June 23–October 15, 2017
Ancestral Modern: Australian Aboriginal Art from the Kaplan & Levi Collection
Tommy Mitchell. Walu, 2008. Synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 40 x 60 in. Seattle Art Museum, Promised gift of Margaret Levi and Robert Kaplan. © Tommy Mitchell. Courtesy American Federation of Arts
Rover Thomas. Home Country, 1984. Natural pigments on canvas, 53 x 68 in. Promised gift of Margaret Levi and Robert Kaplan (T2011.55.155) © Artist’s Estate, courtesy Warmun Art Centre
Ancestral Modern introduces American audiences to the spectacular flourishing of Indigenous Australian painting and sculpture that has occurred since the 1970s. The exhibition presents approximately fifty artworks, including paintings on bark strips, hollow logs, and canvases, in addition to a small selection of sculptures. In many cases, artists have translated motifs from traditional art forms, such as rock and body painting, to media that can be more easily shared with viewers around the world.
The exhibition was organized by the American Federation of Arts and the Seattle Art Museum.