Tomma Abts' Enigmatic Abstracts

Tomma Abts, Groen\Welf, 2015, acrylic & oil on canvas 18 7/8 × 14 1/2 inches (co
Tomma Abts, Groen\Welf, 2015, acrylic & oil on canvas 18 7/8 × 14 1/2 inches (courtesy of Greengrassi)

Louisa Buck reviews a recent exhibition of works by Tomma Abts at Greengrassi, London.

Buck writes that "what appear to be straightforward relationships of form and colour are actually quite the opposite. Each work is built up from intricate overpaintings with previous traces left under the skin. The shapes emerge out of and retreat back into the picture plane with a perplexing lack of logic. Flashes of vivid colour and incongruous shadows play across their thick smothering layers; these intricate maskings, shadings and spatial games complicate the picture plane in mind-boggling ways."