We farewell Adelaide-born abstract painter Sydney Ball (1933–2017), who passed away in March. Ball moved to New York in 1962 where, through his studies, he was exposed to the rise of Abstract Expressionism, rubbing shoulders with Mark Rothko, Lee Krasner, Barnett Newman, Robert Motherwell and Willem de Kooning.
Returning to Australia three years later, he helped to bring hard-edge abstraction to the attention of Australian artists. In 1968, his work was an essential part of the influential exhibition ‘The Field’ at the National Gallery of Victoria. The subject of more than 70 solo exhibitions, Ball is represented in collections nationally and internationally.
His vitality and interest defined him; as Artshub’s Gina Fairley writes, he was always planning his next work with an infectious enthusiasm. Sydney Ball is remembered as a great teacher and phenomenal artist, whose legacy changed Australia’s art vision in the 1960s and will continue to influence future generations.1
1 Text drawn from Gina Fairley, ‘Vale Sydney Ball’, 6 March 2017, www.artshub.com.au/news-article/news/visual-arts/gina-fairley/ vale-sydney-ball-253306, accessed 9 March 2017.