Marking the first major survey of Australian art in the UK for 50 years, the exhibition “Australia” (21 September—8 December 2013) will span more than 200 years from 1800 to the present day and seeks to uncover the fascinating social and cultural evolution of a nation through its art.
Two hundred works including painting, drawing, photography, watercolours and multimedia will shed light on a period of rapid and intense change; from the impact of colonisation on an indigenous people, to the pioneering nation building of the 19th century through to the enterprising urbanisation of the last 100 years.
“I think it’s true to say that there has never been an exhibition like this before,” Kathleen Soriano, the show’s curator and the RA’s director of exhibitions, told The Guardian. “This survey is long, long overdue. We should know more of these important figures as part of our broader art historical canon, not least because so much of it relates directly back to this country but even more so because there are some tremendous artists we really should be aware of and should be able to enjoy.”
The exhibition will include works by Albert Namatjira, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, John Glover, Eugene von Guerard, Arthur Streeton, Tom Roberts, Charles Conder, Frederick McCubbin, Margaret Preston, Grace Cossington Smith, Arthur Boyd, Albert Tucker, Rosalie Gascoigne, Fred Williams, Brett Whiteley and Sidney Nolan.
Click here to view images from the exhibition.
The BBC will broadcast a three-part series on Australian art to coincide with the London exhibition. The series will be presented by former Art Gallery of NSW director Edmund Capon.
Image: Sidney Nolan, ‘Ned Kelly‘, 1946. Enamel paint on composition board. 90.8 x 121.5 cm. National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Gift of Sunday Reed, 1977.