William Scott, R.A. (1913-1989)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
William Scott, R.A. (1913-1989)

Blue Frying Pan

William Scott, R.A. (1913-1989)
Blue Frying Pan
signed 'W.SCOTT' (upper right), signed again 'W SCOTT' (on the stretcher)
oil on canvas
34 x 43¾ in. (86.3 x 111.2 cm.)
Painted in 1956.
with Martha Jackson Gallery, New York, until July 1961.
Alfred Ordover, New York.
with Kasmin Gallery, New York.
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, London, 5 December 1978, lot 102, where purchased by the present owner.
M. Jackson, letter to William Scott, 11 June 1957 (Martha Jackson Archive, Buffalo).
W. Schmalenbach (intro.), exhibition catalogue, William Scott, Hannover, Kestner-Gesellschaft, 1960, p. 15, illustrated (incorrectly identified as 'Blue Frying Pan', S. Whitfield no. 289).
N. Lynton, William Scott, London, 2004, p. 248, pl. 149.
S. Whitfield (ed.), William Scott Catalogue Raisonné of Oil Paintings, Vol. 2: 1952-1959, London, 2013, p. 143, no. 288, illustrated.
New York, Martha Jackson Gallery, William Scott Paintings and Drawings, October - November 1956, no. 11.
Chicago, The Arts Club, Young British Painters, October - December 1957, no. 31: this exhibition travelled to Buffalo, Albright Gallery, January - February 1958; and Ottawa, National Gallery of Canada, May 1958.
Special notice

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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Anne Haasjes
Anne Haasjes

Lot Essay

Scott's still lifes of 1956-58 present a range of compositions, from complex and crowded tabletops to uncomplicated, almost austere, arrangements. Blue Frying Pan is a balanced work in which the artist has carefully positioned the objects in relation to each other. He has divided the composition both horizontally and vertically: the line of the tabletop divides the composition horizontally, with the handles of the pans resting on this line. The vertical axis is provided by the balance of the large frying pan on the left with the smaller pans and bowls on the right. Alan Bowness wrote, 'Scott's sense of proportion and interval is highly developed, and the tensions between forms are always taut' (William Scott: Paintings, London, 1964, p. 10).

The tone and colours used in the present work are in sharp contrast to each other. The depth of the layered black and blue paint is offset by the pure white of the bowl in the foreground. The relationship between the objects is enhanced by this contrast and creates a tension between them. Scott himself said 'The subject of my painting ... would appear to be the kitchen still life, but in point of fact ... my subject is the division on canvas of spaces, and relating one space or one shape to another. That is the fundamental sort of reason for my painting' ('William Scott in conversation with Tony Rothon', Studio International, December 1974, vol. 188, p. 230).

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