Art & Culture

New An Post stamp marks centenary of the artist’s birth

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In a rare accolade for a visual artist, An Post tomorrow issues a stamp marking the centenary of the birth of artist and designer Patrick Scott, who died in February 2014.

More than just a stamp, the commemorative pack, designed by Oonagh Young and described by An Post as “a miniature artwork” in itself, incorporates two €3 stamps reproducing one of the artist’s trademark abstract compositions, Meditation 28. The exceptionally large stamps flank a reproduction of another work, Gold Painting 21. It all comes packaged in a lush grey card folder with a gold seal and retails for €7.

Throughout his long, immensely productive career, Scott was a major modernising influence in Irish art and design through his multiple roles as artist, designer and, in the best sense, consultant. He had an unerring instinct for achieving an elegant simplicity of form in virtually everything he did and, as many observed, he had impeccable taste.

Brian O’Doherty credited Scott with producing “the most consistently excellent body of work of any Irish artist.” Yet he never sought the limelight. Industrious by nature, he was happiest getting quietly on with a project in the background.

Patrick Scott died in February 2014.

A minimal, modernist aesthetic, with a distinct Japanese influence, was for him much more than a style, it was a guiding principle. He applied it to every aspect of his work across various platforms. He actually trained as an architect and, though it’s fair to say that his heart was never entirely in architecture, he nonetheless played a significant role in the realisation of one of Ireland’s landmark modernist buildings, Busáras in Dublin, not to mention other projects. That was during the 15 years he spent working for Michael Scott’s architectural practice (later Scott Tallon Walker).

Scott’s education, including architecture at UCD, was sponsored by his maternal aunt Jane’s affluent partner, Linda Parbury, after the 1930s economic war devastated the finances of the family farm at Kilbrittain, Co Cork. But Scott’s enduring ambition was to be a painter and, while at UCD during the war years, he thrived in a lively cultural environment.