Artist Patrick Scott dies on eve of opening of retrospective exhibition of his work

Last October he entered into civil partnership with partner Eric Pearce

Eric Pearce with artist Patrick Scott following their civil partnership ceremony last October. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Eric Pearce with artist Patrick Scott following their civil partnership ceremony last October. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Sat, Feb 15, 2014, 01:00


The artist Patrick Scott died yesterday on the eve of the opening of a retrospective exhibition of his work at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin. He was 93.

Last October he entered into a civil partnership with his partner Eric Pearce.

Both had put a great deal of work into the preparation of the exhibition, Patrick Scott: Image Space Light , which is split between Imma and the Visual Centre for Contemporary Art in Carlow. Mr Pearce expressed the wish that the exhibition should proceed as a celebration of the artist’s life and work.

Born in Kilbrittain, Co Cork, in 1921, Scott had played a central role in Irish cultural life from the early 1940s, when he moved to Dublin to study architecture at UCD.

Scott preferred painting to architecture, but he went to work for Michael Scott – no relation – when he graduated in 1945 and remained with the firm, which became Scott Tallon Walker, for 15 years.

He was involved in the development of Busáras in Dublin, one of the most important modernist buildings in Ireland, designing the mosaics.

When Michael Scott and Louis le Brocquy set up the Signa design consultancy in 1953 Scott tackled many projects, including devising the livery for CIÉ rolling stock. He also worked on film director John Huston’s house St Cleran’s in Connemara.

He represented Ireland at the Venice Biennale in 1960, the same year as he won an award of $1,000 at the Guggenheim International Exhibition. That gave him the courage to launch as an artist and funds to buy the mews house he lived and worked in for the remainder of his life (he acquired the adjoining property six years later).

While still at UCD Scott began living with a talented set and costume designer Carl Bonn. Bonn eventually moved to England and Scott became involved with actor Pat McLarnon. They remained together until McLarnon’s death in 1998.

By the late 1960s Scott had found his mature style of elegant abstraction. His flawless aesthetic sense and his exemplary industry as artist and designer won him many friends, admirers and collectors over the years. He completed many public commissions and served on the boards of Kilkenny Design Workshops and the National Gallery of Ireland.

There were two prior retrospectives of his work: a touring show in 1981 and a show in 2002 at the Hugh Lane Gallery Dublin and the Crawford Gallery Cork.