William Scott CBE

1913 – 1998

William Scott, Skaill (Black)2021-12-10T22:03:18+00:00


William Scott was born in 1913, and was a painter of Irish and Scottish descent. He studied at Belfast College of Art, then from 1931 – 1935 at the Royal Academy Schools in London. In 1946 his painting focussed on still-lives, painting pots, saucepans, eggs, fish and bottles on a kitchen table. His style became more abstract by 1952, where the forms he painted served as metaphors, sometimes of erotic encounters between male and female. However, by 1953 this phase of Scott’s work came to an end resulting from a visit to the USA where he met Kline, Rothko and Pollock. Scott’s instinct was that he belonged more to the European tradition of Chardin, Cézanne and Bonnard. Following this trip Scott’s style became representational again, before he later returned to abstraction. In 1958 he represented Great Britain at the Venice Biennale, one of many occasions on which his work was chosen by the British Council to be exhibited abroad. The 1960s saw retrospective exhibitions in Zurich, Hannover, Berne and Belfast. There were also major shows in London, Tokyo, Paris, Brussels, Copenhagen, Oslo and Rotterdam. He desingerd textiles for Alistair Mortons Deinburgh Weavers and David Whithead Ltd. In 1972, the Tate Gallery mounted a major retrospective. It included more than 125 paintings dating from 1938 onwards. He received honorary doctorates from the Royal College of Art in London, Queen’s University Belfast and Trinity College Dublin. In 1984 Scott was elected a Royal Academician.