Come and visit our new collection website, featuring over 90,000 new object records and 35,000 newly digitised artworks
Abstract Forms
© The Estate of Stephen Gilbert

Reference URL

Abstract Forms 1951

Not on display

Gilbert was invited to join CoBrA by Asger John after he saw Gilbert’s work at the ‘Salon des Surindepéndents’ in Paris in 1948. Gilbert was associated with this avant-garde group until 1951 when he began to develop a more abstract aesthetic. This work was described by Gilbert as “one of my first abstract paintings”. Although minimal and reductive, ‘Abstract Forms’ is extremely bold and powerful, with thick paint applied confidently in large brushstrokes.

Glossary Open


Aesthetics is the branch of philosophy concerned with beauty and taste and their perception in art and nature. The phrase ‘artist's aesthetic’ is used to describe the style of an artist's work overall.

Avant garde

Cultural practices that challenge tradition through experimentation and innovation. Originally a military term, in art it is particularly associated with the late 19th and 20th centuries.


A group of Expressionist artists active in the late 1940s and 1950s. The name is derived from the letters of the capital cities of the countries of the artists involved - Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam. The group included Asger Jorn, Karel Appel and Pierre Alechinsky.

Aesthetic, Avant garde, COBRA


  • Acc. No. GMA 4176
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 80.60 x 62.10 cm (frame c 86.00 x 67.00 cm)
  • Credit Purchased 1997