There is no single neat definition of abstract art. It makes no attempt to represent reality; instead it has its own visual language using shape, colour and form with no rules. An explosion of creative expression and gestural force, Australian Abstract explores the constantly evolving genre and how it offers unparalleled artistic freedom, inviting deeply personal connection and interpretation from both artist and viewer. Works often straddle a mid-point between recognition and the sensed experience through the materiality of paint encompassing a pastiche of styles.
Drawing on extensive interviews Amber Creswell Bell examines the diverse practices of more than forty contemporary abstract painters, documenting a repertoire of styles, subjects, visions and philosophies. Some compare abstract art to music, particularly jazz; others are inspired by nature, science and geometry; and some simply relish the opportunity to express complex emotions in a way words cannot. What unites these extraordinary artists, however, is the conviction that this form of expression chose them.