Modernism & Australia: Documents on Art, Design and Architecture 1917-1967

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Miegunyah Press, 2006 - Art - 1039 pages
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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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About the author (2006)

Ann Stephen is an art historian and curator at the Powerhouse Museum. She is the author of On Looking at Looking: The Art and Politics of Ian Burn and co-author of The Necessity of Australian Art. Andrew McNamara teaches art history and theory at QUT in Brisbane. He is the co-editor of Medium Cool and editor of Scott Redford Selected Works 1983-1992. Philip Goad is a professor of architecture at the University of Melbourne. He is the author of several books, including Australian Modern: the Architecture of Stephenson and Turner and New Directions in Australian Architecture.

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