Abstract art has always had a unique place in Australian Art history. One the most ground-breaking and controversial exhibitions in Melbourne was the inaugural exhibition of the new National Gallery of Victoria building at St Kilda Road called The Field in 1968. This exhibition show-cased a group of young artists working in abstract, conceptual, colour field, geometric and hard edge styles current at the time.
Although the Australian public have come a long way in further understanding abstraction it has always been a slight mystery. It doesn’t need to be though! It is often just an artist’s reflection of everyday things around them. Simplifying shapes, paring things down to the basics of colour, line and shape – leaving the bare essentials to savor and enjoy.
As internationally recognized South African artist Natasha Barnes states ‘Art is what I do. Every painting is a mood, a reflection of what is happening in my mind. Some days are quiet - some days are abstract.’
Melbourne based artist Ellie Malin says “The image’s origin may begin as something quite recognizable as I slowly take on a process of deconstructing it into pure simplified shapes and colour. In effect I’m pulling things apart in order to simplify their appearance”.
This exhibition at Manyung Gallery Mt Eliza aims to introduce The World of Abstract as the simplified beauty that it should be. Enjoying an artist’s pared down view of the world into small bite sizes we can just savour and enjoy.
The NGV are celebrating the 50th anniversary of ‘The Field’ by recreating this landmark exhibition through a show ‘Revisiting the Field’ opening at NGV on the 28th of April 2018.