Sean Scully
Mirror Smoke, 1998

Sean Scully is considered to be one of the most significant figures in the development of modern abstraction; his signature paintings are composed of richly layered surfaces constructed in vertical and horizontal coloured bands, and their composed geometry is typically dissolved in an organic softness at the edges. The etching Mirror Smoke relates to a body of paintings titled Four Large Mirrors created specifically in relation to the architecture of the South London Gallery. The title of these works refers to their formal composition, as one half of the painting imperfectly reflects the other. This balance of opposing elements invites a consideration of seemingly irreconcilable forces: the drive towards order, and the drive towards emotion.