Post-western poetics: postmodern appropriation art in Australia



Publication Details

McLean, I. "Post-western poetics: postmodern appropriation art in Australia." Art History 37 .4 (2014): 629-647.


For the first time, the exhibition Magicians of the Earth (Pompidou, 1989) put Western artists in competition with large numbers of non-Western ones. This new globalism willfully disregarded a key feature of the modernist period, in which non-Western art was quarantined from the discourse of contemporary art. However, modernism had been challenged a full decade before Magicians of the Earth, with the advent of postmodernism. With this in mind, this essay examines the relationship between the post-Western transformations of globalism and postmodern appropriation art, through a case study of four Australian artists born in the mid-twentieth century: Richard Bell, Gordon Bennett, Michael Nelson Jagamara and Imants Tillers.

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