Ian Scott was born in 1945 and his painting career spanned over forty years. He was a major New Zealand artist of the Post-McCahon generation who remained innovative and relentlessly experimental throughout his prodigious career. Studying art at Kelston Boys High School under the tuition of Garth Tapper he won numerous junior art competitions during his youth including the junior section of the Kelliher Art Prize in 1965. He entered Elam School of Fine Arts at Auckland University in 1964. Scott's art is held in the collections of public galleries and private collections throughout New Zealand. A comprehensive book on the artist, written by acclaimed art critic Warwick Brown titled 'Ian Scott', was published in 1998.
McCahon was Scott's painting tutor at Elam and the elder painter's contemporary vision of the landscape had a strong influence over Scott's practice. Scott developed his own contemporary approach to the landscape and rapidly made a transition from conventional painting, assimilating international and contemporary art movements. Scott's career comprises a plethora of series that explore different styles and themes. His landscapes in 1966-67 were bold attacks on established ideas. His mini-skirted bikini clad girls of 1968-70 captured the local flavour of the era as effectively as his Pop Art contemporaries in USA and Britain. In the 1970's he experimented with abstraction and produced the Lattice series his largest body of work and a theme he developed for nearly a decade. These works stand as a major contribution to the field of New Zealand geometric abstraction. During the 1990s Scott worked on a series of 'paintings about painting'. Sharp edged rectangular areas of monochrome colour are masked on top of the background traditional landscape painting.
During the same period Scott also created a series of larger canvases depicting a solitary provocative female nude in banal suburban settings with reproductions of paintings by well-known International Modernist and Pop artists as backdrops. This juxtaposition of 'girlie pictures' and appropriated images iconic art hints at the relationship between popular culture and high art, questioning what it is that determines the elevation of an image to high art status.