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Bill Scott

Bill Scott, Lullaby, 2017, Oil on canvas, 32 x 42 inches
Bill Scott, Lullaby, 2017, Oil on canvas, 32 x 42 inches

Exhibition

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About

Bill Scott’s paintings are radiant, with a quality of surface achieved through the thinnest applications of paint and the use of various techniques honed over decades. This radiance has remained a constant as his work continues to evolve and is visible in both his paintings and works on paper. Scott creates contrast between opacity and transparency, where blocks of color are overlapped with linear forms. In certain areas, paint is scraped away, or thin layers are applied over patterned surfaces, creating compositional variance akin to collage. This quality is felt at full force in Scott’s prints, with shallow surfaces that visually read as separate components layered upon one another. Scott spends a great deal of time in a printmaking studio, where through his longstanding and rewarding partnership with master printer Cindi Royce Ettinger, makes color etchings based on elements of his large-scale oil paintings.

An expert colorist, Scott draws from nature and his own imagination, making paintings that complicate firm boundaries between the abstract and the representational. Although his canvases overflow with lush renderings of all flora and fauna, he has little interest in copying directly from nature. Instead, each painting is an offering of a perfect window view, an idealized garden, or a feeling evoked by the final days of a season. He is a painter of sensations and feeling rather than one of tangible realities, and his paintings are associative, where their titles hint at, without fleshing out, points of inspiration. Art historian Jason Rosenfeld has described Scott’s paintings as possessing a “peopled feeling,” (1) suggesting that there is a sincere, underlying humanism imbedded in Scott’s abstractions.

Scott’s most recent paintings show a new mark of release, a distinct shift in the career of an artist who has most often been associated with the Philadelphia colorist tradition. While color remains at the heart of Scott’s art making, his newest paintings announce a return to a darker ground. So, while many of the new paintings contain his signature layering of blocks of color, they furthermore assert his work as soulful in its complexity and complicated in its otherwise uplifting tones.

Scott began his career studying at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts from 1974 to 1979 but considers longer periods of working informally with painters Jane Piper and Joan Mitchell as the pivotal influences of his own painting.

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. His work has been reviewed in Art in AmericaARTnewsThe New York Times, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. In 2006, he was awarded a Distinguished Alumni award from the Pennsylvania Academy.

1. Jason Rosenfeld, “Bill Scott: Refulgence” in Bill Scott: Imagining Spring. (New York: Hollis Taggart Galleries, 2016), 4.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2019         The Pierre Hotel, New York, NY
2018         Hollis Taggart Galleries, New York, NY
2017         Rider University, Lawrenceville, NJ
2017         Kentucky College of Art + Design, Louisville, KY
2016         Hollis Taggart Galleries, New York, NY
2016         Cerulean Arts, Philadelphia, PA
2014         C. R. Ettinger Studio, Philadelphia, PA
2013         Hollis Taggart Galleries, New York, NY
2011         Hollis Taggart Galleries, New York, NY
2010         Albemarle Gallery, London, United Kingdom
2009         Hollis Taggart Galleries, New York, NY
2008         Swarthmore College, PA
2008         The Print Center, Philadelphia, PA
2007         Hollis Taggart Galleries, New York, NY
2006         Albemarle Gallery, London, United Kingdom
2004         Hollis Taggart Galleries, New York, NY
2002         Mangel Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
1999         Mulligan-Shanoski Gallery, San Francisco, CA
1999         Mangel Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
1997         Prince Street Gallery, New York, NY
1997         Mulligan-Shanoski Gallery, San Francisco, CA
1996         Mangel Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
1996         Mulligan-Shanoski Gallery, San Francisco, CA
1995         Prince Street Gallery, New York, NY
1994         Mangel Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
1993         Prince Street Gallery, New York, NY
1992         Mangel Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
1990         Mangel Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
1989         Prince Street Gallery, New York, NY

Selected Group Exhibitions

2020         Fully Saturated, Woodmere Art Museum, Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA
2020         50th Anniversary Exhibition, Prince Street Gallery, New York, NY
2019         New Again: Small Works, C. R. Ettinger Studio Gallery Space, Philadelphia, PA
2019         Two by Two, Cerulean Arts, Philadelphia, PA
2019         Dessins et Estampes du XVI au XX Siècle, Galerie Paul Prouté, Paris, France
2017         Grand Strand Collects, Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum, Myrtle Beach, SC
2017         Two Centuries of American Still-Life Painting: The Frank and Michelle Hevrdejs Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; Traveled to Memphis Brooks Museum, TN; Tacoma Art Museum, WA
2017         Loaded Brush: The Oil Sketch and the Philadelphia School of Painting, curated by Patrick Connors, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
2015         Fictitious Pleasures: Bill Scott & Alex Kanevsky, Cerulean Arts, Philadelphia, PA
2014         13 Men: An exhibition of self-portraits, curated by Anne Minich, Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, PA
2013         Creative Hand, Discerning Heart: Form, Rhythm, Song, Michener Museum, Doylestown, PA
2013         Flight from Nature: The Abstract as Ideal, The National Arts Club, New York, NY
2013         Pennsylvania Color Wars, Schmidt-Dean Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
2012         Contemporary Works From the Permanent Collection, Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, DE
2012         A Drawing Show of Artists in Philadelphia selected by Alex Kanevsky and Bill Scott, The Philadelphia Sketch Club, PA
2011         Color Study, Asheville Art Museum, NC
2010         One Theme/Thirty Prints: A Collaborative Portfolio, Free Library of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2009         Dessins et Estampes du XVI au XX Siècle, Galerie Paul Prouté, Paris, France
2009         Resonance of Place: David Brewster, Julian Hatton, Ying Li, Stanley Lewis, Ruth Miller, Anne Neely, & Bill Scott, Gross McCleaf Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
2009         Five Artists, Somerville Manning Gallery, Greenville, DE
2008         Color Key, The Painting Center, New York, NY
2008         183rd Annual Exhibition of Contemporary American Art, National Academy Museum, New York, NY (Benjamin Altman Award)
2007         Garden in Winter, Hopkins House Gallery of Contemporary Art, Haddon Township, NJ
2006         10th Anniversary Exhibition, Albemarle Gallery, London, United Kingdom
2004         C. R. Ettinger Studio Recent Editions, The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2004         179th Annual: An Invitational Exhibition of Contemporary American Art, National Academy of Design, New York (Adolph and Clara Obrig Prize)

Selected Collections

  • Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Asheville Art Museum, North Carolina
  • British Museum, London, United Kingdom
  • Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania
  • Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio
  • Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio
  • Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, Delaware
  • Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania
  • Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, New Jersey
  • Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute, Museum of Art, Utica, New York
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX (Collection of Frank and Michelle Hevrdejs)
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania
  • The State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
  • Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Bernard A. Zuckerman Museum of Art, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Georgia