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Betty Nolan- Adventures in Abstraction

This is a painted inquiry into the artist's favourite painters.


This is Betty Nolan’s fourth exhibition of abstract painting.

Her oil paintings are bold and colourful, using imagery based on her experience as an artist living in Tasmania.

She uses imagery of travel, philosophy and art practice in a painted investigation into Italian mannerism and 20th century Surrealism.

Her influences are Hans Hoffman (Push Pull, Pull Push), Miro (Is It Me You’re Looking For?) and Brett Whiteley (View From The Studio).


Betty Nolan trained as an abstract painter at Newcastle School of Art, where artist John Montifiore passed on his knowledge of colour theory and light in a wonderful class called Colour and Visual Perception. The teachings about the push and pull of abstraction by the great art teacher Hans Hoffman had their effect as did the experiments of Josef Albers and Desiderius Orban. In 2008 Nolan studied Honours in painting at the University of Tasmania, and while her work dealt thematically with the contemporary obsession with the object, the large works she made retained a passion for colour and its exploratory application. In 2011 her solo exhibition in the Salamanca Arts Centre’s Long Gallery took a dozen eccentric collections by Tasmanian owners and made installations, sculpture and paintings about them.

From then until 2014 she made a series of works called the Red Walk series, an immersive and experiential suite of monochromatic oil paintings that explored chroma and its affective dimension. This led to 2015’s From A to B and Back Again exhibition where the experience of travelling through the same landscape in varying weather conditions was reduced to layered painterly marks in a series of abstract expressionist works.

In 2017 a life long interest in astronomy and a series of works based on gravity led her into a show called New World, where the paintbrush was eschewed for ink pours and other less conventional applications of contemporary mediums.

Adventures in Abstraction is the pulling together of many different essays into the world of abstraction, giving homage to favourite painters and learning from them.

Betty Nolan shows her work at Nolan Gallery  and has work in private collections in Australia and overseas.

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Betty Nolan- Adventures in Abstraction

Nolan Gallery and School of Art
Salamanca Arts Centre, Salamanca Place, Tasmania

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