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Cool corner II



John Peart


10 Dec 1945 - 30 Sep 2013


After attending the Museum of Modern Art travelling exhibition 'Two decades of American painting' in 1966–67 at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney artist John Peart decided to 'clear the decks' and pursue a reductive brand of abstraction between 1967–68. Peart's paintings from this period are distinguished by their cool monochromatic colours and modular, semi-sculptural stretchers.

At the time, Peart was concerned with 'the notion of the painted object' as well as the spatial and optical possibilities of the square picture plane. These concerns were brought to the fore in 'Cool corner II', which cemented Peart's reputation as one of the leading abstractionists of his generation when it was first shown in 'The field' exhibition in 1968. In reference to the focalising effect of its jutting triangular corners and shifting shades of light blue, curator John Stringer deemed 'Cool corner II' to be 'hypnotic'.


Other Title

Corner square diagonal [titled in 'The field' exhibition catalogue]



Media category


Materials used

synthetic polymer paint on canvas


236.2 x 236.2 cm

Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Gift of the artist 1968


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

John Peart

Works in the collection


Shown in 7 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 7 publications


Christopher Allen, The Weekend Australian, 'Hard work: A new show reminds us of the limitations of colour-field abstraction', pg. 12-13, Canberra, 17 Oct 2009-18 Oct 2009, 13. Focus room ‘Tackling the field’ exhibition review.

Gary Catalano, Recent paintings: John Peart, Sydney, 1969. 3

Sue Cramer, Less is more: minimal + post-minimal art in Australia, 'Part II: the sixties generation', pg. 29-46, Bulleen, 2012, 43, 44, 48 (colour illus.), 114.

Elwyn Lynn, Royston Harpur and Patrick McCaughey, The field, Melbourne, 1968, 57 (colour illus.). 53; incorrect caption for 'Corner square diagonal'

Renée Porter, John Peart: paintings 1964-2004, 'Introduction', pg. 9-12, Campbelltown, 2004, 9, 29, 30 (colour illus.), 74.

John Stringer, Material perfection: minimal art and its aftermath: selected from the Kerry Stokes collection, Perth, 1998, 26.

Natalie Wilson, Tackling THE FIELD, 'Tackling The Field', pg. 1-29, Sydney, 2009, 7, 8, 10, 19 (colour illus.), 20.