Celebrating Australian women abstract artists

15 Sep –
26 Nov 2017

This visually exciting exhibition reveals the staggering contribution Australian women artists have made to abstract art. It was women artists who predominantly led the field showing confidence, curiosity and innovation as they engaged with one of the defining movements of the 20th century, the influences of which are still strong today in contemporary art practice.

All works in the exhibition are on loan from the National Gallery of Australia. Many have never been seen before and many tell stories that have remained untold for decades. Working in a range of media, including paintings, drawings, ceramics and sculpture, Australian women abstract artists shared a passion for the use of colour, shape and rhythm, and a dedication to experimentation and conceptual innovation.

Abstraction is a celebration of Australia’s finest collection of women abstract artists, including Margaret Preston, Dorrit Black and Grace Crowley and is an exhibition that has captivated and inspired audiences of all ages around Australia.



A National Gallery of Australia touring exhibition. The National Gallery of Australia is an Australian Government Agency.



From 17 December 2021, proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be required to enter the Gallery.

The Cairns Art Gallery acknowledges the Gimuy Walubarra Yidinji and Yirrganydji as the Traditional Owners of the area today known as Cairns. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, names or voices of deceased persons in photographs, film or text.