J o h n - T a r r e l l - S c o t tTT-1 9 4 0 - 2 0 0 7


John Tarrell Scott is best known for his monumental woodcuts and for his African-Caribbean-New Orleans-inspired kinetic sculptures. Born on a farm in Gentilly, a historic section of New Orleans, Louisiana, his family moved to the Lower Ninth Ward when he was 7 years old. His father was a chauffeur and restaurant cook and he said his art training began at home where he learned embroidery from his mother.

Scott studied art at Michigan State University and Xavier University of New Orleans, where he later taught art for over 40 years. During the summer of 1983, he received a grant to study in New York under the internationally acclaimed sculptor George Rickey. Since 1965 John Scott has exhibited throughout the United States and internationally. He received an honorary Doctor of Humanities from Michigan State University in 1995 and a Doctor of Humanities from Tulane University in 1997. In 1992, Scott received the prestigious “Genius Grant” from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for his creativity as one of the nation’s most innovative artists. In 2005, the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) recognized his contribution to American art in a major retrospective, Circle Dance: The Art of John T. Scott. 

Scott was commissioned to create several sculptures that are placed throughout the City of New Orleans. These public works in New Orleans include Spirit Gates at the New Orleans Museum of Art and Spirit House at DeSaix Circle (at St. Bernard and Gentilly Boulevards) in the Seventh Ward and River Spirit at Woldenberg Park along the Mississippi River near the Port of New Orleans

Throughout his artistic career Scott drew upon the city’s rich African-Caribbean culture and musical heritage. His vibrant kinetic sculptures explored themes such as the “diddley bow” from West African mythology, or rhythms and movements inspired by early 19th-century African slave dances in the city’s famed Congo Square.

In the catalog accompaning his 2005 retrospective at NOMA, Scott used the words “jazz thinking” in describing his artistic process: “If you listen to a really good jazz group three things are always evident. . . Jazz musicians are always in the ‘now’...but these guys are incredibly aware of where they have been and have an unbelievable anticipation of where they are going... To me, that’s jazz thinking. It’s improvisational thinking...” In describing the influence the culture, music, and streets of New Orleans had on his work, Scott said, “New Orleans is the only city that I’ve been in that if you listen the sidewalks will speak to you.” Elaborating on what he meant by the city’s special culture: “Other people talk about culture but I think people here live their culture. When you see people dancing in the street, it’s not about entertaining somebody. It’s not about art, It's about life."

Scott's work was featured with that of Ed Clark and Eugene J. Martin in the exhibition “Beyond Black” at the LSU Museum of Art, Shaw Center for the Arts, Baton Rouge, LA, January 28 - May 8, 2011. The Mckenna Museum of African-American Art in New Orleans hosted a tribute exhibition of Scott's work in fall 2014 as a Prospect.3+ satellite exhibition.

 




Storm's ComingTT-1992, Woodcut.

Edition 10. Signed, dated, titled and numbered 3/9 in pencil.

Image size 9 x 6 inches (229 x 152 mm); sheet size 11 7/8 x 9 inches (302 x 229 mm).

A fine, black impression, on off-white laid Japan paper, with full margins (1 1/4 x 1 5/8 inches), in excellent condition. Scarce.

$1200.


Storm's Coming #2TT-1992, Woodcut.

Edition 10. Signed, dated, titled and numbered 8/10 in pencil.

Image size 9 x 6 1/16 inches (229 x 154 mm); sheet size 12 x 9 1/4 inches (305 x 235 mm).

A fine, black impression, on off-white laid Japan paper, with full margins (1 3/8 x 1 3/4 inches), in excellent condition. Scarce.

$1200.

African American, Portrait, Allegorical, Lightening, Civil War

Storm's Coming #3TT-1992, Woodcut.

Edition 10. Signed, dated, titled and numbered 1/10 in pencil.

Image size 8 x 6 inches (203 x 152 mm); sheet size 11 1/2 x 9 inches (292 x 229 mm).

A fine, black impression, on off-white laid Japan paper, with full margins (1 3/8 x 1 3/4 inches), in excellent condition. Scarce.

$1200.

African American, Portrait, Allegorical, Lightening, Civil War

St. GeorgeTT-1992, Woodcut.

Edition 20. Signed, dated, titled and numbered 18/20 in pencil.

Image size 9 x 6 1/8 inches (229 x 156 mm); sheet size 12 x 9 1/2 inches (305 x 241 mm).

A fine, black impression, on off-white laid Japan paper, with full margins (1 3/8 to 1 3/4 inches), in excellent condition. Scarce.

$1200.

African American, Portrait, Allegorical, Lightning, Cross, Saint, Civil War

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