Canto XXI, 2003 is one of two screen prints by Sydney Ball we will be exhibiting in our ‘Colour & Form’ show opening on March the 1st.
Painter, printmaker and sculptor Sydney Ball (1933-2017) was a pioneer of post-painterly abstraction in Australia. Born in Adelaide, Ball worked as a draughtsman before taking up art studies in the late 1950’s. His early influences were challenged when in 1963 he moved to New York and encountered the work of abstract expressionists including Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock and Robert Motherwell.
Through the influence of these artists, Ball developed his own sophisticated language of colour-based abstraction. This was first presented in Ball’s ‘Cantos’ series, works that were initially exhibited after his return to Australia in 1965. With their bold structured forms of unmodulating colour and precise surfaces, the ‘Cantos’ signalled the domination of colour expression and formed a new direction in abstract painting in Australia, culminating in ‘The Field’ exhibition at the NGV in 1968.
Canto XXI, 2003 is from a suite of screenprints that revisit Ball’s ongoing series of ‘Cantos’ paintings, drawings and prints, which he first developed in the mid-1960’s while living and working in New York between 1963 and 1967.
The title Cantos is drawn from a cycle of poems by Ezra Pound.