Australia Native Art Books

Ancestral Modern: Australian Aboriginal Art

Ancestral Modern explores the extraordinary transformation in Australian Aboriginal art that began in the 1970s. Instead of making art primarily for each other-whether painted or inscribed on rock walls, on the ground, on bark, or on bodies as part of ceremonies-artists began rephrasing their practices to inform outsiders about the complexities of their cultures and the remarkable lands that Aboriginal communities have managed for centuries.

Many of the paintings in Ancestral Modern initially appear abstract but communicate surprisingly specific observations about places and people, flora and fauna, and Aboriginal history. In three wide-ranging essays and illuminating discussions of fifty individual works, the authors consider how deceptively simple means yield richly multilayered meanings. What appears to be a geometric maze turns into the path of ancestral beings establishing features of the landscape. Canvases resembling maps record memories of sacred ceremonies. Dazzling linear patterns conjure up leaves blown across a windswept desert, and herringbone hatching designates clan identities. Along the way, this collection offers many new visions of Australia-peering underground to see yams grow, trekking over vast salt lakes, following the trail of a blue-tongued lizard, and encountering a lightning-spitting serpent in swirling water.



Aboriginal Art

Widely sought after, Aboriginal art has now taken its place in the collections of the great museums and galleries.This is the first concise survey of the full range of the work of Australia’s indigenous artists from all parts of the continent. Building on traditions that stretch back at least fifty millennia, these artists have worked in a variety of contexts, from the sacred realm of ceremony to more public spheres, and in media that include painting, sculpture, engraving, constructions, weaving, and—most recently—photography, printmaking, and textile design. The second edition includes additional illustrations and a new section covering the most recent developments in Aboriginal art. 70 color and 140 black-and-white illustrations



One Sun One Moon: Aboriginal Art in Australia


This dazzling exploration of Australian indigenous art is destined to become the definitive work on the world’s oldest living artistic tradition. From rock shelters dating back 20,000 years to politically inspired contemporary prints, the artwork of the aboriginal cultures is recognized for its mastery, beauty, and cultural significance. Drawing from Australia’s most outstanding collections–The Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Holmes Court Collection, Heytesbury, and the Art Gallery of the Northern Territory–this beautifully illustrated volume features contributions by twenty-five of the field’s leading scholars as well as sixteen interviews with key contemporary artists. Over the centuries Aboriginal art has evolved in response to changes in the culture from which it has emerged: from the pre-contact period through the colonial era to the current participation of Aboriginal artists in international biennales and increasing appreciation of their work by contemporary collectors and museums. The types of artistic expression are as varied as the Australian landscape: the northern aesthetics of Arnhem Land; Papunya’s mysterious dot paintings; the intense hues of the desert painters; Kimberly’s ancient rock art; and the rich tradition of fiber arts. In this volume every aspect of aboriginal art is explored in detail and illustrated in brilliant color. The result is a comprehensive guide to a fascinating tradition whose significance can be fully appreciated through it.