WHEN police opened fire on protesters outside the post office in Sharpeville in 1960, Trevor Coleman knew the situation had become untenable and, like many of his peers, set off for London.This was a fortuitous move for he returned six years later with something never seen before in South African art; hard edge painting.Before his self-imposed exile to London, as the 1950s became the 1960s SA lagged behind global trends of the avant-garde in Europe and America. Coleman’s only experience of abstraction was through tiny reproductions in books that could never compete with the visceral experience of standing in front of such modern masterpieces.Hard edge painting is in many ways a logical conclusion to the investigations into abstraction started by Jackson Pollock and the abstract expressionists. Yet there is something markedly different here; control and precision. While the abstract expressionists brought all the chaos of raw human emotion to the canvass, hard edge painters sought a ...

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