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.
Come visit us at Sydney Contemporary Booth A11
the atavistic* nerve
*relating to or characterized by reversion to something ancient or ancestral.
VIP Preview: Wednesday 6th September – By invitation only
Thursday 7th September 12 – 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.