SNO 106: Returning to The Field

Art Life , Exhibitions Jul 18, 2014 No Comments

From Stella Rosa McDonald

The Field was a seminal exhibition of abstract art at The National Gallery of Victoria in 1968. Curated in part by John Stringer, the exhibition declared a commitment to the techniques and concepts of abstraction, particularly post-painterly abstraction, which the curators broadly defined as “hard edge, unit pattern, colour field, flat abstraction, conceptual and minimal” art.

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SNO contemporary art projects have revisited The Field in a group show that, like the original, refuses a fixed definition of formal abstraction and non-objective art. Returning to The Field at SNO addresses the current position of formalist abstract art by looking at its trajectory since 1968. By naturally including numerous works by female artists including Wendy Paramor and Debra Dawes and the work of indigenous artist Bengitj Ngurruwuthun the exhibition redresses the slights of the original. The intergenerational exhibition includes a selection of Gunter Christmann’s groundbreaking works from the 1960s and 1970s, recent work from the abstract pioneer Sydney Ball as well as work from emerging and mid career artists such as Suzie Idiens and Jacqueline Rose. Designed to stimulate critical exchange and artistic reaction, Returning to the Field is an important survey that hits refresh on the accepted conventions of abstraction.

Until August 24
SNO Contemporary Art Projects, Marrickville
Pic: SNO 106: Returning to The Field, installation view. Courtesy of the artists and SNO Contemporary Art Projects, Sydney.

Stella Rosa McDonald

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