Rattling Spears: A History of Indigenous Australian Art

Rattling Spears: A History of Indigenous Australian Art

by Ian McLean


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Rattling Spears: A History of Indigenous Australian Art by Ian McLean

Large, bold, and colorful, indigenous Australian art—sometimes known as Aboriginal art—has made an indelible impression on the contemporary art scene. But it is controversial, dividing the artists, purveyors, and collectors from those who smell a scam. Whether the artists are victims or victors, there is no denying the impact of their work in the media, on art collectors and the art world at large, and on our global imagination. How did Australian art become the most successful indigenous form in the world? How did its artists escape the ethnographic and souvenir markets to become players in an art market to which they had historically been denied access? Beautifully illustrated, this full stunning account not only offers a comprehensive introduction to this rich artistic tradition, but also makes us question everything we have been taught about contemporary art.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781780239873
Publisher: Reaktion Books, Limited
Publication date: 08/15/2018
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 7.50(w) x 9.70(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Ian McLean is senior research professor of contemporary art at the University of Wollongong and adjunct professor at the University of Western Australia. His previous books include Double Desire: Transculturation and Indigenous Art, How Aborigines Invented the Idea of Contemporary Art, and White Aborigines: Identity Politics in Australian Art.

Table of Contents

                1 Origin stories: The dreamtime in Botany Bay, 1770
                2 Indigenous art and empire in Sydney, 1788-1830
                3 Post-contact indigenous art in the Australian colonies, 1835-1900
                4 Indigenous art in white Australia, 1900-1970
                5 The invention of indigenous contemporary art, 1970-1990
                6 Remote masters, 1985-2015
                7 Post-identity: Urban indigenous art
Conclusion: A theory of indigenous art in the age of modernity
Photo Acknowledgements

What People are Saying About This

Terry Smith

Rattling Spears: A History of Indigenous Australian Art is the first comprehensive art historical account of this fascinating topic. It tells a clear and compelling story of the complex development of indigenous art in Australia, from the first encounters between indigenous and European explorers in the later eighteenth century right up to the present, as this ‘contact art’ manifests itself as one of the major movements within contemporary world art.”

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