written by Howard Morphy
Phaidon Press | ISBN 9780714837529
Paperback – 448 pages
Part of the Art & Ideas series.
Member’s price: $31.50
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Aboriginal art has survived the colonial period to become a major feature of contemporary Australian society. This book surveys the great variety in Aboriginal art, from ancient rock paintings to powerful modern works in acrylic on canvas. The patterns and symbols of Aboriginal art, though they may at first appear abstract, are laden with meaning. Morphy explains the social contexts in which art is made and its religious significance. The book uses a contextual approach to show the interrelationships between such diverse art forms as body painting, dance, the decoration of weapons and utensils, and painting on bark, board and canvas. The text is illustrated with outstanding examples, many published here for the first time. Today, Aboriginal art is seen as an expression of Aboriginal history, culture and identity.