TO THE EDGE: Abstracting art in Australia

Col Jordan 'King' 1968 acrylic on cotton duck mounted on hardboard Gift of an anonymous donor 1968 Newcastle Art Gallery collection
10 August – 20 October 2013

TO THE EDGE examines hard edge abstraction by artists who experimented with the idea of non-objective art and colour field painting in the 1960s and 70s.

During the sixties, the world began looking to America rather than Europe for a new interpretation of Modernism. Artists such as Clement Meadmore, who played a significant role, sought to create a contemporary identity in Australia that was aligned with these late Modernist ideas emerging overseas.

Artists featured alongside the recent sculpture acquisition, Hereabout 1971/2001 by Clement Meadmore include Peter Booth, Col Jordan, Ron Robertson-Swann and Janet Dawson. These artists were exhibited in the National Gallery of Victoria’s landmark 1968 exhibition The Field, which heralded a new generation rejecting the mainstream idea of an Australian art seemingly preoccupied with colonial motifs of the bush and the landscape.