(07) 5588 4000


Message Us

Hard and Fast

Hard and Fast: Abstraction | Pop | Colour field

Hard and Fast surveys the origins of abstraction, pop and colour field in Australian art and features some of Australia’s most recognised artists working in the movement.

The international movement launched in the late 1950s and is known for its hard edges and lines and in fast changing times of society and culture.

The Gallery is privileged to hold one of the most significant collections of Australian abstract art in regional Australia. Much of the work has been hidden away in storage for many years and the Gallery is excited to celebrate this aspect of the collection, along with prominent examples of pop and colour field in Australian art.

During the late 1950s and 1960s, international exhibitions from London and New York travelled to Sydney and Melbourne showcasing abstract expressionism, minimalism, pop and colour field painting and exposed Australian artists and audiences to new forms of contemporary art.

The year 1968 was a milestone for radical new directions in contemporary art in Australia. In that year renowned American art critic Clement Greenberg visited Australia championing abstraction, and The Field, one of the most influential art exhibitions ever held in Australia, showcased contemporary abstract art for the official opening of the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV). In the same year Eric Westbrook, then Director of the NGV, was guest judge for the inaugural Gold Coast Art Prize. Westbrook’s interest and influence in the movement were pivotal in the establishment of the Gold Coast’s impressive abstract art collection.

The Field boldly launched the careers of many prominent Australian artists, who are represented in the Gold Coast City Gallery collection and feature in the exhibition, including David Aspden, Sydney Ball, Janet Dawson, Michael Johnson, Col Jordan and Ron Robertson-Swann.

The exhibition also includes a small number of contemporary responses to abstraction and pop by the next generation of Australian artists; demonstrating abstraction remains a compelling force in contemporary art practice.

Exhibition Public Programs

Gallery Nights | Passion and Pop
Life Draw session with burlesque dancers – Thurs 20 April    

Little ArtLab
Power Shapes art workshop for kids under 5 – Wed 10 May

Fast Zines with Jeremy Staples, zines workshop for kids over 5  – 13 May

Hard and Fast – with guest Salvador Cantellano – Sun 21 May        


Hard and Fast is a Gold Coast City Gallery collection exhibition.

Guided School Tours
Guided tours of the Hard and Fast exhibition are available for school groups. To register your interest please click below and complete the Gallery Booking Form for Schools.

Martin Sharp, Kaspar, 1982, Screenprint, Gift of Patrick Corrigan AM 1999
John Coburn, For Vivaldi, 1971, synthetic polymer paint on canvas, Purchased Gold Coast Art Prize 1975
Stephen Earle, Ra Ra Rinktum, 1969, synthetic polymer paint on canvas, Purchased Gold Coast Art Prize 1970

You may also like...
  • artlab-fashun-patience-rachel-400pxl

    ArtLab FASHUN

    10 Feb 2018
  • CIF_Fashion_Film_400x210px

    Fashion on Film | Coming into Fashion

    30 Nov 2017 - 15 Feb 2018

    High Tea with High Fashion

    30 Nov 2017 - 18 Feb 2018