Author(s): 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.
Ian McLean is Senior Research Professor of Contemporary Art at the University of Wollongong and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Western Australia. His previous books include Double Desire: Transculturation and Indigenous Art (2014), How Aborigines Invented the Idea of Contemporary Art (2011) and White Aborigines: Identity Politics in Australian Art (2009).