20th Century British Art
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William George Scott (1913-1989)

Painter and printmaker born in Greenock, Scotland but as a child moved to Enniskillen, Northern Ireland in 1924. He attended Belfast College of Art, 1928-31 and at the RA Schools, 1931-35. In 1937 Bill Scott travelled and lived in France where he assisted in the running of an art school in Pont-Aven, Brittany. During World War II he served with the Royal Engineers and held his first solo exhibition at the Leger Galleries in 1942. Scott taught at Bath Academy, Corsham 1946-56 where he met many of the St. Ives artist such as Roger Hilton, Terry Frost, Peter Lanyon, Bryan Winter and Patrick Heron. With most of them he became associated with the Constructionism movement of the 1950's. He went on to teach at the RCA and travelled and taught in America and Canada. His paintings of still lifes in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s led on to an experimentation with pure abstract painting. This was later discarded for an arrangement of simple minimalist shapes on a flat ground which are somewhat reminiscent of pots, pans and other household items.


Scott represented Britain in the Venice Biennale, 1958 and in 1959 he was awarded first prize at the 2nd John Moores Liverpool Exhibition. From 1963-65 he held the position of Ford Foundation artist-in-residence in Berlin, he was appointed CBE in 1966 and in 1977 he was elected an Associate of the RA and a full member in 1984. Museums and collections around the world have examples of his work. These include the Brighton and Hove Museums and Art Galleries, Dublin City Gallery, Fitzwilliam Museum, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Jerwood Foundation, Lancaster University Art Gallery, Leicestershire County Council, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Tate Gallery, Towner Art Gallery, Trinity College, Dublin, Ulster Museum, where he was given a retrospective in 1972 and the Victoria Art Gallery and the Guggenheim Museum, New York.

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