June 23, 2017 – 12:00 pm
Curator and Collector Conversation: Ancestral Modern
Presented by Pam McClusky, curator of African and Oceanic art, Seattle Art Museum, and Robert Kaplan and Margaret Levi, collectors of the Australian Aboriginal art on view in the exhibition
Frist Center Auditorium
Free; first come, first seated
From the world’s oldest living culture comes art that appears surprisingly modern. Vivid paintings and sculptures feature a unique visual language that evolved over centuries but was rarely collected until the 1970s, when a renaissance suddenly flourished, with new media allowing indigenous views to be shared around the world. What may appear abstract and graphic can be appreciated for its boldness, as well as its unusually deep associations. Join curator Pam McClusky in unveiling where in Australia these artworks at the Frist Center may take you. You’ll be introduced to the artists and their subjects, which range from immense deserts and shimmering billabongs (oxbow lakes) to underground crops. Then listen to the insights of Robert Kaplan and Margaret Levi, who focused on collecting Australian Aboriginal art in the early 1990s and have enhanced the recognition of this artistic movement in the United States on a national level.
Spinifex Men's Collaborative. Wati Kutjarra (Two Men Story), 2003. Synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 82 5/8 x 74 3/4 in. Promised gift of Margaret Levi and Robert Kaplan, in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Seattle Art Museum © Spinifex Men's Collaborative, photo by Susan Cole. Courtesy American Federation of Arts