• Offered by School of Art and Design
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Visual Arts
  • Areas of interest Visual Arts, Creative Arts
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Peter Alwast
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2023
    See Future Offerings

This course introduces the basic principles for the development of abstract paintings, considering a variety of historical and contemporary examples. This includes abstraction developed out of organic sources, geometric principles, optical effects, materiality and matter painting, and hybrid forms. Studio projects expand the student's conceptual and historical understanding of abstract painting, introduce a range of paint-handling skills, develop their knowledge of acrylic, oil and other media and understanding of how formal and material qualities contribute to the generation of meaning and affect. Studio work is informed by lectures, seminars and discussions. Work health and safety (WHS) instruction is an integral part of this course.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. competently utilise a range of skills relevant to abstract painting, in response to course projects;
  2. explore the potential of material/s used in course projects;
  3. pursue the inventive application of concepts and processes relevant to course projects; and
  4. engage with material processes, and historical and theoretical contexts relevant to an independently driven abstraction project.

Other Information

School of Art & Design studio courses have a limited enrolment capacity. Students are advised to enrol as early as possible to maximise the opportunity of securing a place.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Body of studio work weeks 1-6 (40) [LO 1,2,3]
  2. Body of studio work weeks 7-12 (40) [LO 1,2,3]
  3. Drawing, research, visual diary (20) [LO 3,4]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 48 hours of contact over 12 weeks: lectures, tutorials, critiques and supervised studio practice; and
b) 82 hours of independent studio practice, reading and writing.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed either ARTV1501 or ARTV1502. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed either ARTV2503 or ARTV2003.

Prescribed Texts


Preliminary Reading

http://paot.com.au/ Painting Amongst Other Things Exhibition and Catalogue


Abstraction, 2013 (Whitechapel: Documents of Contemporary Art). Edition. The MIT Press.

Albers, J 1975, Interaction of Colour Revised Edition, Yale University Press.

Briony, F 1997, On Abstract Art, Yale University Press, New Haven and London

Itten, J 1970, The Elements of Colour, John Wiley & Sons, New Jersey, United States.

Gerhard Richter, 1996, Abstract Painting 825-11:69 details/with an afterword by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Zurich.

Lippard, L,R 1981, Ad Reinhardt/Lucy R. Lippard, H.N. Abrams, New York. Paths to Abstraction 1867-1917, Terence Maloon (editor), 2010.

Schwabsky,B (ed.)Vitamin P2: 2011, New Perspectives in Painting, Phaidon Press Limited, London.

This Way Up, 2009, an Exhibition Series of Recent Abstract Paintings, The Australian National University, Goanna Print, Canberra.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $3660
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $5100
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
3821 20 Feb 2023 27 Feb 2023 31 Mar 2023 26 May 2023 In Person View

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