Ian Scott sadly passed away on the 27 June 2013, he will be very much missed in the arts community.
Born in 1945, Ian Scott is a major New Zealand artist of the Post-McCahon generation. His prodigious career is characterised by innovation and experimentation, with changes in his iconography earning him both the praise and vilification of art critics.
Having developed under the tutelage of Garth Tapper in his high school years, Scott entered Elam School of Fine Arts at Auckland University in 1964 where he was taught by the influential Colin McCahon whose rigorously modern treatment of the landscape opened Scott’s eyes to new possibilities. Scott developed his own contemporary approach to the landscape, turning his back on conventional painting to instead assimilate international and contemporary art trends. He has explored a multitude of styles and themes throughout his career.
Scott’s landscapes in 1966-67 were undisguised attacks on established conventions. His mini-skirted bikini clad girls of 1968-70 captured the local flavour of the era as surely as his Pop Art contemporaries in USA and UK. In the 1970s he experimented with abstraction and produced works reminiscent of Mondrian’s. Known as the Lattice series, the style dominated his practice for the following decade and represents a major contribution to the field of New Zealand geometric abstraction. During the 1990s Scott worked on a series of 'paintings about painting'. Clean-edged rectangular areas of monochromatic colour are masked on top of a background of traditional landscape painting. Simultaneously, Scott worked on a series of large scale canvases depicting unarguably provocative female nudes in ordinary suburban settings which incorporated reproductions of paintings by well-known International Modernist and Pop artists. This bold juxtaposition of 'girlie pictures' and appropriated images from iconic art elevates popular culture while simultaneously undermining fine art, or high art, and represents the artist’s long-held challenge to the establishment.
Scott's art is held in private and public collections throughout New Zealand including Museum of New Zealand - Te Papa Tongarewa and Victoria University in Wellington. A comprehensive book entitled 'Ian Scott' and written by acclaimed art critic Warwick Brown, was published in 1998.