William Scott

Winter Still Life


Not on display

William Scott 1913–1989
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 914 × 1524 mm
frame: 963 × 1572 × 69 mm
Presented by the Contemporary Art Society 1957

Display caption

From 1946 on Scott began to flatten the forms in his paintings. He generally painted from memory rather than from actual objects. But some of the articles he used in his still life paintings he kept around him in his studio; they included frying pans and saucepans, images which occur regularly in his work. These things were to become the abstract shapes found in later paintings and also had associations with his childhood memories. Scott said 'I find beauty in plainness, in a conception which is precise, a simple idea which to the observer must inevitably shock and leave a concrete image on the mind.'

Gallery label, September 2004

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Catalogue entry


Inscr. ‘W. Scott’ t.l.
Canvas, 36×60 (91·5×152).
Presented by the Contemporary Art Society 1957.
Coll: Purchased by the C.A.S. from the artist 1956.
Exh: C.A.S., The Seasons, Tate Gallery, March–April 1956 (34), and provincial tour.
Repr: Sir John Rothenstein, British Art since 1900, 1962, pl.137; Ronald Alley, William Scott, 1963.

Painted for The Seasons exhibition, for details of which see Ceri Richards, T00083. ‘Winter Still Life’ was painted in January–February 1956 and was the first of three similar compositions, although the frying-pan occurs only in the Tate picture. The other blue composition was shown in Critic's Choice, No. 2, Arthur Tooth & Sons, September–October 1956 (15), and was sold to the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; ‘Brown Still Life’, 1956, was exhibited at the Hanover Gallery, September–October 1956 (5), and is owned by Sir Basil Spence.

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, II

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