Introduction to Australian Art

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Week 1
Introduction: Australian Art and its various stories.
Australian Colours and Tonal Highlights: while the Heidelberg School opened our eyes to the colours of Australia, other artists created masterpieces in strong tonal contrasts.
Modernism and the Australian Response: artists such as Grace-Cossington Smith and Margaret Preston use modernism to their own artistic ends and in so doing challenged the older generation’s more heroic view of Australia

Week 2
School Fights: friction between the proposed Academy of Australian Art and the George Bell School of Art highlight differing views of Australian Culture.
The Angry Penguins: The work of Boyd, Tucker and Nolan to name but a few, shake Melbourne out of its complacency, and leaving an enduring legacy.

Week 3
Dobell and the Archibald Prize: meanwhile Sydney has a controversy of its own.
The Charmed Life: A look at Australia post -WWII, and in particular Sydney’s so called Charm School.
Figures in the field: the emergence of major figurative artists such as Jeffery Smart, Brack and Drysdale, is discussed against the back drop of the growing popularity of international abstract art.
The landscape revisited: the work of Fred Williams, Rees, Olsen, Grey-Smith etc reinvigorate a long standing tradition

Week 4
Under the Influence: In the 1960’s artists such as Whiteley and Sharp emerge from the various cultural (and counter culture) influences to make a distinct contribution.
Living in the 70’s: explores the diversity of art practices of that eventful decade.
The 1980’s and beyond: Painting makes a return to the international stage and opens the doors for a new generation of Australian artists, while Indigenous Art gains a renewed appreciation.
Art Now: a short survey of artists working today.

A survey of Australian Art from the Heidelberg School through to the present day: Due to time constraints the course only briefly mentions work before the Heidelberg School as way of setting the scene for further developments. Likewise Indigenous Art will not be covered in any great detail (as the vast subject deserves a course in itself), it will however be discussed in the broader context of Australian Art as it gains greater appreciation from the 1970’s onwards.