Sydney Ball, who is widely considered a pioneer in Australian Abstraction, was born in Adelaide in 1933. Ball’s long and impressive career has had a formidable impact on Australian art. Definitively a colourist, Ball spent his formative years living and studying in New York at the Art Students League under Theodoros Stamos, one of the ‘irascible eighteen’, which also included Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock.
Ball’s oeuvre is expansive and diverse with each series marked by a monumental and dynamic change. Yet all share the prerogative to investigate the possibilities of colour and form; from the lyrical abstraction that defines his Stain paintings to the architectonic coloured forms of his famed Modular works. "Ball was one of the most sophisticated colourists of his generation, mixing sharp contrasts of high-key colour with modulations of tone in the lower register." (Enjoy Your Diversity: The 60s Revisited, Meanjin Papers, P. McCaughey, 2012)
Now in his 80s, Ball continues to ambitiously push the limits of his own practice to greater heights while also having significant relevance as a contemporary Australian artist.
Ball has exhibited extensively in Australia and overseas. Recent solo exhibitions include Sydney Ball – The Colour Paintings 1963 – 2007 which toured Penrith Regional Gallery and the Lewers Bequest, 2008, McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Part, Melbourne, 2009, and The Anne and Gordon Samstag Museum of Art, Adelaide, 2009 and Survey Paintings 1985-86, Wollongong City Art Gallery, 1987.
Group exhibitions include Australian Abstraction 1965-1985 from the collection of the AGNSW, Art Gallery of NSW, 2007, New to the Modern – Heide 25 Years On, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Bulleen, Victoria, 2006, Big Paintings, Mandurah Performing Arts Centre, Perth, 2006 and Fieldwork: Australian Art 1968-2003, Ian Potter Centre, National Gallery of Victoria, 2003. Ball was also notably included in the historic Australian exhibition The Field, held at both the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne and the Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney, in 1968.