Sydney Contemporary - Booth A11

Opening Hours

VIP Preview: Wednesday 6th September – By invitation only

Thursday 7th September 12 - 5pm
Opening Night: Thursday 7th September 5pm – 9pm

Friday 8th September 11am - 6pm

Saturday 9th 10am - 6pm

Sunday 10th 10am - 5pm

There is a caveat when prescribing the prefix ‘contemporary’ to Aboriginal art. In a mainstream context contemporary is what is perceived as new or current. In the form that we know today, Aboriginal art is considered contemporary, though prior to the mid 20th century it was created and displayed as historical, traditional and ethnographic.

Over the last 50 years, Aboriginal art has shifted, changed and progressed like no other art movement. There are regional styles, and breakaways, but what remains at its core is the sense of atavism that has always been its main source of imagery and subject matter.

Focusing on paintings and objects from key regions and exponents, Cooee Art  presents a group exhibition that explores this narrative. In viewing these artworks, we see how artists steeped in ancient traditions have adapted ancient imagery and projected their this atavistic consciousness into the Australian psyche, and beyond it, to that of audiences and collectors around the world.

In exhibiting Indigenous art alongside non-Indigenous art Sydney Contemporary 2017, audiences can view and interpret this ancient art movement through the 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 a handful of artists. Included are several of the Aboriginal art movement’s greatest achievers - Emily Kngwarreye, Tommy Yannima Watson and Dorothy Ngapangardi; and a select group of exciting younger artists -  Jorna Newberry, Kitty Simon Napanangka, Julie Nangala Robinson, Susan Marawarr and Djirrirra Wunungmurra.

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.



Yam Dreaming - Emily Kame Kngwarreye
120 x 90 cm

Untitled - Tommy (Yannima) Watson
101 x 110 cm

Salt - Dorothy Robinson Napangardi
76 x 152 cm
#15772 LOCATION: Paddington

Pirlinyanu - Julie Robinson Nangala
198.0 x 122.0 cm
#15758 LOCATION: Paddington

Walpa (Wind Dreaming) - Jorna Newberry
121 x 151 cm

Wak Wak - Susan Marruwarr
219 x 56 cm

Yukuwa - Djirrirra Wunungmurra
175 cm

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Coo-ee Art

Bondi Beach 31 Lamrock Ave (cnr Chambers Ave), Bondi Beach 2026 NSW AUSTRALIA Opening Hours: 10am - 5pm Tuesday to Saturday p: 61.2.93009233 Paddington 326 Oxford Street Paddington 2021 NSW AUSTRALIA p. +61.2.8057 6789 Opening Hours: 10am - 5pm Tuesday to Saturday e: Actively promoting Indigenous Art since 1981