William Scott 1913-1989

William Scott was one of the leading artists of his generation. Painter of still-life and abstracts in oils. Born in Greenock, his family returned to Northern Ireland in 1924 and he attended Belfast College of Art 1928-31, and the RA Schools 1931-5 where he studied both sculpture and painting. In 1936 he worked in Cornwall and between 1937 and 1939 he lived and worked in France at Pont-Aven and St. Tropez. From 1939 he worked in Dublin, London and Somerset and in 1946 visited Cornwall, meeting Nicholson, Lanyon, Frost and Wynter. He continued to return to France and in 1953 and 1959 went to America where he met Pollock, de Kooning, Rothko and Kline.

He exhibited at the Leger Galleries from 1942, at the Hanover Gallery and from 1974 at Gimpel fils, London. He has shown nationally and internationally and in 1958 a retrospective exhibition of his work was held at the Venice Biennale. His work is represented in many public collections
including the Tate Gallery and the Centre Pompidou, Paris. He taught painting at the Bath Academy of Art, 1946-56, at the Hamburg Academy in 1965, and from 1963-64 he was Ford Foundation Artist in Residence in Berlin. His awards include a first prize at the John Moores Exhibition of 1959, and in 1966 he received his CBE.

Concerned with still-life and ideas of ‘primitive realism’, his work reflects the influence of Cezanne, Chardin and Nicholson in its deliberately presented, symbolic simplification. Influenced by American painting, he produced larger abstract works between 1952 and 1954 but returned to still-life later in the decade. Later abstracts, 1958-62, used evocative shapes which reflected still-life and the nude; they became increasingly refined and economical. Later work combines the still-life subject with harmonious, vibrant colour and the purity of his abstract paintings.... read more

William Scott Exhibition Catalogue Exhibition Catalogue

William Scott Paintings and Drawings

Black & White Composition

William Scott: Black & White Composition, 1953

Green, Black and White Abstract

William Scott: Green, Black and White Abstract, 1953

Still Life

William Scott: Still Life, 1958

(Abstract Painting)

William Scott: (Abstract Painting), 1959


William Scott: Untitled, 1959

Chelsea Suite No. 4

William Scott: Chelsea Suite No. 4, 1975

William Scott Prints


William Scott: Mingulay, 1962


William Scott: Grapes, 1979