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TALK: Australian Modernism: Figuration, Abstraction and Cultural Identity

Presented by Dr. David Akenson (Lecturer – USQ)

I will discuss Australian cultural and artistic identity through examples from both figurative and abstract art principally from the 19th and 20th centuries, but with a few 21st century examples. I will explore the notion of Australian identity by asking the question: Can we identify an Australian representational or non-representational artistic identity through examining art works within the broader cultural context, or are these works the product of international forces and trends? I will finish with the question of globalisation and cultural diversity, asking whether or not an Australian identity can, paradoxically, be fixed through diversity and difference?

Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash