Tom Scott, A Retrospective

Tom_ScottThursday, October 9 – Saturday, December 13, 2014

Tom Scott’s career as an artist spanned more than 60 years, from the early 1950s through the first decade of this century. His output is remarkable not only for its temporal span but for its quantity and qualities, amounting to over 3,000 by his death at age 85 in March 2013. It is also remarkable for the particular span of time it covers: a unique time that saw the ascendancy of American art on the world stage for the first time and an extraordinarily fertile period of general artistic invention worldwide that included the creation and maturing of important sub-movements of modernism, and simultaneously the beginning of post modern tendencies in art.

But the welter of trends and movements largely left Scott unaffected after his work in abstract expressionism in the 1950s, as he resolutely marched to his own drummer, even while well aware of the flux around him. We sense in his work something apart from the mainstream and major movements, yet not at all reactionary or retrogressive. As an inveterate experimenter, his work has a complexity that defies easy categorization.

Over the span of his career he established a variegated practice incorporating the use of oil and acrylic painting, collage, assemblage, recycled materials, three dimensional works, and much more, including ground-breaking work with painted photographs and the use of aerosol spray paints. Finally all of Scott’s experimentation comes together in the work of the last 20 years of his career in a sustained burst of creative activity amounting to hundreds of works. These are a capstone for a long career, a distilled group of assured work the making process and organizing principles of which operate not only formally but psychologically.

This exhibition is therefore designed to fully demonstrate all these features in as comprehensive a way as possible, a dense and maximal presentation, and for the first time to allow the full range of works to be shown in one place at one time. Scott’s attitude towards his works was to be in an active dialogue with them. The exhibition is guest curated by Tex Andrews.

Admission to the exhibition is free. The Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm and is located in the Fine Arts Building. For more information call 410-455-3188 or go to our visitor’s guide.