new-york

William Scott, Poem for a Jug, No. 21, 1980, oil on canvas, 32 x 36".

William Scott

McCaffrey Fine Art | 23 East 67th Street

William Scott, Poem for a Jug, No. 21, 1980, oil on canvas, 32 x 36".

To celebrate the centennial of William Scott’s birth, McCaffrey Fine Art mounted a survey of twenty simply delineated, rather poignant later still lifes dating from between 1976 and 1986. The disarming expressiveness of these oddly meek works—showing an outlined pear, a flat white cup, most measuring roughly twenty by twenty inches, some even smaller—stands in vivid contrast to the imposing role in British painting that Scott played in the 1950s. Indeed, by the time these pieces were made, interest in his work had markedly declined, largely because of the era’s tidal drift away from painterly virtues toward Conceptual showboating. Scott fell victim to this rising mode of ironic disappreciation, as did, it must be noted, the broad front of the once celebrated British painters among whom he was all but standard-bearer. True, Ben Nicholson, the painter with whom Scott most

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