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Matter painting



Ralph Balson


12 Aug 1890 – 1964

Artist profile

  • Details

    Other Title
    (Matter painting)
    Media category
    Materials used
    synthetic polymer paint and concrete on hardboard
    67.4 x 88.4 cm sight; 81.7 x 103.0 cm frame
    Signature & date

    Signed and dated l.r., pale grey synthetic polymer paint "R.Balson.61".

    Gift of Chris and Susannah Turle 2013. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Ralph Balson Estate

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Ralph Balson

    Artist profile

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Ralph Balson is renowned as one of Australia's leading abstract artists of the mid twentieth century. Through his rigorous and disciplined approach, Balson demonstrated his single-minded pursuit of pure painting.

    This painting belongs to his series of 'Matter paintings' produced in the early 1960s. In his 'Matter paintings' Balson employed fluid and automatic techniques of pouring and trailing paint on large boards. He allowed the paint to slip and bleed across the board's surface. At times the paint would coagulate in heavy layers which cracked or rippled as they dried, creating textural effects.

    During his first trip abroad in 1960, Balson saw first-hand the most recent forms of contemporary painting. He visited exhibitions of American minimalist and hard-edge painting; however it was the work of the European Tachists and textual painters such as Burri and Tapiès that made the strongest impression on him.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 3 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 3 publications

Other works by Ralph Balson

See all 18 works