Rattling Spears: A History of Indigenous Australian Art
Since the 1980s, Indigenous Australian art has captivated the art world and impressed itself on the contemporary imagination. Rattling Spears tells the story of how this once ignored but utterly distinctive art has become some of the most popular and widely collected in the world.
Before the Second World War, Indigenous Australian art had often been classified as 'primitive'. This book explains how Indigenous Australian art escaped the ethnographic and souvenir markets to find a place in the art world from which it had previously been barred. It traces the origins of the art to an ancient cosmology and shows how, from Captain Cook's landing on the Australian continent in the late eighteenth century, Indigenous artists engaged with this collision with modernity.
Beautifully illustrated, Rattling Spears is a stunning exploration of this rich artistic tradition, showing how one of the world's oldest aesthetic traditions invented its own distinct forms of modernism and conquered the contemporary art world.
Accomplished historian and author Ian McLean is the Hugh Ramsay Chair of Australian Art History at the University of Melbourne.
Hardcover: 272 pages, 149 illustrations
Publisher: Reaktion Books
Dimensions: 7.5 x 1.4 x 9.75 inches