The Hugh Lane, Dublin

Dublin City Gallery | Charlemont House, Parnell Square North
1 Dublin

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press release

A major survey of the work of Patrick Scott will open on 6 February 2002, the first since a touring exhibition in Dublin, Cork and Belfast twenty years ago. The Hugh Lane exhibition will celebrate the 80th year of this major Irish artist who was one of the first Irish exponents of pure abstraction and whose work today continues in that idiom.

Trained as an architect, Scott worked for 15 years with Michael Scott and initially worked part-time as a painter. Throughout his career, Scott's artistic output has been deeply influenced by architecture beginning with the inherent formalism of his early realist landscapes and still lifes of the 1940s. This gave way to the softly abstract compositions of his Bog Series in which he experimented with soaking the canvases with pigment. In 1958 Scott's Woman Carrying Grasses was exhibited at the Guggenheim International Exhibition in New York and purchased by MoMA. Scott won the Guggenheim Award in 1960 and represented Ireland at the Venice Biennale after which he devoted himself full-time to painting.

The 1960s saw the artist move into his prime, first with his large Device Paintings, where his life-long obsession with the sphere became manifest. 1964 was a watershed. Influenced by major international developments, Scott's work underwent radical change evolving into his large Gold Paintings in which the artist uses gold leaf on raw canvas often with translucent bands of tempera, to create pure, abstract, geometric images which emphasise the intrinsic beauty of the materials. Their quiet, elegant rigour imbues the works with a meditative, Oriental stillness. Scott has declared that the greatest influences on his work so far have been the Japanese flag and the sea. While he sometimes introduces colour, it is within this taut aesthetic that the artist has since continued to draw inspiration.

In addition to his painting, Scott has also worked in other art forms and has completed numerous commissions, public and private, for tapestries with Aubusson, carpets, mosaics and furniture.


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Patrick Scott