St. Moritz interviewing, Curator Oscar Humphries on the Sean Scully exhibition in St Moritz from 13th February until 10th March 2020.
A short insight into the curator and his relationship with St Moritz, the artist and his future aspirations.
“I think that the human condition has a lot of tragedy
in it that is inescapable. But that is not all that is there,
no matter how strongly we might feel it and
want to surrender to its seductive force.
I think there is a lot of pathos in my work because of
the difficulty and complexity of the relationships…
Even though I use the discarded vocabulary of the full
force of the tragic, my work is about intervention.
I try to offer some that gives us
In your opinion and knowing Sean, what relationships would you say he is referring to?
Oscar HumphriesHe would probably be referring to the relationship between shape and color. For example, the conflict of the shapes alongside each other, negativespace and positive space and the awkwardness of compositions. Scully’s art also presents a struggle of geometric shapes, which at the same time is his own struggle, but also our struggle when we relate to abstract art. But unlike for example the art of Max Bill who was very much interested in geometric shapes, too, Scully’s art is more emotional and provides a human experience.
He translates the human condition by referring to the force of the tragic. A lot of artists would say that art is anti-tragic, because for the artist their working process is often the way they find joy. Also, if you make great art it will last. It is not by coincidence, that the exhibition’s title is Aeternum which is Latin for “eternal”. Scully’s art is eternal making it anti-tragic
How is your career as an independent curator shaping itself?
Oscar HumphriesGreat, I just curated a show of the artist Richard Long in Mexico (note: Richard Long is represented by the Galerie Tschudi in Zuoz). I do about 5-6 shows a year.
I did Nomad last year, it is a great fair, and I love visiting and investing in art there, but I have chosen not to exhibit on this kind of platforms. I used to do shows at art fairs and commercial galleries, but now I prefer to focus on not for profit exhibitions. I am very grateful to Marco Voena (note: Italian art dealer, one half of Robilant + Voena) for sponsoring this exhibition.
What makes you move away from large art fairs or commercial galleries?
Oscar HumphriesI would rather take my time and find venues like this (Refers to the: Forum Paracelsus). Moving into a direction of slower, higher quality work, allowing the consumers to take their time and appreciate what has been done.
What I offer artists is interesting spaces in interesting places. Whether it’s St Moritz or Mexico City.
What makes you love St Moritz and what made you choose to exhibit here?
Oscar HumphriesFirstly, the access to spaces like this (refers to the: Forum Paracelsus) and other spaces that are very special and unique.
St. Moritz has such a high density of galleries, museums, collectors and art lovers. Whilst you get thousands and thousands of people at a show in a world capital, in St. Moritz you find such a rarified audience which appreciates, loves and collects art.
It is the combination of the sporting culture, authenticity with the abundant cultural life which makes St. Moritz unique in the world. Which is really exciting, you can put on a great show and you are received by a smaller audience, but it’s a very cultured and a very appreciative audience, and this is very interesting for a curator, or exhibition producer.
Lastly, what question would you like to be asked?
Oscar Humphries“Would you like to live here?” is a question I would ask myself.
Yes, I would probably like to live here, if I could.
If I did have a gallery, I would probably have it in this region. I would find some cow shed or underground bunker, preference to an interesting space in an interesting place
Thank you for your time, and for bringing Sean Scully to Switzerland after a 10-year absence.
Oscar HumphriesMy pleasure, (speaking to the gallery assistant) – can I have a lift’?