William Scott RA

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Artist Bio

William Scott was born in Scotland in 1913. In 1924, his family moved to his father’s hometown of Enniskillen where Scott began art classes with local art teacher, Kathleen Bridle. He enrolled at the Belfast School of Art, later moving to London to attend the Royal Academy Schools. Whilst serving in the army during the second world war, Scott continued to paint and exhibit.

During the early 1950s, Scott’s work became more abstract, as seen in his exhibition at the Hanover Gallery in June 1953. That same year, he visited North America and befriended New York based artists, Mark Rothko and Willem de Kooning. This early awareness of Abstract Expressionism alerted Scott to the distinctive style growing in the states, as his own style would begin to move into the realm of abstract and non-objective for periods of time.

During the 1960s, Scott had retrospective exhibitions in Zurich, Hannover, Berne and Belfast. Shows were also held in Tokyo, Paris, Brussels, Copenhagen, Oslo and Rotterdam. In 1972, the Tate Gallery held a major retrospective of his work. In 1973, he toured India, Australia and Mexico as a British Council lecturer. After being made an Associate member of the Royal Academy in 1977, Scott was elected a Royal Academician in 1984.

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