William Scott

Berlin Blues 4


Not on display

William Scott 1913–1989
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 1530 × 1835 mm
frame: 1542 × 1846 × 35 mm
Presented anonymously 1965

Display caption

Scott spent a scholarship year in Berlin in 1963-4. According to him, the title for this painting, was chosen because it was one of a group of blue pictures started in Berlin and the particular blue pigment he used for them was discovered by him in that city. He commented that in this work the spatial relationships in his composition had become more symmetrical and Byzantine in origin. In the mid-1960s Scott simplified and clarified his paintings, using bolder shapes and eliminating textural contrasts. Paint was evenly and thinly applied, as here.

Gallery label, September 2004

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Catalogue entry

William Scott 1913-1989

T00795 Berlin Blues 4 1965

Inscr. on back of stretcher, ‘W. Scott “Berlin Blues 4” 1965 cat. 34’ and on the canvas an arrow indicating the top.
Oil on canvas, 60¼ x 72 ¼ (153 x 183.5).
Presented by an anonymous donor 1965.
Coll: Purchased from the artist by the Hanover Gallery.
Exh: Hanover Gallery, September–October 1965 (34).

One of a group of pictures showing a trend in Scott’s work towards the elimination of impasto and conspicuous brush marks and towards flatter, simpler but less rectilinear forms.

The artist wrote (25 November 1965): ‘It is one of a series of Blue pictures started in Berlin 1964 - The title has no significance apart from the discovery of this particular blue pigment in Berlin.

‘My space relationships have become more symmetrical i.e. more Byzantine in origin.’

Published in The Tate Gallery Report 1965–1966, London 1967.


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