New York

“The Urban Aboriginal”

Jan Weiss Gallery

Featuring four contemporary Australian artists of Aboriginal heritage—Lin Onus, Bronwyn Bancroft, Sally Morgan, and Karen Casey—this show presented work actively involved in the reclamation of Koori (Aboriginal) identity. Though marked by a diversity of styles, the paintings presented here shared a self-conscious connection to Aboriginal culture, whether through the recovery of traditional Koori art, or through a profoundly spiritual connection to the earth.

Inspired by traditional Aboriginal bark painting (practiced in the region of northern Australia known as Arnhem Land), Lin Onus concocts his own potent synthesis of realistic landscape painting and traditional pictographic images. In a recent work, Jerrawah 2, artificially patterned, mythical lizards crawl up realistically rendered trees—a subtle, jolting combination of nature and culture. Here, Western constructions of vision are

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