UnAustralian Art: Ten Essays on Transnational Art History

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UnAustralian Art: Ten Essays on Transnational Art History proposes a radical rethinking of Australian art history. In a collection of ten essays, Rex Butler and ADS Donaldson argue against flatfooted accounts of Australian art, which continue to identify a distinctive national sensibility arising from a combination of place, people and history.

The authors demonstrate that Australian art and artists have always been engaged in struggles and creative exchanges with the rest of the world. Examining Australian art as much from the outside in as the inside out, Butler and Donaldson’s account includes a multitude of hitherto excluded stories of Australian expatriates who lived and worked overseas, as well as artists who came from elsewhere and continued to make art in Australia.

Beginning with the Impressionist John Russell at the turn of the century in France and ending with the great Anmatyerre artist Emily Kame Kngwarreye in the late twentieth century, the book presents original and encyclopaedic research detailing the artistic connections between Australia and New Zealand, France, Britain, Germany, Asia, North America, South America and the Pacific, while also examining the work of artists from around the world who have made art inspired by Australia.

UnAustralian Art asks us to reconsider who an Australian artist is and has been.