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Yellow Device (1962)

Object Name



Scott, Patrick b.1921 (Primary maker)
Scott, Patrick b.1921 (artist)

Date Made



In Yellow Device Scott applied spots of pure colour onto raw canvas, allowing the paint to soak in and create the impression of an exploding bomb. In 1962 a number of high profile nuclear tests had been carried out around the world including the ‘Rainbow Bomb’, so called because of the colours released by the explosion into the upper atmosphere above the Pacific. As a protest against these tests, and the use of the seemingly innocent term ‘nuclear device’, Scott made a series of paintings, each containing the word ‘device’ in the title. This series played an important part in his shift towards pure abstraction and marked the beginning of his preoccupation with circles and spheres. By the end of the 1960s he had largely abandoned colour in his painting and instead used gold-leaf applied to unprimed canvas to create abstract works of great power and simplicity. Scott trained as an architect and was largely self-taught as an artist. Early in his career he exhibited with the White Stag Group and in 1960 represented Ireland at the Venice Biennale. His travels in China and Japan strengthened his interest in oriental forms and practices and contributed to his development as an abstract painter.


tempera on canvas

Catalogue Number



National Museums NI
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