Hollis Taggart Galleries is pleased to announce “Bill Scott: Recent Paintings,” our third exhibition of new works by contemporary Philadelphia-based artist Bill Scott, on view March 12 to April 4. Scott’s paintings rest within the cultural continuum of the Philadelphia colorist tradition, passed on to him and his contemporaries through mentors such as the painters Jane Piper, students of Arthur B. Carles, leading pioneer of Philadelphia modernism. Also inspired by the work Joan Mitchell, who he came to know in 1980 and whose artistic achievements remained a lasting influence, Scott fuses his local artistic heritage together with the raw energy realized in her abstractions. He continues and expands upon the legacy defined by his artistic predecessors in his new body of work that is noteworthy for its jewel-like color, calligraphic line, pure vitality and expressive spirit.
In the present exhibition of 23 paintings one finds Scott exploring a new sense of space and order as well as a heightened awareness of time and place. Perhaps the artist puts it best himself when he says, “In many ways anything a painter creates is fiction. I tend to recognize only what I already know and I am apt to paint what it is I subconsciously yearn to see.” While Scott’s paintings alone are not entirely recognizable, titles like - Polynesian Restaurant and When the Moon was in the Yard evoke observed or imagined remembrances in an almost Proustian sense. Like many of Scott’s canvases, House Painting, Larry’s Other Garden, and Winter Garden allow the viewer into the artist’s process, which originates in nature and evolves organically from there. Scott blends architectural urban imagery with nature in distillations that are lush and inviting.
The new sense of pictorial structure revealed in Scott’s featured imagery, with their underlying geometry and colored patchworks, unmistakably evokes the sensations and textures of collage. Dark calligraphic lines weaved throughout the vividly saturated arrangements help to anchor and animate such paintings as A Brief Moment of Titillation and A Beautiful Afternoon.
“Bill Scott: Recent Paintings” provides an evocative and stimulating voyage through the mind of an artist whose painting is as alive as his personal philosophies. Scott’s experimentation with color and form is an exploration of what our eyes see before the mind seeks to focus and clarify. Appropriately timed on the cusp of spring, the paintings echo the season when clear urban lines begin to blur from the blossoming vibrant colors and sensual forms that emerge in spring.
Scott’s art appears in countless private and public collections, among them the Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, Arkansas; Asheville Art Museum, Asheville, North Carolina; Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio; Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, Delaware; Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute, Museum of Art, Utica, New York; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; The State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; and Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.