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


William Scott, R.A. (1913-1989)
signed and dated 'W. SCOTT 72' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
66 x 68 in. (167.7 x 172.7 cm.)
with Bernard Jacobson Gallery, London.
N. Lynton, William Scott, Modern British Masters Vol. 1, London, 1990, n.p., no. 17, illustrated in colour as 'Still Life, 1970-71'.
S. Whitfield, William Scott Catalogue Raisonné of Oil Paintings 1969-89, Vol. 4, London, 2013, p. 47, no. 671, illustrated in colour, incorrectly dated 1970.
possibly London, Berkeley Square Gallery, William Scott, September - October 1988, (ex-catalogue).
London, Bernard Jacobson Gallery, William Scott, September - October 1990, as 'Still Life 1970-71'.
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Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

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Lot Essay

In 1969 Scott embarked on what proved to be a remarkably fruitful series of paintings. Scott said: 'My second phase of abstraction happened much like the first. The pictures were now larger and a
process of elimination again took place - hardly with my awareness. I had returned to a new phase of abstraction with the difference that I was now prepared to leave larger areas of undisturbed colour. I no longer worry whether a painting is about something or not: I am only concerned with the expectation from a flat surface of an illusion' (William Scott quoted in exhibition catalogue, William Scott, New York, McCaffrey Fine Art, 2010, p. 53).

This series of works that were executed through the 1970s clearly use many of the motifs which had appeared in Scotts earlier paintings, albeit in a far more pared back depiction. The frying pan, the rounded bowls and even the hint of a table edge are discernable, however, any form of realism or perspective have been stripped away. Instead Scott looks to balance the composition through scale and palette. However, although this palette is limited, the contrast between the white ground and the black, grey, ochre and white forms creates an impression that these objects are advancing and receding in varying degrees. By making this space ephemeral, the forms abstract and the title purposefully nondescript Scott challenges the onlooker to question preconceived ways of seeing and responding to a work of art.

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