ACV206 - Abstraction in the Visual Arts


2024 unit information

Enrolment modes:

Trimester 1: Burwood (Melbourne), Community Based Delivery (CBD)*

Credit point(s): 1
EFTSL value: 0.125

ACV101, ACV102 or ACV205 or ACI202 

Corequisite: Nil
Incompatible with: ACF204, AAV218
Study commitment

Students will on average spend 150-hours over the teaching period undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

This will include educator guided online learning activities within the unit site.

Scheduled learning activities - campus

1 x 3-hour seminar per week


*Community Based Delivery (CBD) is for National Indigenous Knowledges, Education, Research and Innovation NIKERI Institute students only.


This unit examines the potential of abstraction as both a mode and strategy to develop powerful and exciting approaches to contemporary art practice. Concentrating on the diversity of possible approaches, the unit will emphasise the importance of methodology in generating an appropriate working process for each student. The first half of the trimester focuses on an introduction to abstraction examining what this term means and especially what it offers as a language and frame for expression. Students will develop a conceptual, aesthetic, and material methodology for generating studio work in an abstract idiom. The unit is structured around a multi-disciplinary approach to art making including painting, drawing but also photography, sculpture, installation and performance. It will consider abstraction as a vital means of understanding the individual but also the world more broadly. Studio enquiry will be informed by seminar presentations, class discussion, consultation, and the student's own independent research. An historical appreciation of abstraction is a critical part of this units focus. The second half of the trimester will examine the ways in which abstraction has been incorporated into contemporary art with a specific focus on key areas such as Aboriginal art, art and technology, conceptual practices as well as new approaches to painting. This material will investigate the ways in which abstraction has been utilised across two, three and four dimensions to speak to a wide range of contemporary issues around identity, concept, form and social change. Throughout the trimester, students are expected to work both during class and outside class and always in regular consultation with their lecturer. Students are also expected to visit galleries, present at critiques and contribute to discussion as a requirement for successful completion.

Unit Fee Information

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