After World War II, Abstraction became a much more powerful force in modern art than it had ever been before. During the 1950s, many British painters adopted Tachism, a free, improvisatory abstraction, whereby a composition emerged from the action of spontaneous gestures on the canvas. Developed in France as a parallel to American Abstract Expressionism, Tachism in Britain enjoyed critical success through the unfailing support of Denis Bowen's New Vision Centre and the Redfern Gallery. The spontaneous and gestural aspect of this style is exemplified in the works of Frank Avray Wilson and William Gear.
By the mid sixties many of the abstract painters delved into Hard-edge Abstraction, a style characterized by strict formal composition, flat areas of colour and a dismissal of the expressionist gestural brushstroke. Artists such as John Plumb, leaving the 'Tachist' spirit altogether, progressed to revel in colour and Hard-edged dynamism often on a scale usually only contemplated by the American abstractionists.
Works by Paule Vézelay on the other hand illustrate the more delicate rhythms of Abstraction applying movement to the Hard-Edge sharp delineation.
Other major tendencies in Abstraction include Geometrical and Lyrical Abstraction.
During the early 1950s, works from Caziel's early abstract period, transcends the natural stimulus of figuration, bringing to life an unseen world punctuated by nuances in colour, texture and form, while works by Trevor Bell and Douglas Swan, although abstract in style, represent their response to his own experience of the landscape around him.