Modernism and Australia
Stephen, McNamara, Goad
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This first anthology of modernist art, design and architecture in Australia reveals the raw nerves that modernism exposed.
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.
About the author
Between 2003 and 2006 the editors, working on an Australia Research Council grant, produced and co-edited Modernism and Australia: Documents on Art, Design and Architecture 1917-1967 (Miegunyah Press, Carlton, Vic., 2006; 2nd edn, 2007), which was awarded Best Art History Book, Art Association of Australia and New Zealand, 2008.
Dr 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 (Miegunyah Press, Carlton, Vic., 2006); co-author of The Necessity of Australian Art (Power Publications, Sydney, 1988); editor and co-author of Pirating the Pacific: Images of Travel, Trade and Tourism (Powerhouse Publishing, Sydney, 1993) and Visions of a Republic: The Work of Lucien Henry (Powerhouse Publishing, Sydney, 2001). Stephen is principal curator of Modern Times: The Untold Story of Modernism in Australia exhibition.
Philip Goad is Professor of Architecture at the University of Melbourne. Internationally known for his research and publications on modernism and Australian architecture, he is the author of Melbourne Architecture (Watermark Press, Sydney, 1999), New Directions in Australian Architecture (Pesaro Publishing, Sydney, 2001), editor and co-author of Bates Smart: 150 Years of Australian Architecture (Craftsman House, Sydney, 2004) and co-author of Australian Modern: The Architecture of Stephenson & Turner (Miegunyah Press, Carlton, Vic., 2004).
Dr Andrew McNamara is Associate Professor, Art and Design, Queensland University of Technology. He is the coordinator of a new research grouping at QUT: the Arts, Media, Design and Modernity (AMDM) research group. He is also an editor of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Art. Recent publications appear in The Dreams of Interpretation (University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 2007) and Image and Narrative, Belgium (2008).