New YorkBill Scott: A Prolonged Moment
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Hollis Taggart presents Bill Scott: A Prolonged Moment, the artist’s eighth solo exhibition with the gallery. The presentation features a selection of new abstract oil paintings that capture the exuberant energy and brilliant color for which Scott’s work is recognized, as well as a selection of small-scale watercolors, which mark the artist’s first return to the medium in several decades.
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The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue that includes the artist’s writings on his inspirations, process, and commitment to painting, as an incisive and poignant genre. While Hollis Taggart remains closed to the public, Scott’s work will be installed at its W. 26th Street flagship location and be available for in-person viewing by appointment through the end of July. .
Scott’s abstract compositions are often inspired by nature, whether plants in his studio, views from his windows, or scenes encountered on walks throughout his hometown of Philadelphia and beyond. These representational elements are then filtered through the artist’s imaginings of idealized places and emerge on the canvas as vivid bursts of color, geometric forms, and spontaneous gestural lines. Scott’s engagement with nature began at an early age, when he would envision fantastical places to which he could escape. Through the years, notions of paradises that offer comfort and respite have continued to drive Scott’s work. This is particularly felt in paintings like The Imaginary World (2019), which suggest a rich and dense tangle of plantings and exude a sense of being enveloped in a warm embrace into which one can disappear.
Music and poetry are also important to Scott’s process and practice. This is particularly visible in the way that Scott builds texture, depth, and density on the surface of his canvases, in instances thickly layering his oil paint, in others scraping it away, and yet still in others applying a very thin, almost transparent paint. The end result is a composition that roils with life and motion. Of the influence of music, Scott says, “I aim to have the painting reveal itself slowly and, as it unfolds, for one to be able to intuit how it was made. Unlike a song, a painting does not have a beginning and an ending. Yet a painting, like a song, can linger, unfold, and reverberate long afterward in one’s memory.”
While Scott is most readily recognized for his oil paintings, which have been his primary focus over the last several decades, he had a moment of deep engagement with watercolor early in his career. In 1989, he spent several weeks with artist Joan Mitchell at her home in Vétheuil, France, delving into his approach to and the possibilities offered by watercolors. Upon his return to the United States, however, he abandoned the medium, returning to it only by happenstance in the summer of 2019. The upcoming presentation at Hollis Taggart marks the first presentation of these new works, which are characterized by a brilliant luminosity and add another interesting layer to Scott’s practice.
“Over the many years that we have worked with Bill, we have always been impressed by his incredible originality, masterful handling of color, and the compositional balance he brings to his paintings. This newest body of work encapsulates yet again his creative spirit and the joyful nature that has always pervaded his work,” said Hollis Taggart. “We are particularly delighted to present his recent watercolors, which further reflect the complexity and richness of his practice.”
The gallery’s exhibition will be followed by a solo presentation of the artist’s work at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art in Laurel, Mississippi, opening on August 4, 2020. Titled Bill Scott: A Garden in the Studio, the exhibition will included works produced between 2003 and 2019 and demonstrate Scott’s status as one of America’s foremost colorists.
Scott has exhibited widely over the past three decades at museums that include Swarthmore College, Hollins University, the State Museum of Pennsylvania, the National Academy Museum, and the University of Delaware. Major public collections with Scott’s work include Cleveland Museum of Art, Delaware Art Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute Museum of Art, and Woodmere Art Museum. In 2006, he was awarded a Distinguished Alumni award from the Pennsylvania Academy.
Courtesy of the artist and Hollis Taggart, New York
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Bill Scott: A Prolonged Moment @hollistaggart New York a selection of new abstract oil paintings that capture the exuberant energy and brilliant color for which Scott’s work is recognized, as well as a selection of small-scale watercolors, which mark the artist’s first return to the medium in several decades until Friday 24 July (online & by appointment) click the link in our bio for more #firstlookart #mustsee #BillScott #HollisTaggart #NewYork #NYC #gallery #exhibition #art #painting #abstract #geometry #contemporaryart #modernart #seemoreart #GalleriesNow #lifestyle #ID18400 Bill Scott, The Open Window, 2019. Oil on canvas 56 x 68 inches. Signed and dated lower right: "Bill Scott 19" Bill Scott (b. 1956), A Prolonged Moment, 2019. Oil on canvas 39 1/2 x 55 inches. Signed and dated lower left: "Bill Scott 19"