ART: PRIVATE VIEW: William Scott To 19 Dec Julian Lax, London NW3

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The Independent Culture
Over the last few years, William Scott has become a the favourite of the 20th-century British art market, famed especially for the "primitive realism" (his expression) that he brought to the art of still life in the middle years of the century. Frying pans, toasting forks, bowls of eggs and plates of pears appear constantly in carefully constructed, beautifully balanced, arrangements. "I find beauty in plainness," he once said, "in a conception that is precise." This precision lends his best work an air of tranquillity, but also gives it an edge. In the Fifties and early Sixties, Scott edged further towards abstraction, though of a sort that was almost always tied to the table top, and thence to his signature pictures of pots, pans, mugs and bowls, which he depicted with a stark, almost banal, simplicity. Some of the works in this show are rather slight, but Julian Lax has done well to assemble a group of 36 gouaches and prints at the Hampstead house that doubles as his gallery and home.

Julian Lax, 37-39 Arkwright Lane, London NW3 (0171-794 9933) to 19 Dec

Richard Ingleby

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