Primitivism and Modern Art

A fascination with the 'primitive' lies at the heart of various developments in Western art between 1890 and 1950. Many modern artists looked to the art and the world-view of the 'primitive' as a means of challenging established beliefs. However, the 'primitive' to which these artists turned was as diverse and varied as the modern art movements they inspired.

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Colour Multicolour
Dimensions 15 x 20.6cm
Fabric & material Paperback
No. of Pages 216
SKU 02088215

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Product story

Oceania celebrates the dazzling and diverse visual arts of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia, encompassing the vast Pacific region from New Guinea to Easter Island, Hawaii to Aotearoa (New Zealand). Spanning a 500-year history up to the present day, the exhibition showcases the art and craft of the indigenous populations, each with their own history of inter-island trade, ocean navigation, customs and rituals.

These artistic traditions are the inspiration for a specially sourced range of products, books and one-off art works that celebrate the exhibition, with designs that reflect the richness of imagery and symbolism from across cultures and territories. There is a deep connection with nature and the flora and fauna of the region: shells, ferns, fuchsia, palms and exotic birds on jewellery and homewares. Traditional Maori forms and techniques such as the koru (stylised fern frond) and motifs from carving and bark cloths feature on stationery and textiles. Many products have been sourced directly from manufacturers and makers in Aotearoa (New Zealand) and the Pacific Islands.

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