Art for Art’s Sake?

I’m glad to see that I’m not the only person not sufficiently evolved to appreciate the ‘art‘ of Sean Scully and this item (and comments) from The Art Newspaper which I came across today has cheered me up no end.


Ulster Museum in Northern Ireland reopens with Sean Scully retrospective

After a three year closure and £17.2m refurbishment, more of its permanent collections are on show

By Martin Bailey | Web only
Published online 29 Oct 09 (Museums)

BELFAST. Ulster Museum reopened on 22 October, following a three-year closure for a £17.2m refurbishment and its collections of art, natural history and Irish history have be redisplayed. To create a welcoming entrance area, the roof has been raised to create an atrium between the original 1929 building and a 1972 extension. This has also increased gallery space in the museum by a quarter and the display is denser, so more of the collection is on show. Most of the costs were met by Northern Ireland’s Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (£11.2m) and the Heritage Lottery Fund (£4.7m).

For the opening, the nine fine art rooms on the upper levels has been devoted to a Sean Scully retrospective, with 90 works (the Dublin-born American abstract artist who has twice made the Turner Prize short list).


29 Oct 09
15:11 CET

Ann Stevenson, Lisburn

Happy days,you are back! Visited yesterday—very impressed. Well done getting Sean Scully to exhibit-big coup. I’m afraid I don’t get him but I can live with that! Will be back again and again.

29 Oct 09
19:37 CET

Martin Curran, Belfast

I think Scully’s lost his touch. All his new work is blocks and stripes on a page. As opposed to his old work, which was….

29 Oct 09
19:38 CET

Paul, Banbridge

Ann, it’s not such a big coup and I am sure the vast majority of the visitors to the museum will not get him either. Rather than opening with a show that could excite the whole audience the Museum have devoted 7 galleries where one would do.

30 Oct 09
20:30 CET

Ann Stevenson, Lisburn

On entering the gallery I was confronted by what I thought was a selection of rugs from Ikea. After wandering around for a while, in a bemused state, home I went, and out came the laptop. I listened to Mr Scully and suddenly I DID GET IT! If he can fool so many people so much of the time, and make lots and lots of money, good luck to him and “VIVA IKEA”.

15 Dec 09
19:45 CET

Jules, Belfast

I was really disappointed by the art gallery section. I found Scully’s work to be repetitive and quite frankly the sort of work a 3yr old would be doing in nursery. I could understand 3 or 4 samples of his work mixed with other artwork, but no. Approx 40 canvases of what looked like paint tester strips. Rubbish.

"Untitled" by Sean Scully, or unsold as it was at auction a couple of years back. Spot the difference between this and a Dulux paint chart?

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