PopUp Painting’s ‘artist of the week’ is Tomma Abts (b. 1967)
Tom Abts is a German artist whose work takes the form of complex, layered, abstract paintings.
Abts begins her paintings with no preconceived idea of their composition, the only certainties are the parameters the artist sets for herself, namely the size of the support used.
Abts is guided by intuition and layers her canvases with repetitive geometric forms. These forms are reworked repeatedly, almost obsessively, until the painting begins to materialise. This complex system of geometric forms is further pushed by Abts’ use of shadows and highlights, which simultaneously confuse and offer points of reference for the eye. The artist uses thickly applied pigments that often look overpainted, hinting at a ‘trial and error’ approach to making work. Abts’ confident system of geometric mark making jars with the numerous layers of paint underneath, giving the artist’s work a vulnerable quality.
Abts won the Turner prize in 2006.