Devonport Regional Gallery’s first exhibition for 2018 features works from the Devonport City Council Permanent Collection, titled ‘There is no abstract art…’, and opens on Friday 12 January, 6 pm.
This exhibition explores the notion that all artworks represent something, whether an object from the world, an idea or an intent. Drawn from the DCC Permanent Collection, this exhibition includes works by Australian artists ranging from the 1970s to the 21st Century, who engage with abstract expressionism, conceptualism and geometric abstraction.
The title of this exhibition is taken from the Pablo Picasso quote: ‘There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterwards you can remove all traces of reality.’
“Abstract art is often a source of confusion, seeming to pose more questions than answers. It can lead us to consider the nature, purpose or value of art, and how we think we should be able to respond to it.
“Much of this confusion about what to make of abstract art stems from our perception that it does not directly link to the world as we experience it. However, as stated by Picasso in the quote from which this exhibition title was taken, even abstract artists ‘…must always start with something’ – whether this ‘something’ be an influence, an idea, or an intention.” – Erin Wilson, Curator, Devonport Regional Gallery.
Artists: Vivienne Anne Beck, Paul Boam, Mary Bower, Vivienne Breheney, Timothy Burns, Denise Campbell, Karen Casey, Robert Clarke, John Coburn, Simon Cuthbert, David Hawley, David Martin, Anne Morrison, Michael Muruste, Susan Pickering, Jon Plapp, George Richardson, Denise Ava Robinson, Paul Snell, Peter Stephenson, Jens Waldenmaier.
The exhibition explores the ways in which the works relate to the world, and how we find meaning in and relate to abstract art. Many of the artists in this exhibition, the majority of whom are Tasmanian, find their starting point in nature. Others focus on process, experimenting with different methods and technologies to challenge the conventions of abstract art.
Some of the artists in this exhibition identify as ‘abstract artists’ while others may find this label limiting or inaccurate. Many work directly and consciously within the tradition of abstraction, while for others abstraction provides an opportunity to express their thoughts, experiences and emotional responses to the world.
Full quote: There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterwards you can remove all traces of reality. There’s no danger then, anyway, because the idea of the object will have left an indelible mark. 1[i] – Pablo Picasso