Abstraction: celebrating Australian women abstract artists

A National Gallery of Australia Exhibition

Paid exhibition

Abstraction is an exhibition that will take audiences on a journey from the early 20th century through to the present day. Showcasing abstract works of art from the National Gallery of Australia collection that have rarely been on display. This exhibition brings to light stories that have remained untold for decades and reveal the remarkable contribution Australian women artists have made to abstract art across a broad range of media including painting, sculpture and applied arts.

It has often been women who have led the charge in this field showing confidence, curiosity and innovation as they engaged with one of the defining art movements of the 20th century, the influences of which still prevail in contemporary art practice today.

The exhibition charts the development of abstraction in Australian art, which originally evolved from European Cubism and avant-garde art practices in Paris and London through to the breakthroughs of the New York school in terms of Abstract Expressionism, Hard Edge abstraction and Minimalism. 

Abstraction casts a wide net with a diverse and broad range featuring 76 works of art by 38 artists including Yvonne Audette, Dorrit Black, Grace Crowley, Anne Dangar, Janet Dawson, Inge King, Margo Lewers and Margaret Preston, through to contemporary practitioners Elizabeth Coats, Melinda Harper and Idiko Kovacs, among others. 

The Newcastle Art Gallery collection is also well represented with works of art by Australian women abstract artists, some of whom feature in this exhibition.

Related links:

  Exhibition media release
 Visit the National Gallery of Australia website to see a Gallery of works

Related documents:

  Exhibition room brochure (pdf)
  Education resource (pdf)
  Abstraction timeline (pdf)

Touring organisation

Anne DANGAR 'Un composition, pochoir' 1936 drawing in brush and gouache 35.0 x 28.9 cm Purchased 2002 National Gallery of Australia, Canberra


  • General admission $10
  • Society & Foundation members $7
  • Concession $7
  • Children under 12 FREE
  • Pre-booked education groups FREE



Newcastle Art Gallery
1 Laman Street
Cooks Hill