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250 × 190 mm
304 pages
149 illustrations, 142 in colour
20 Jun 2016
  • £35.00

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Rattling Spears A History of Indigenous Australian Art Ian McLean

Large, bold and colourful, Indigenous Australian art has made an indelible impression on the contemporary imagination. But it is controversial, dividing the stakeholders from those who smell a scam. Whether the artists are victims or victors, there is no denying their impact in the media and on the art world and collectors worldwide. 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 world to which they had previously been denied access? Finely illustrated, this full historical account makes you question everything you were taught about contemporary art.

‘[Rattling Spears] constitutes the best, most comprehensive, accessible and detailed survey of a complex and beguiling field of study that I have yet come across. It is an outstanding achievement.’ – Sydney Review of Books

‘This is the first book to provide comprehensive coverage of the unfolding of indigenous art across time and place, across styles and borders, and across cultures . . . Clearly organized and well written, the content is theoretical and factual, and McLean supports the discussion with excellent illustrations. One of the most important publications on the topic to date. Highly recommended.’ – Choice

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Ian Mclean is Hugh Ramsay Chair of Australian Art History at the University of Melbourne 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).