If modern minimalism was about the slow withdrawal of everything from aesthetics, Irish-American artist Sean Scully wanted to reinvolve those lost relationships to reality in his work. And making minimalism ‘emotional’, as he sees it, Scully involves himself in the expressiveness of his cross and hatch canvases, as though the loosely formed rectangles of algid colour are somehow a way of explaining the built-up commotion of his head and heart. His interest in the truth lies in his will to emancipate his works from the Sol LeWitt-like cage that art had become subject to (whilst under the influence of a more severe minimalism), and of the freedom to apply himself in a way that Ed Reinhardt and Barnett Newman in their day refused to do. Concentrating on his associated feelings for materials, Scully calls upon his own human experiences as a sure-fire way of entering into the works.

The MICAS in Conversation is a series of short conversations between art critic Rajesh Punj and a selection of Maltese and international artists on the involving effect of space on their art practice against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and its implications.

MICAS is a Government of Malta infrastructural legacy project for the Culture and the Arts sector. MICAS will be realised through state funded restoration of historical fortifications and its galleries will be delivered in 2022. This project is part-financed by the European Union under the European Regional Development Fund – European Structural and Investment Funds 2014-2020.

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