Ian Scott

Small Lattice No. 92

1982
oil on canvas
460mm x 460mm

inscribed 168, 18″ x 18″ and “SMALL LATTICE, NO. 92” in ink upper edge verso; signed Ian Scott and dated February 1982 in ink lower edge verso; signed Ian Scott and dated 82 in ink verso

Provenance

Private collection, Dunedin.
Acquired from Watson’s Auctioneers, Christchurch, 2009.

Essay

Returning to Auckland in 1973 from a stint in Nelson, Ian Scott’s work during the 1970s and ‘80s underwent a radical shift into abstraction, initiated in 1971-2. These works...

Read full text
Estimate $2,500 - $3,500
Achieved $2,931.25

Ian Scott

Small Lattice No. 92

1982

oil on canvas

inscribed 168, 18″ x 18″ and “SMALL LATTICE, NO. 92” in ink upper edge verso; signed Ian Scott and dated February 1982 in ink lower edge verso; signed Ian Scott and dated 82 in ink verso

460mm x 460mm

Auction N˚4

Estimate $2,500 - $3,500

Achieved $2,931.25

Small Lattice No. 92

by Andrew Paul Wood

Returning to Auckland in 1973 from a stint in Nelson, Ian Scott’s work during the 1970s and ‘80s underwent a radical shift into abstraction, initiated in 1971-2. These works reference Abstract Expressionism and Colour Field painting, their rolled colour and sprayed stripes inviting comparisons to Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland and Jules Olitski, as well as Larry Poons. The lattice works, geometric abstractions with a Roy Lichtenstein-esque flavour, began appearing in 1976. In a 1979 interview with Michael Dunn, published in Art New Zealand 13, Scott says of the lattice that “there are endless possibilities in it.” He also provides an understanding of how these geometric works evolved out of his earlier figurative, landscape-based paintings, saying:

“The first ones happened to look like white trellis (fences); more recent ones like the plastic backs of folding chairs. References are inevitable with the overlapping system, although it’s not what the paintings are about. I happen to like the suburban landscape, with its neatness, bright colours, clean edges. . . . A very arbitrary, scattered, yet very even sort of colour-order that is suburbia.”

In the lattices, Scott found a universe to explore. They are typically painted on a square canvas, compositionally consisting of a usually diagonal grid of interwoven colour bands. This proved to be a framework with considerable utility. In the period 1976-7 the earlier works make use of horizontal and vertical stripes as well as diagonals, their edges delineated by black crayon drawn along the masking tape. From 1978 onward, the crayon was abandoned in favour of clean edges, the forms created by abutting planes of colour. This format could reach levels of highly resolved complexity, as seen in the work which won Scott the 1978 Benson & Hedges Art Award, Lattice No. 45 (1978).

This work, Small Lattice No. 92 is from the middle of Scott’s lattice phase. The basket-weave grid, vivid colours, and blacks and whites have dissolved into a study of oblongs in a muted, pastel-hued palette, floating against a blue-grey field. Not incidentally, such pastel tones were the stereotypically characteristic colour scheme of 1980s suburbia throughout the western world—think day trader living rooms and Miami Vice. This use of colour to reference a particular historical moment reinforces Scott’s assertion that his abstract compositions were anchored in the real world he could see.