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The art of Australia

by Robert Hughes

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863253,451 (3.33)1
First published in 1966 and revised in 1970, this account of Australian art between 1788 and the late 1960s discusses Australian painting in the context of contemporary art. Traces European and American influences as well as analysing various schools and styles of Australian painting. Provides 134 black and white, and eight colour prints of the work of a selection of artists. Includes a bibliography and an index.… (more)
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I don't remember a lot about this one, beyond the fact that I definitely read it as a teenager.
( )
  Tara_Calaby | Jun 22, 2020 |
I was aware of Robert Hughes' critical tendencies since I read American Visions, a later work. 'Art of Australia' was written when he was younger and a bit more devil-may-care. He merrily claims that the first hundred years of the European Australian colony produced no good artists at all. An artist who is a poor draughtsman, or who has not studied the Old Masters in Europe, or whose style calcifies over time is given short shrift by Hughes. Still, he finds some Australian artists worthy of respect, at least at some stages of their careers. He tries to find a thread of essentially 'Australian' work, but concludes that such is elusive and maybe non-existent as Australia joins a more international style. Early in the book he attempts to connect the visual arts with social history and other art forms such as poetry, but this effort drops off near the end as he gets bogged down with 'modern' abstract artists in Australia. The book suffers from a 'fat telescope' syndrome, where recent art history (the book was written in the late 1960s) is give much more space than earlier work. Still it gives a reasonable view of significant art and artists of Australia. ( )
  questbird | Nov 11, 2012 |
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To Margaret and Douglas Carnegie with gratitude and to Georges Mora who knows why dedications change
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First published in 1966 and revised in 1970, this account of Australian art between 1788 and the late 1960s discusses Australian painting in the context of contemporary art. Traces European and American influences as well as analysing various schools and styles of Australian painting. Provides 134 black and white, and eight colour prints of the work of a selection of artists. Includes a bibliography and an index.

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