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    Sale 7637

    20th Century British Art

    12 December 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 9

    William Scott, R.A. (1913-1989)

    Poem for a Jug No. 4

    Price Realised  


    William Scott, R.A. (1913-1989)
    Poem for a Jug No. 4
    signed and dated 'W. SCOTT/79 80' (on the reverse)
    oil on canvas
    9¾ x 12 in. (24.7 x 30.5 cm.)
    This work is recorded in the William Scott Archive as No. 1187 and will be included in the forthcoming Catalogue Raisonné of works in oil.

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    Norbert Lynton discusses Scott's series of Poem for a Jug pictures, which date from 1979-80, 'Various small canvases, very succinct, became another numbered series. Poem for a Jug No. 5 contrasts a bright, pale blue mug in strict profile, with a recessive ground and, in it, part of a dark bowl. Minimalism of a fairly extreme sort here yields lavish result. Poem for a Jug No. 19, has a ground of the palest grey and on it half an outline of a dish entering left, a brown square hovering on the right, and, just above and on the left of the geometrical centre, the eponymous jug in solid yellow as an almost square silhouette, identified by a round handle on one side, a neat triangular spout on the other. Poem for a Jug No. 20, offers yet another proposition. Just two objects: a white jug on the left, a dark blue square thing (a small vase?) on the right. Light and dark, set into the middle of light grey. With so few items to look at, almost all communication is carried by placing and visual weight. This fascinated WS so much that, in the end, twenty-six paintings titled Poem for a Jug were shown at Gimpel Fils Gallery in London in 1980' (see William Scott, London, 2004, p. 337-8).

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    with Gimpel Fils, London, May 1980.
    with Gallery Kasahara, Osaka, December 1980.


    London, Gimpel Fils, Poem for a Jug, May - June 1980, no. 4 (illustrated in black and white on the invitation card for this exhibition).
    Osaka, Gallery Kasahara, William Scott, October 1980, no. 2.