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Seeing the Centre: The Art of Albert…

Seeing the Centre: The Art of Albert Namatjira 1902-1959

by Alison French

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A fascinating and very readable account of the Australian Aborigine art Albert Namatjira this publication looks at the man and his art. It was published to accompany the exhibition of 2002-2003 by the same title as the book. Following the opening chapters the subsequent chapters tend to deal with specific aspects of the artist's work: colour, gorges, peaks and monoliths, palm trees and rare plants, portraits of trees and the landscape. The book is well notated and includes suggestions for further reading and resources and a check list of works in the exhibition.

The book is beautifully illustrated with over 125 full colour images, many of them full page in size, although those landscape in format tend to loose out on the portrait format page. There are in addition about twenty monochrome photographs of the artist and some of the locations portrayed in the paintings.

This is a well produced book, and some of the images are quite simple stunning, and it is good to see a few close-up pictures of a few paintings. Unfortunately the landscape paintings are not shown to advantage with so much white page around them - surely there is an argument here for turning the image in the page? While the full details for each picture are included in the check list at the back of the book, such information as the size of the painting is not irritatingly included in the captions. ( )
  presto | Apr 24, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0642541361, Paperback)

In 1951, a small, blue envelope reached the post office in Alice Springs. The address was simple: "Albert Namatjira, Famous Aboriginal Artist, Australia." It had been posted in India by an autograph hunter whose confidence in its delivery was not unreasonable, in lisght of the accurate description of the intended recipient. Albert Namatjira was, indeed, famous. He was also Aboriginal--a member of the Aranda "tribe" of Central Australia, now referred to as the Western Aranda (Arrernte) language group--and a pre-eminent artist.

After the success of his first solo exhibition in Melbourne in 1938, Namatjira increasingly became "public property." Born at the dawn of a new century, his life spanned periods of radical change. Today--a hundred years later, at the birth of a new millennium--Namatjira, once a national symbol, has become a "scapegoat" of both the social policies of the time and aesthetic prejudices, his art virtually ignored by the mainstream of the Australian art world. Especially commissioned for the centenary of his birth by the Gordon Darling Foundation and the National Gallery of Australia, this publication provides the opportunity to redress this neglect.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:39 -0400)

Seeing the centre: the art of Albert Namatjira 1902-1959.

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