ABSTRACT PAINTING NOW: the relevance and status of non-figurative painting in contemporary art practice.

A one-day symposium, co-hosted by the University of Gloucestershire and the RWA (The Royal West of England Academy) will be held 4th February 2019 at the RWA in Bristol.

The symposium is timed to coincide with the exhibition Albert Irvin and Abstract Expressionism (8 December 2018 – 3 March 2019). This exhibition will be the first major retrospective of Albert Irvin, placed in tandem with a 60th anniversary celebration of the seminal exhibition, The New American Painting.

The focus of the symposium will be on the current status of non-figurative painting, within contemporary art practice, considered against the background of the history delineated by the exhibition Albert Irvin and Abstract Expressionism. That is, from the high-water mark of American painting in the 1940s and 50s and its seminal influence on a generation of British artists, non-figurative painting has often been sustained against the grain of artworld fashion. Nevertheless, it continues to thrive.

Papers are invited which address, either:

  • the issues and debates arising from the post-war history of non-figurative painting
  • the specific critical status of Irvin and his peers
  • the challenges, relevance and critical status of non-figurative painting in contemporary art practice

Papers are invited from artists, writers, historians, educators, researchers.

Please submit proposals (500 words maximum) providing title and abstract for a paper to last no more than 25-30 minutes, to Richard Salkeld: rsalkeld@glos.ac.uk

Please insert ‘Abstract Painting Now’ in the subject header and include your name, email address and institutional affiliation (if appropriate).

Deadline for submissions: Monday 12 November 2018