William Scott was born in Greenock, Scotland. He moved to Enniskillen, Northern Ireland in 1924. William Scott studied at Belfast College of Art, 1928-31 and at the RA Schools, 1931. In 1937 he travelled and lived in France. William Scott had his first solo exhibition at the Leger Gallery, London in 1942 and represented Britain in the Venice Biennale in 1958. In 1959 he was awarded the first prize at the 2nd John Moores Exhibition, Liverpool. William Scott was artist-in-residence in 1963-65 at the Ford Foundation in Berlin. In 1977 he was elected to the RA.
William Scott's paintings of still lifes in the late 1940's and early 1950's led on to a brief experimentation with pure abstraction. This was later discarded for a spare arrangement of simple shapes on a flat ground which are reminiscent of pots, plants and other household items. Scott used lithograph and screenprint printmaking techniques.
William Scott's work is held in innumerable private and major public collections throughout the world.