Aboriginal Art

Wally Caruana

“The semi-abstract images . . . display an eerie beauty that is alternately fascinating, inspiring, and disturbing.” —Los Angeles Times

A superlative introduction to the diversity of Aboriginal art, this concise survey introduces the work of Australia’s indigenous artists from all parts of the continent. For some 50,000 years, Aboriginal artists have built on traditions and worked in a variety of contexts, from the sacred and secret realm of ceremony to more public spheres, and in media that include painting, sculpture, engraving, constructions, weaving, photography, printmaking, and textile design. For the revised edition, a new chapter maps the latest developments across each of Australia’s geographical regions. Updated information and some twenty new illustrations highlight the impact of urban living, the growth of local art centers, and the rise of women artists—all testifying to Aboriginal art’s continued dynamism and vitality. Wally Caruana was Senior Curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, from 1984 to 2001.


Wally Caruana


Wally Caruana was senior curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, where he oversaw the development of one of the most important collections of Indigenous Australian art in a public museum. Caruana is now a visiting fellow in the department of art history, Australian National University, and the senior consultant, Aboriginal art, to Sotheby's Australia.