Object: Leapaway girl
This image has Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons BY-NC-ND
You may download and use Te Papa’s images of this work as long as you meet the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives copyright licence. Fair dealing, as understood under the New Zealand Copyright Act 1994, also applies.
You must include the attribution credit provided when you download the image.
Scott, Ian (artist), 1969, Auckland
|Medium summary||oil on canvas|
|Materials||oil paint, canvas|
x 1515mm (Width)
Frame: 1745mm (Height) x 1542mm (Width) x 57mm (Depth)
|Credit line||Purchased 1971 from Wellington City Council Picture Purchase Fund|
The strange hills in Leapaway girl at once recall Colin McCahon’s cubist letterforms of the 1950s and the formal curves of Gordon Walters’ koru paintings. The kauri trees and waterfalls in the painting might also be a nod to McCahon, who had been Scott’s teacher at Elam School of Fine Arts. The wispy clouds in Leapaway girl are similar to those that inhabit Rita Angus’s skies, a similarity most pronounced in Angus’s surrealist magnum opus, AD 1968, 1968 (Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki). Not that the references are all local: elsewhere in the series Scott drew on images of contemporary American abstraction, and even here the bold colours of the leaping frock suggest a colourfield painting gone airborne. More obvious touchstones for the series are American pop artists Mel Ramos, in his paintings of pin-ups, and Tom Wesselmann in his ‘Great American nude’ series.
Perhaps the neatest connection to be drawn, though, is between works like Leapaway girl and the paintings of Don Binney. Binney enjoyed phenomenal success during the 1960s, when his iconic images of native birds hovering over crisp, clear New Zealand landscapes seemed to represent the apotheosis of a regional realist tradition. As Robert Leonard nicely puts it, ‘Replacing Binney’s birds with dolly-birds lifted from advertising, fashion mags and men’s mags, Scott created lolly-coloured Pop Art Binneys, Playboy Binneys’ (1)
The source for the jumping and lounging women in Leapaway girl was Vogue rather than Playboy. While some contemporary viewers saw Scott simply as a purveyor of tawdry glamour, one critic detected an artist wracked with guilt, suggesting that the ‘Girlie’ paintings demonstrated ‘enormous sympathy for women trapped in a world which is largely male fantasies made tangible’.(2)
This essay originally appeared in Art at Te Papa (Te Papa Press, 2009).
1. Robert Leonard, ‘Ian Scott, Jump over girl 1969’, in Victoria’s art: A university collection, Adam Art Gallery Te Pataka Toi, for Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, 2005, p. 50.
2. Hamish Keith, ‘Goddesses stir male guilt’, Auckland Star, 14 November 1970, p. 16.
Find additional information about this object at these sites
- Google Art Project
Results from DigitalNZ
Searching 27 million digital objects from over 150 content partners across New ZealandMore from Digital NZ
Disclaimer: This information was created from historic documentation, and may not necessarily reflect the best available knowledge about the item. Some collection images are created for identification purposes only and may not be of reproduction quality. Some images are not available due to copyright restrictions. If you have information or questions about objects in the collection, contact us using our enquiry form. You can also find out more about Collections Online.