Tomma Abts is an abstract painter who creates sublime compositions that build on repetitive, geometric elements. Entirely non-representational, the shapes in her paintings are layered in such a way that they appear almost tactile and woven with shadows, texture, and a sense of depth. Described by Artforum as an "artist's artist," Abts works in a way that reflects upon the act of painting itself, with each canvas materially inscribed by her meditative process. As the artist has stated, "I develop something without any preconceptions of what it is going to look like. To give it meaning, I try to define its forms precisely. It becomes, through shadows, texture and other elements, quite physical and therefore 'real.' It is not an image of something else — it doesn't symbolize anything, or describe anything outside of painting. It represents itself."
Abts's work has been the subject of numerous international exhibitions, including solo shows at Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, the New Museum, the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, and the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, among others. In 2006, Abts was the recipient of the Turner Prize, awarded annually to a British artist under the age of 50.