From Oct. 6, 2018 to Jan. 7, 2019, the Audain Art Museum hosts a special exhibition Ancestral Modern: Australian Aboriginal Art from the Kaplan & Levi Collection, organized by the American Federation of Arts. The
exhibition presents spectacular works of contemporary art by Indigenous Australian
and Torres Strait Islands artists. Ground-breaking, featured artists Rover Thomas
and Emily Kam Kngwarray adapted traditional Aboriginal styles and materials used
in body painting and ground painting to the canvas.
Part of the Audain’s mandate is to bring art from around the world to Whistler
to expose visitors and members to different art forms and techniques. “There are
a lot of these different paintings that are done on bark and working with natural
pigments and there is a heavy emphasis on design and pattern which we don’t
always see in contemporary Indigenous West Coast art,” Martens notes.
“I think that what our viewers will really appreciate is the fact that they are very
much different visual conceptions of the land and animals that are specific to
Australia,” says Dr. Curtis Collins, incoming director and curator of the Audain.
The Western tradition of depicting landscapes uses techniques of horizon lines
and three-dimensional perspectives is very different from the representations
of the vast desert landscapes of Australia. Kngwarray’s work displays images of
interconnecting layers of lines and dots that depict the landscape with a
TOMMY MI TCHELL
SYNTHE TIC POLYMER PAINT ON CANVAS
40 X 60 IN.
Promised gift of Margaret Levi and Robert Kaplan to the Seattle Art Museum
© Tommy Mitchell
Courtesy American Federation of Arts
DUNDI WUY WANAMBI
WUYAL WITH DHULAKU THE EURO, 1991