Sydney Ball Estate

Sydney Ball is widely considered a pioneer in Australian Abstraction, and his long and impressive career has had a formidable impact on Australian art. Definitively a colourist, Ball spent his formative years living and studying in New York at the Art Students League under Theodoros Stamos, one of the ‘irascible eighteen’, which also included Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock.  Ball’s oeuvre is expansive and diverse, with each series marked by a monumental and dynamic change. All, however, share the prerogative to investigate the possibilities of colour and form; from the lyrical abstraction that defines his Stain paintings to the architectonic coloured forms of his famed Modular works. Ball continued to ambitiously push the limits of his own practice to greater heights while also having significant relevance as a contemporary Australian artist. Ball exhibited prolifically with more than 70 solo exhibitions both in Australia and overseas and is represented in public collections across Australia and internationally.  

Ball has exhibited extensively in Australia and overseas. The survey exhibition Sydney Ball – The Colour Paintings 1963 – 2007 toured Penrith Regional Gallery and the Lewers Bequest (2008), McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park, Melbourne (2009), and The Anne and Gordon Samstag Museum of Art, Adelaide (2009). Recent group exhibitions include Shut Up And Paint, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2016); Birth of the Cool, Samstag Museum of Art, Adelaide (2015); The Less There Is To See The More Important It Is To Look, Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne (2014); 20th and 21st Century Australian Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales (2012-13); Hard Edge and Colour: Field Paintings and Sculpture, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide (2012); Tackling ‘THE FIELD’, Art Gallery of New South Wales (2009); Australian Abstraction 1965-1985 from the collection of the AGNSW, Art Gallery of New South Wales (2007); and New to the Modern – Heide 25 Years On, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Victoria (2006). Ball was also notably included in the historic Australian exhibition The Field, held at both the National Gallery of Victoria and the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 1968. In 2013, he was awarded the Honorary Award ‘Doctor of the University’ (DUniv) at the University of South Australia.

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