Alun Leach-Jones
Noumenon XLV Empyrean 1970
synthetic polymer paint on canvas
198.8 x 283.0 cm
TarraWarra Museum of Art collection
Gift of Eva Besen and Marc Besen AO 2001
Photo: John Brash

6 Years Abstracted: 1967–1972

Past Exhibitions
29 May - 23 October 2005

In Australia the Post-painterly Abstraction movement found its strength by the mid-1960s and its turbulent thrust into the spotlight ignited a change in the way contemporary art was to be perceived. During the peak years of the movement support was evidenced by the opening of Central Street Gallery, Sydney, in 1965; the major exhibition Two decades of American Art traveling to our shores in 1967; the National Gallery of Victoria launched its new St.Kilda Road premises with the controversial exhibition The Field; and abstract artists being recognised by winning major art prizes.

6 Years Abstracted: 1967­–1972 explores the influence of the international art scene, in particular American Modernism, on Australian abstract art created in the late 1960s and early 1970s by artists whose works were shaped by the power of this international energy.

Drawn from the TarraWarra Museum of Art collection, with some works generously lent from private and public collections, this exhibition is not intended to be a comprehensive record, but to provide an introduction to a unique period in the development of Australian modernism. It focuses on the art movement known as Post-painterly Abstraction, examining how artists practicing in Australia were influenced by the prominent New York School. The exhibition intends to recognise the importance of an art movement that was vital and influential in expanding Australia’s art horizon. The contribution of artists during this period made the Australian art world and public confront techniques, designs and ideals which expanded the understanding of what modernism was in Australian art.

6 Years Abstracted: 1967­–1972 includes works by David Aspden, Sydney Ball, Peter Booth, James Doolin, John Firth-Smith, Dale Hickey, Robert Jacks, Michael Johnson, Col Jordan, Alun Leach-Jones, Tony McGillick, Paul Partos, John Peart, Ron Robertson-Swann, Robert Rooney, and Trevor Vickers.

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