American, b. 1951, Los Angeles, CA
Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA
Born in 1951 in Los Angeles, Scot Heywood has pursued a course of non-representational, geometric abstract painting for more than 30 years. A self-taught artist, Heywood's works are indebted to the origins of geometric abstraction in such artists as Kasimir Malevich and Piet Mondrian, though he has crafted a thoroughly personal interpretation. The artist’s exquisite attention to detail and presentation are evident in the careful placement of individual panels, as well as the refined diagonal layering of paint.
A viewer would be mistaken to consider Heywood’s paintings to be standard examples of the minimalist monochrome. His work invites extended contemplation, and engages with viewers on visual, physical and conceptual levels. David Pagel of the Los Angeles Times has written on the experience of regarding Heywood’s work, explaining that, “To stand before one of these paintings, each of which is the size of a generously scaled doorway, is to find your whole body involuntarily adjusting itself to the subtly out-of-whack geometry of Heywood’s art.”
It is this disorienting geometry that characterizes Scot Heywood’s art. Small but unexpected asymmetries and careful “notches” disrupt the smooth rectangularity of his wood and canvas surfaces, creating a dialogue between form and color that implicates the space of the gallery. Daniella Walsh for THE Magazine described the sophisticated game being played here when she wrote that Heywood’s works “establish a new perceptual reality, incorporating the wall as negative space.”
In this way, the walls of the gallery become part of the work, functioning as more than a passive backdrop for the paintings. The relationship between the walls, the works, and the viewers are all held up for examination. In this atmosphere, the works take on architectural qualities. According to Jody Zellen of Artweek, they then allow for an exploration of “the relationships between presence and absence with respect to a given architectural space.”
Scot has shown frequently in Southern California since the late 1970s. His work has been featured in over a dozen solo shows, and is often included in significant group exhibitions such as Marks and Movement: Five Painters at the Santa Monica College Barret Gallery in 2011. His paintings are also represented in numerous collections, including the Frederick Weisman Foundation.