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Work of the Week | 31 August 2020

CAG.3018 Patrick Scott, Diptych, n.d., tempera on unprimed canvas, 197.5 x 152.3 cm. Bequeathed, the Artist, 2014. © the artist’s estate.

This WORK OF THE WEEK is a painting on two canvases!

The startling Diptych by Patrick Scott likely dates to the mid-1960s, only a few years after the Kilbrittain-born artist had dedicated himself to being a full-time artist.

Arresting the eye with its dazzling composition, Diptych not only reveals Scott’s instinct for colour but can also be read as an expression of outrage. The bleached colouration, dripping solar halo, and unprimed canvas register the artist’s protest to the testing of hydrogen bombs and other nuclear devices. In this context, the painting can be viewed in an eery and unsettling new Cold War light.

Best known for his later ‘gold paintings’, Patrick Scott (1921-2014) is noted for his dedication to pure abstraction. Having initially trained as an architect, the artist exhibited with the White Stag Group in 1944. He would go on to represent Ireland at the 30th Venice Biennale (1960) and was elected a member of Aosdána in 1981. Scott was conferred with the title of Saoi (‘wise one’), the highest honour for a living Irish artist, in 2007 by then President Mary McAleese

Diptych by Patrick Scott is featured in lucid abnormalities (until March 2021) in our Gibson Galleries (Floor 1). Free entry and open daily.

Tune in to The Arts House with Elmarie Mawe on Cork’s 96FM and C103FM every Sunday morning as Conor Tallon chats with assistant curator Michael Waldron about each WORK OF THE WEEK! Listen back to this week's chat here:


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