Abstract Masters

24 June - 11 July 2021

In line with its long-standing tradition, Opera Gallery Singapore is delighted to present the 2021 exhibition of Abstract Masters, featuring a curated selection of works by legendary artists who revolutionised the art world during the 20th and 21st century.


The works on view display the intense originality of a diverse group of artists, including Asian artists Chu Teh-Chun and Zao Wou-Ki, European artists Pierre Soulages, Georges Mathieu, Serge Poliakoff and Hermann Nitsch and North American artists Sam Francis and Jean Paul Riopelle.


Eschewing the traditional standards of art, these artists challenged and transformed conventional art forms to communicate their innermost thoughts and emotions, developing their own distinct visual languages. There is no one style that they all share, the range goes from works that are incredibly gestural, aggressive and high-energy to works that are very silent and contemplative. They do not follow a set formula.


If Chu Teh-Chun’s formless landscapes are filled with the energy of life, the 2002 painting by Zao Wou-Ki on view here is light and gauzy and exudes the aura of serenity that characterized the artist’s persona. Both Georges Mathieu’s and Hermann Nitsch’s works are the result of performances and exult the zeal ensued from action painting. On the other hand, there is a palpable silence emanating from the geometric vocabulary of bold colours within the non-representational painting by Serge Poliakoff. In Jean Paul Riopelle’s compositions, texture plays an essential role while a gentle cadence seems to guide the overall flow of colour. Pierre Soulages’ thick black near calligraphic brushstrokes against a light background creates the effect of night engulfing day and Sam Francis’ primary colours radiate a sense of barely contained energy, vivacity and joy.


This exhibition offers visitors the opportunity to experience firsthand the creative ingenuity that made these artists true Abstract Masters