Revision with unchanged content. Formalism became the dominant theory in western visual arts in the middle of the twentieth century but has been seriously challenged by postmodern artists, critics and theorists. For this study, two series of abstract paintings have been produced, each demonstrating a distinctive and different working process. The analysis of these methods forms the catalyst and the main focus in the argument for a reappraisal of formalist theory within contemporary art practice. Additionally, many artists have identified the retention of integrity as an essential quality within a painting. The philosopher Jacques Maritain presented an analysis of how truth and honesty is embedded in painting, but most writers and scholars have largely ignored him. By utilising his thoughts, it is argued here that the integrity of the method of production is a vital characteristic in the evaluation of a painting and this study explores how it can be ?corrupted? as well as retained. This study is addressed to professional artists, art theorists, academics and art students.