Art and design projects. With stories about the people, places and experiences that have shaped my

Friday, May 27, 2016

Book Review, Article and Interview

'Provincetown Arts' annual issue 2016 / 2017
The 2016 issue of Provincetown Arts Magazine has a review of my book on Robert Motherwell in it. I'm delighted that it was written by Chris Busa, founder of the magazine and a long-time friend. This makes the review especially poignant and gratifying for me. Chris knew Motherwell a great deal longer than I did. Chris' dad was painter Peter Busa, long recognized as one of the original abstract crowd in the '40s and '50s. Here is what Chris said:

"John Scofield’s recent book, Robert Motherwell:
In the Studio (Bernard Jacobson Gallery,
London), bubbles with the ├ęclat of seasoned
wisdom. The wraparound jacket photograph
features Scofield watching as Motherwell
puts a stroke on the enormous Reconciliation
Elegy, spread out on the floor, a thirty-onefoot-
long and ten-foot-high commission
for the East Wing of the National Gallery in
Washington, DC. Scofield, an artist, craftsman,
and landscape designer, was Robert
Motherwell’s studio assistant and confidant
for three years in the late seventies,
working daily with the artist in his array of
studios in Greenwich, Connecticut. Motherwell,
moving out of New York, purchased a
section of a large estate, where he converted
the top floors of the horse stables into living
and dining quarters while the bottom floors
were adapted to provide an industrial space
for the production of art—studios for major
paintings, collages, printmaking, and
frame-making. Scofield worked in the
Greenwich studios, then began coming
to assist Motherwell in Provincetown,
where he joined the Provincetown club
the Beachcombers, loving the artistic
“informality,” in which the primitive
and the elegant seemed to coexist."

Thanks Chris.

L-R: John E. Scofield, Laila Pedro at the Kasmin Gallery, NYC, 4 May 2016.

People sometimes ask if I learned about color from Bob Motherwell. Perhaps. But I think it was just as much discovering the excitement of working with color. Just being around it is what counts. Above: his 1978 untitled print; pink and black chine colle. Printed by master lithographer Bob Bigelow.

L-R: John Scofield, Laila Pedro, Bernard Jacobson at the Andrea Rosen Gallery, NYC.
The June 2016 issue of the arts and literature magazine Brooklyn Rail contains an interview conducted by BR Managing Editor Laila Pedro. She interviewed me on my '70s memoir, Robert Motherwell: In the Studio. We met in Chelsea, NYC, at the Kasmin gallery's show on Motherwell collages. Laila Pedro thought that it would be a good place to hold the interview as it had the right atmosphere. And she was right!

The photo of us above, bottom, was taken in May of 2015 at the Andrea Rosen Gallery. My book was published in 2015 by the London-based Bernard Jacobson Gallery.


A blog site called Unlocking Litchfield recently ran a very nice visit with us titled, 'At Home with John Scofield.' They began their story by saying: John Scofield is and artist and designer living in Sharon, CT with his wife Bartley Johnstone, and their daughter, Evie. John’s folding music stand is in the permanent design collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York. 

You can find their photos and interview at:

Here are some of the lovely photos taken by Lora Warnick. The well-written story is by Beverley Canepari.

Bartley and I are standing in front of a large painting
on paper titled 'Her Moods.' This is a cartoon for a
glass top coffee table named after a line in a poem by
WH Auden.
A triptych of paintings on paper in the flat-file cabinet.
S. Marie Novella silverchest / humidor with the
mahogany lid raised. The cast bronze base has a
patina based on the stone arches of S. Maria Novella
in Florence.
Sculptural toys that Evie and I make in the shop. This one spins on the purple
nail. We make a lot of things like this together. 
My 'Folding Music Stand,' 1971. Behind it is a painting
on paper for the 'Bruno Chair.' Bruno is my son's
middle name. This music stand is in the collections at MoMA
And the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego.
A companion to the Folding Music Stand is this 'Music Chair'
made in 2011. To its right is a small carved and painted
table with a maple top. Above is a painting on paper for
furniture called the 'Klismos Chair.'