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Bob Nickas

Phaidon Press, 2009
352 pages
250 colour illustrations.
ISBN: 9780714849331

The definitive survey of contemporary abstract painting, featuring eighty of the most innovative painters from around the world.

Painting is more popular than ever. Collectors and museumgoers can't seem to get enough, with record auction prices and blockbuster exhibitions cementing the medium's priveleged position in the public heart. Most of the attention around painting in recent years has focused on figuration, leaving abstraction a site for free experimentation. During those years abstract painting has developed a rich complexity that more than ever rewards careful viewing.

Painting Abstraction is the first comprehensive guide to contemporary abstract painting published in years. Beginning with a 4,000-word introduction that puts the subject in historical context, curator Bob Nickas introduces the reader to the key issues in contemporary abstraction. He goes on to organize 80 artists into six chapters: 1. 'Hybrid Pictures/Image-as-Abstraction'; 2. 'Rhythm and Opticality'; 3. 'Colour and Structure'; 4. 'Found/Eccentric Abstraction'; 5. 'Form, Space and Scale'; and 6. 'The Act of Painting'. Each artist's work is illustrated in lavish full-colour images and accompanied by a text that leads the reader through the paintings in language both accessible and illuminating. The product of extensive new research and several dozen studio visits with artists around the world, Nickas's text brings out the key details and distinctions in their work, creating a vivid picture of a field awash in creative innovation. Painting Abstraction is an essential reference tool for curators, critics, artists and collectors, and a major statement on the future of painting from one of contemporary art's most respected curators.


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