William Scott

Studio Voltaire will reopen with the first solo exhibition of William Scott (b.1964, San Francisco) outside of the USA – the first significant survey of his 30–year practice.

While deeply rooted in personal history, Scott’s paintings address wider questions of citizenship, community and cultural memory. For Scott, painting is a transformative as well as documentary tool. His works are a way to re–craft personal narrative, as in his “another life” self–portraits, in which Scott becomes “Billy the Kid”, an athletic LA Lakers basketball star.  His portraits, predominantly of black figures, encompass African American political leaders and pop icons such as Prince, Kamala Harris, Oprah and Janet Jackson, but also record members of his church, family, and residents of his native San Francisco.

Scott’s practice at large reimagines the social topography of this rapidly gentrified city, which emerges as the utopian ‘Praise Frisco’ in works that combine architectural design with science fiction. Scott’s proposals for new buildings, neighbourhoods and civic agencies together describe his compelling desire for a more equitable society. Studio Voltaire is partnering with Creative Growth Art Center, a noted nonprofit serving artists with disabilities based in Oakland, California, to present this exhibition. Scott has practiced at Creative Growth since 1992.

William Scott (b.1964, San Francisco) has presented solo exhibitions and projects at Ortuzar Projects, New York (2020); White Columns, New York (2006, 2009), and his work has been exhibited at Hayward Gallery, London (2013), Gavin Brown’s enterprise New York (2007), Berkeley Art Museum, California (2011) and Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2008). Scott’s work is part of the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York.

Studio Voltaire’s opening programmes have received support from Cockayne Grants for the Arts (The London Community Foundation).

Image credits

William Scott, Untitled, 2014, acrylic on canvas 36 x 48 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Creative Growth.

William Scott, Untitled, 2016, acrylic on canvas, 60.5 x 36 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Creative Growth.

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