Texts by Bruce Hainley, Laura Hoptman, and Jan Verwoert

Each Tomma Abts painting is the result of an intuitive process, a complex operation of addition and subtraction. Within rigid parameters – unvarying materials and size – she conjures a progression of shapes and colors, building layer upon layer of seemingly spontaneous geometry until the work reaches its culmination: an abstract arrangement in perfect tension.

This volume, the artist’s first extensive monograph, provides a comprehensive survey of her work, with full-color images of thirty-seven paintings and eighteen drawings, as well as three specially commissioned essays. In the first essay, Laura Hoptman dismantles abstraction’s historical framework to illustrate the uniqueness of Abts’s approach. Jan Verwoert mediates on the subversive power of contemplation, finding in Abts’s artistic process a validation of “the beauty of latency.” And Bruce Hainley gazes at Abts’s work through the fictional eyes of Margit Carstensen – actress, muse, and star of Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant.