Abrahams’ new works mark a departure from his earlier kinetic line and pattern paintings, whose optical focus conjured moiré patterns and other visual effects. With the new oil-on-canvas abstractions, characterized by large geometric forms painted in bold colour on raw canvas, Abrahams creates visually harmonious, meditative paintings. The sharp compositions—in black, or blue—focus on structure, rhythm, gravity, and negative space.
Abrahams differs from other hard-edge abstractors in that the work expresses both rhyme and meter, through repetitions and subtle interactions between the painted forms. Spreading the oil paint across the painting with a giant palette knife, subtle and arbitrary ridges appear upon Abrahams’ surfaces which at first appear to be smooth and flat. This process results in an accidental language of movement and depth within the clean, pure abstractions. These sizable yet balanced monochromes possess a remarkable quietude from their perfect edges and brushless application.
Progressing out of the optic, detailed line work found in his earlier paintings into a more formalist or minimal language, drama is expressed not through pattern but is instead conveyed in the subtle interactions of the seemingly massive forms and the very delicate points of contact between these brutal objects resting on the canvas. Many of the compositions derive from the forms suggested by his detailed line paintings of the past few years, zoomed in close. Rather than abandon the line work entirely, the shapes and compositions in these new works are arrived at by magnifying tiny portions of an earlier line based painting. When the lines and their interactions are scaled up and augmented into a large scale composition they then read as sculptural forms.