Opening 7th September 2017 5:00 - 8:00 pm
From 6th to 10th September 2017
Cooee Art, Australia’s oldest exhibiting Indigenous art gallery (est 1981) will present a curated group exhibition entitled ‘the artavistic nerve’ at Sydney’s premier art event, the Sydney Contemporary Art Fair at Carriageworks from the 7th – 10th September 2017.
There is a caveat when prescribing the prefix of ‘contemporary’ to Aboriginal art. In a mainstream context contemporary art is what is perceived as new or current- however in a historical sense, Aboriginal art in the form that we know today, can almost always be considered contemporary, as prior to the mid 20th century the art produced was either ethnographically orientated or mere curios.
Over the last 50 years, Aboriginal art has shifted, changed and progressed like no other art movement. There are regional differences, styles and breakaways, but what has remained at the core is the sense of atavism that has been the main source of imagery and subject matter in Aboriginal art.
Focusing on paintings and objects from the recognised exponents of the movement, Cooee Art will present a group exhibition that covey’s a narrative of how this atavistic consciousness has been brought forth by a generation of artists through an entirely modern medium. In viewing these artists, we can start to see how they have shaped the way Aboriginal art has unfolded through the creative psyche of Australia and spread to audiences and collections around the world.
In exhibiting Indigenous art alongside non-Indigenous art Sydney Contemporary 2017, audiences can view this movement through a wider lens of contemporary Australian art.
The Atavistic Nerve is a curated exhibition centering around a simple palate of black, white and cream. We have selected works from only a handful of artists that represent the movements greatest achievers from Emily Kngwarreye, Paddy Bedford and Dorothy Napangardi to the exciting artists working today from Jorna Newberry, Kitty Simon Napanangka, Julie Nangala Robinson and Arnhem Land sculpture Don Djorlom.
Cooee Art was the first Indigenous gallery to exhibit the art of the Tiwi people of Bathurst and Melville Islands, the printmakers of the Western Torres Strait Islands, the Spinifex people of the Great Victoria Desert, and the first commercial gallery to promote individual urban Aboriginal artists.
Cooee Art’s regular exhibition program includes solo exhibitions by important living artists, thematic curated group shows and exhibitions that revisit and reassess the work of important artists of the past, has been a feature of its activities for more than 25 years.
The gallery is now located in two beautiful, yet distinctly different Sydney spaces - a conveniently located modern contemporary art space in Paddington’s designer precinct on Oxford Street and a boutique ‘collectors’ destination gallery and consultancy just a short walk from Sydney’s iconic Bondi Beach. Together they offer a unique and informative insight into the world of Australian Aboriginal art.
Cooee Art Gallery specializes in art and objects that have profound meaning. Significant pieces that will stand the test of time. Contemporary Aboriginal artworks that attest to the creative genius of ancient traditions. Works that continue to endure and enlighten those who have the eyes to see and the heart to be moved by their beauty, ancient narrative, and eternal truth.