to Mexico with a series of photographs taken there which he included in his book The Color of Time. The watercolours produced in Mexico between 1981 and 1992 total approximately 60. Nearly all of them are shown here for the first time as a group.  Bringing them all together for the first time will demonstrate the enduring influence of Mexican culture on contemporary international art. Josef Albers (another important artist who made many trips to Mexico) said that Mexico was the “most abstract country” he had known. This body of work reinforces this idea.

The most recent watercolours made this year in celebration of this exhibition demonstrate the artist’s ongoing relationship with Mexico. The same is true of the two recent paintings included in this exhibition - they show the influence Mexico had on his palate and the structure of his paintings.