Modernism & Australia: Documents on Art, Design and Architecture 1917-1967
This first anthology of modernist art, design and architecture in Australia reveals the raw nerves that modernism exposed and highlights the role of migrants, expatriates, travel and mass reproduction in the reception of modernism in Australia. In more than two hundred documents-talks, letters, fiery debates, public manifestoes and private diaries-the main players of the time (1917-67) convey in their own words the tensions, aspirations and paradoxes behind the reception of modernism. Each document is put in context and accompanied by expert commentaries from the editors. The collection overturns many key assumptions about Australian culture, revealing not a 'time-lag' in reception, but an up-to-date engagement with the latest overseas trends and developments. It shows a surprising acceptance of modernism in the commercial realms (design, fashion, interior decoration), yet chronicles the dogged institutional resistance that greeted modernism, particularly in the fine arts.
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