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Liz Coats  is an abstract painter who has been exhibiting in solo and group shows since the mid-1970s. She works in series’ that explore enduring questions about colour perception and spatial relations.

A full list of solo and group exhibitions can be found on her CV page.



2023 Essence: experiments with organic pigments, Utopia Art Sydney, NSW

Exploring the use of natural botanical pigments. Layers of translucent colour dance and weave, minutae of texture and patterns shift across the surfaces.

Exhibition catalogue

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2022 Chutespace exhibition space, M16 Studios, Canberra

Procion-dyed silk squares, 70cm x 70cm, 1968-1973

Engaging with the material substance of colours on receptive grounds is a central component of my abstract painting activities, where the colours themselves inform image construction.


These fabrics belong to a large group of dyed silk squares made after I left art school in the mid-1960s. With Procion dyes and wax resist on silk, I explored shape definition and incidental colour effects within the technical demands of the medium. I was also learning to build colour images with an economy of transparent layers.

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2020 ‘Interdependence’, Utopia Art Sydney, NSW

Inspired by the structure of rocks, these new paintings might be understood as a kind of aggregate. Liquid colours on a prepared ‘ground’, kept shifting in relationship as the artist applied them.

Exhibition catalogue

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2017 ‘Active Seeing: A Survey’, Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT

Liz Coats’ impressive survey exhibition, ‘Active Seeing’, encompassed a selection of works created over four decades of the artist’s career. A book, Liz Coats – Active Seeing, accompanied the exhibition.



2024 REGENERATE, 7 women artists, Canberra Contemporary Art Space (CCAS), ACT

Curator: Jan Falsone, 2024 Craft + Design Canberra Festival, December 2024.



2023 WAYOUT_BLP, A Cementa Initiative, Kandos, NSW

An exhibition conceived and coordinated by Margaret Roberts.

2022 Returning G, 1997, Art Gallery of NSW

Glasswork from the collection of the Art Gallery of NSW, showing in the new installation of the 20th century galleries, alongside paintings about colour and music.

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2019  ‘ANU & Geoscience Australia : Art of the Collection’, coordinator: Ruth Waller, ANU School of Art, Canberra, ACT

Stones and rocks, and indeed the ground I walk on, holds so much more than surface appearances might suggest. I’m reminded how initial impressions, on closer inspection of surface, tell of substances within that make appearance what it is.

Exhibition catalogue

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2017  ‘Abstraction : Celebrating Australian women abstract artists’, curator : Lara Nicholls, A National Gallery of Australia travelling exhibition to Geelong Art Gallery, VIC.; Newcastle Art Gallery, NSW; Cairns Art Gallery, QLD; Tweed Regional Gallery; QUT Art Gallery, Brisbane, QLD

Exhibition catalogue

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