In 1961, one critic said of William Scott (1913-1989) that he indisputably had ‘the soundest, all-roundest international reputation of any living British painter, Nicholson apart’.
This was praise indeed for an artist who found himself going against the Pop Art movement exploding across the Atlantic at the time. However out of vogue Scott’s kitchen-table still lifes – his mainstay throughout forty years of his career – he continued to paint them unabashed. Over thirty years after his death, a new audience is admiring the blend of figurative and abstract that run through his bold still lifes.
With his links to Cornwall, working alongside Ben Nicholson and Terry Frost in his time, many see his gatherings of used household objects on a table as symbolic of boats safe in harbour, many read into the pots and pans as something bodily or even erotic. Their hardy colours and skewed dimensions invite us to consider shapes and spaces; to take another glance at the everyday ephemera around us.