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Abstract 1950

Not on display

Martin changed from painting flat, realist works to distinctly abstract compositions in 1949. His earliest abstract paintings and prints were built up from a sequence of constructive movements. This print was inspired by the pattern of cells in a dragon-fly’s wing reproduced in D’Arcy Thompson’s book On Growth and Form. At the time of making this print, Martin was working in collage, which with its flat, cut-out and layered shapes lends itself perfectly to development in lithography.

Glossary Open

Abstract art

Art in which there is no attempt to represent anything existing in the world, particularly used of the 20th century onwards. ‘Abstraction’ refers to the process of making images that may in part derive from the visible world but which are reduced to basic formal elements.


An image constructed from found materials, such as photographs, paper or fabric, glued to a surface, sometimes with additional painted or drawn elements. It is an art form particularly associated with Dada and Surrealism.


The arrangement of different elements in a work of art.


A printmaking technique using a stone or zinc plate to which the image is applied with a greasy material. After wetting the plate, greasy ink is applied. The ink sticks only to the drawn image and not the wet surface, thus creating a reproduction when applied to paper.


An image pressed or stamped onto paper or fabric. This encompasses a wide variety of techniques, usually produced in multiples, although one-off prints, known as monoprints, are also included. The term is also applied to photographic images.

Abstract art, Collage, Composition, Lithograph, Print


  • Acc. No. GMA 5065
  • Medium Colour lithograph
  • Size 32.00 x 25.70 cm
  • Credit Bequeathed by Mr Ken Powell 2006 [received 2008]