mixed media on paper
36 ins x 24 ins; 91.4 cms x 61 cms
Through both symbol and figuration – and with an existentialist’s drift and a nihilist’s anger – John Scott has etched the deep markings of a long and sustained career, issuing a singular voice for a mass appeal. His humour, angst, and revolutionary anxiety are profiled through crude gesture, cryptic text, and figures bearing their archetypes. His socio-political commentary, radicalism, and anger are the products of growing up in the ’60s in Windsor, amid the presence of an industrial multitude that took both his parents’ lives. Further, Scott was among a generation whose revolutions were urgent, but too often brief. But their tone was more enduring. On the occasion of his first survey exhibition at the famed Faulconer last year, Scott stirred an echo to the gallery’s impressive Goya collection, his Dark Commander running a dark parallel to the master’s fatalist symbolism. The museum’s associate director says of Scott, “...he seems to have seen the 21st century coming...”, his Neo-Marxist leanings tempered by a black-eyed rejection. But in both A Very Merry No Birthday To You and Untitled, we see Scott maintain his difficult mantels through gritted wit and exuberant expression. These images read like so much scrawled shouting, but their subjects are grinning their defeat.
John Scott graduated from Ontario College of Art and University (Toronto) between 1972 and 1976. He was the subject of a survey exhibition at the Faulconer in Iowa (2014), and has been exhibited across Canada and in parts of Europe. Scott is represented by Nicolas Metevier Gallery.
Private Collection, Toronto