William Scott R.A. (British, 1913-1989) Still Life on Brown with Beans 61.5 x 61 cm. (24 1/4 x 24 in.)
Lot 94AR
William Scott R.A. (British, 1913-1989) Still Life on Brown with Beans (1978) 61 x 61 cm. (24 x 24 in.)
£50,000 - 70,000
US$ 83,000 - 120,000
Lot Details
William Scott R.A. (British, 1913-1989)
Still Life on Brown with Beans (1978)
signed 'W.SCOTT' (verso)
oil on canvas
61 x 61 cm. (24 x 24 in.)
This work is registered in the William Scott Archive as number 1088

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE:
    With Gallery Moos, Toronto
    With Martha Jackson Gallery, New York
    The artist
    With Gimpel Fils, London
    With Beaux Arts, Bath, where purchased by the present owner circa 1983

    EXHIBITED:
    Toronto, Gallery Moos, William Scott, 7–25 October 1978
    London, Gimpel Fils, William Scott. Every Picture Tells a Story, 26 February–30 March 1985, no.33 (dated c.1978)

    William Scott was devoted to painting still-life throughout his career. During the post war years, these compositions were received with great acclaim as Scott became a key figure in progressive British art. Portraying the reality of the kitchen, they would typically comprise the likes of fish, eggs, lemons and various kitchen utensils on a defined tabletop. Green beans first seem to appear in his canvases in the late 1940s and perhaps the best-known example is Still Life with Colander (Private Collection) executed in 1948. For the next thirty years some of his most important and impressive paintings centred on still-life, however, by the 1970s the style of them had changed considerably. In his literature on the artist, Norbert Lynton comments:

    'The main difference between these late paintings and their early precursors is of course the new works' concentration on just a few items: a fish on a plate where there were several, a plate with a few green beans where they would have been accompanied by many other kitchen items. The tabletop is almost always up-ended now to fill the surface as a ground, and thus loses its connotation. An exception is Orchard of Pears No. 6 (1976-77), in which three pears are on a plate and two are beside it, on a grey ground that may represent a table.' (Norbert Lynton, William Scott, Thames and Hudson, London, 2004, p.354).

    In keeping with Lynton's observations, Still Life on Brown with Beans simply incorporates four vertical beans and a bowl. Whilst it is likely the brown background is representative of a tablecloth, this is not implicit and the movement of a bean off the canvas together with the linear nature of the bowl lends a minimalist abstraction to the picture.
Auction information

Bonhams' November sale achieved a number of high profile records, including the highest price in London that week within a sale of Modern British Art - Allies by Lawrence Holofcener fetched an impressive £409,250. The department are especially proud to have secured a new world auction record for Walter Richard Sickert. Painted circa 1904, Woman in Profile with Downcast Eyes was discovered in Australia and following intense bidding realized £229,250. Irish Art fared well too, with Paul Henry's charming Old-Age Pensioners going for £109,250 while Colin finding Irish buyers.

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