Bill Scott

Bill Scott, A Recurrent Memory, 2022, Oil on linen on Alucobond panel, 36 x 42 inches
Bill Scott, A Recurrent Memory, 2022, Oil on linen on Alucobond panel, 36 x 42 inches



Bill Scott, Half a World Away, 2022, Oil on canvas, 60 x 72 inches (SOLD)

Artist Ted Walsh Responds to Bill Scott’s Exhibition

October 7, 2023

Read Ted Walsh's Essay on Bill Scott's Exhibition "A Recurrent Memory", at Somerville Manning Gallery

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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

2023         Bill Scott: A Recurrent Memory, Somerville Manning Gallery, Greenville, DE
2022         Hollis Taggart Galleries, New York, NY
2022         Cerulean Arts, Philadelphia, PA
2022         Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum, Myrtle Beach, SC
2020         Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, Laurel, MS
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 (also in 1999, 1998, 1996, 1994, 1992, and 1990)
2002         Mulligan-Shanoski Gallery, San Francisco, CA (also in 1997 and 1996)
1997         Prince Street Gallery, New York, NY

Selected Group Exhibitions

2023         Of the Past and Present: Estates and Contemporary Artists at Hollis Taggart, Hollis Taggart, New York
2023         Dessins et Estampes du XVI au XX Siècle, Paul Prouté S.A., Paris, France
2023         Submerged: A Changing Global Climate, Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center, Philadelphia, PA
2022         Parallels: Chloë Lamb and Bill Scott, Hollis Taggart, Southport, CT
2021         Ninth Street Women and Their Legacy, Somerville Manning Gallery, Greenville, DE
2020         Look Again: A Survey of Contemporary Painting, Hollis Taggart, Southport, CT
2020         Fully Saturated, Woodmere Art Museum, Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA
2020         50th Anniversary Exhibition, Prince Street Gallery, New York, NY
2019         Excerpts: C. R. Ettinger Studio, The Eckert Art Gallery at Millersville University, PA
2019         Selections from our Contemporary Collection, Hollis Taggart, New York, NY
2018         New Radicals, curated by Aubrey Levinthal, Cerulean Arts, Philadelphia, PA
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         Color Wars, Schmidt-Dean Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
2012         Contemporary Works From the Permanent Collection, Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, DE
2011         Color Study, Asheville Art Museum, Asheville, NC
2010         Spectrum: Contemporary Color Abstraction, Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, Wilmington, DE
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)
2006         10th Anniversary Exhibition, Albemarle Gallery, London, United Kingdom
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
Asheville Art Museum, NC
Barry Art Museum at Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA
Bernard A. Zuckerman Museum of Art, Kennesaw State University, GA
British Museum, London
Bryn Mawr College, PA
Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH
Cleveland Museum of Art, OH
Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington
Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA
The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, Laurel, MS
Montclair Art Museum, NJ
Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute, Museum of Art, Utica, NY
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX (from the collection of Frank and Michelle Hevrdejs)
Myrtle Beach Art Museum, SC
Philadelphia Museum of Art
The Reading Public Museum, PA
The State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg
Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia