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Heart of Darkness

A work made of oil on canvas, three joined panels.

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  • A work made of oil on canvas, three joined panels.

Date:

1982

Artist:

Sean Scully
American, born Ireland, 1945

About this artwork

Sean Scully’s characteristic stripe paintings have a rugged, inelegant beauty and an intensely physical, almost sculptural, presence. He works on a large scale with colors that cannot be easily characterized, allowing strong underpainting to merge with the surfaces of his works. The wavering edges of his lushly painted bands structure imperfect compositions. This canvas’s title, Heart of Darkness, refers to the novella first published in 1899 by Polish-born British author Joseph Conrad (1857–1924). Reflecting on the story, which depicts colonial exploitation in the Belgian Congo, Scully said, “Conrad writes that the heart of the twentieth century is black.”

Status

Currently Off View

Department

Contemporary Art

Artist

Sean Scully

Title

Heart of Darkness

Place

United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

1982

Medium

Oil on canvas, three joined panels

Dimensions

243.9 × 365.8 cm (96 × 144 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Society for Contemporary Art

Reference Number

1988.259

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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