Blue, Black and White Composition

William Scott

This exceptionally rare early lithograph by William Scott was conceived and first executed in 1952, when it was exhibited at the Redfern Gallery. The present copy is dated 1953, and numbered from an edition of 60, however it is extremely unlikely that more than a small number of the planned edition was actually executed, each being privately printed at the Bath Academy of Art, Corsham Court, where Scott taught. An impression of Blue, Black and White Composition was shown at the Venice Biennale in 1954, and also in the Cincinnati Biennial in the same year. The Arts Council of Great Britain holds an impression of the work, which they have titled Composition Black and Blue.

This printed work relates directly to the painted Composition works which were leading the artist towards abstraction in the first years of the 1950s. Having established the table top as a plane upon which to arrange familar and easily found kitchen utensils, foods and objects, Scott's works of this period tipped that plane foward to a near vertical device on which the objects became absorbed into the pictorial structure. The logical conclusion of this progression was that the objects became roughly worked rectangles, semi-circles, ovals and uprights of colour, existing in a similar plane to the table but having no logical physical relationship to it. Packets rise above the back edge of the table top, pan handles fall forward of it, bottles and plates are implied to sit squarely upon it, and the suggestion of a chair is introduced. The present work stops short of investigating the possibility of reading the laden table as a female figure, a concept Scott would explore later in the decade.


William Scott
Blue, Black and White Composition
(also known as)
Composition Blue, Black and White
38.0 x 47.5 cm: 14 61/64 x 18 45/64 in. , on stout wove
36.5 x 43.0 cm: 14 3/8 x 16 59/64 in.
From the edition of 60, although it is highly doubtful that more than a handful were printed, signed and numbered by the artist
Printed at the Bath Academy of Art, Corsham Court
Published privately
Archeus 7; Cooke 11