Allover painting, or allover composition, refers to a canvas which is completely covered with paint from corner to corner. Such paintings are decentralized, i.e., lacking a dominant point of interest, so that it may be difficult to discern which end is up. It can be seen as a reaction to traditional Western art, which typically features centralized compositions with a focus on the figure.
Allover paintings often have a repetitive quality, as they are often composed of small, similar elements that are spread evenly across the canvas. This repetition can create a sense of rhythm or cadence, which can be soothing or hypnotic.
It is not a formal style nor does it represent an art movement, although it is associated with the drip paintings of Jackson Pollock, the abstract calligraphy of Mark Tobey, as well as some works by Cy Twombly. Allover painting is sometimes used interchangeably with “field painting”.