A busty topless model stands in front of a seminal American abstract painting and a provocatively dressed blonde fastens her suspenders beside an iconic work of pop art. Scantily clad sex-bombs, masterpieces of modern art and blank white walls. These are the juxtapositions that confront the viewer of Ian Scott's exhibition Late Models.Ian Scott's career began in the early 1960s and spans over fifty years. Throughout this time his work has continuously moved between two seemingly disparate strands of painting. Abstraction, such as his Lattice Series which began in the mid-1970s, and a kind of conceptual pop art exemplified by the paintings of his Girlie Series from the late 1960s. In the Model Series, a group of works which began in 1996, Scott is not simply making a summation of his career and its work to date. He is, more importantly, making a move to bring the aforementioned strands of realism, abstraction and conceptual art together with a new kind of painting.
When first looking at these works, the viewer is made unusually aware of their own presence as observer and is challenged not only with where to look, but, perhaps of greater personal consequence, with how to cast themselves and feel, as they view the paintings in the gallery space. The primary reason for this difficulty, is of course, the sexy naked models, which themselves are somewhat difficult to look at. It could be easy to dismiss that element of these works as an artist’s wet dream in paint, but these carefully balanced and complex compositions offer far more. In bringing together disjunctive elements (the women, the works and the walls) Scott’s paintings are intentionally unsettling, vitally awkward and strangely compelling.
nb. Nudity may offend some people. Discretion advised.