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William Scott

William Scott (1913-89)

William Scott was born in 1913, in Greenock, Scotland, to Scots-Irish parents, in 1924 his family moved with his mother, Agnes to Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, to join his father in his native town. His father was a housepainter and signwriter, and was killed in an accident in 1927. William was educated at the Model School and attended night classes in art at the Technical School, taught by Kathleen Bridle. In 1928 he went on to Belfast College of Art, and in 1931 he won a scholarship to the Royal Academy Schools in London. There he won a silver medal and became a Landseer scholar in painting. In London he shared rooms with three Swansea men, the painters Alfred Janes and Mervyn Levy and the poet Dylan Thomas. He was awarded a Leverhulme scholarship in 1935.

Scott married in 1937, and for the next two years lived abroad, mostly in Italy and in France, where he founded an art school in Pont-Aven, Brittany.

However, in 1939 after the declaration of World War II he returned abruptly to Britain. In 1946 Scott returned to Pont-Aven to recover his pre-war work, but failed to find it. From 1946 until 1956 Scott was senior lecturer in painting at the Bath Academy of Art. In the summer of 1953 he visited the USA where he met Jackson Pollock, Elaine de Kooning, Franz Kline and Mark Rothko. Although his work had become predominantly abstract in 1952, after his meeting with the American Abstract Expressionists he reverted to his roots in still life and European painting.

 

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