According to Listofusnewspapers, art in Australia has long maintained a conservative character: even when he completed his studies in Paris and London, until the first half of the 20th century. Australian artists have generally adhered to academic and naturalistic ways. Thus M. Meldrum (1875-1955), who through his didactic activity had a lasting influence, imposing a naturalist tonalism, supported by a rational search for predetermined formulas to define and translate visual impressions. Among the students of Australia Dattilo Rubbo (1871-1955), who held a school in Sydney from 1898 to 1941, an interest in post-impressionist research was cultivated, especially by R. Wakelin (1887-1971), G. Cossington Smith (1892-1984) and R. de Maistre (1894-1968). In 1939 the exhibition Exhibition Iin Sydney he publicly brought to the fore the researches, begun around 1930, in the field of geometric abstractionism and the experiences based on light, movement, new materials, conducted by painters and sculptors such as G. Crowley (1895-1974), R. Fizelle (1891-1964), R. Balson (1890-1964), F. Hinder (1906-92) and his wife M. Haris (1906-1995, of American origin), E. Lange (1893-1990).
After the war, the isolation of the Australia it has been increasingly nullified and with the Direction I exhibition (Sydney, 1950) abstract expressionism has also imposed itself. Among the most significant personalities to emerge in those years are the sculptors R. Klippel (1920-2001) and C. Meadmore (1929-2005); the painters J. Dawson (b. 1935) and M. Johnson (b. 1938); K. Unsworth (b. 1931), who creates works with poor materials and performances in the field of body art; J. Davies (b. 1936), who carries out research in the field of land art with particular attention to the aboriginal tradition, and R. Owen (b. 1937) who moves from constructivism to minimalism and conceptual art.
In the last decades of the 20th century. contemporary art in Australia has followed the main international trends, opening up to new experiments and finding, also thanks to the recovery of its own cultural substratum, a personal identity. New developments have been recorded since the 1980s, also due to the opportunities offered by the numerous traveling exhibitions, by periodic reviews such as the Biennale (since 1973) in Sydney or the Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (since 1993) in Brisbane, publications and magazines specialized. A renewed interest in figuration emerges, in harmony with contemporary international experiences, in the work of sculptors such as B. Armstrong (b. 1957), P. Juraszek (b. 1953), M. Snape (b. 1951). The return to traditional materials such as wood and bronze (R. Broad, n.1947; T. Risley, n.papier mâchéin sculptures or installations (V. Meertens, n.1955; Australia Wright-Smith, n.1956). In painting, alongside the neo-expressionist solutions of P. Booth (b.1940), some artists work, according to diversified solutions, in the recovery of languages of the past using means such as collage, photography, video, such as R. Dunn (b.1944), who investigates the pervasiveness of power in modern society, I. Tillers (b.1950), who deals with the concept of national identity through images of international art, and the photographer B. Henson (b.1955), who explores spaces border, between day and night, nature and civilization, feminine and masculine. Complex video installations and performances are made by L. Jones (b. 1949). In the non-figurative field, the researches of the sculptors R. Robertson-Swann (b.1941) are carried out, known for its linear structures in welded steel, G. Bartlett (b. 1952), T. Coleing (b. 1942), P. Cole (b. 1946) and M. Parr (b. 1945). Among the younger artists, who represented the Australia in the major exhibitions between the end of the 20th and 21st centuries, I am P. Piccinini (b. 1965), Australian by adoption, author of videos and installations with hyper-realistic figures, on the main themes of biogenetics; T. Moffat (b. 1960), of aboriginal origin, who explores racial conflicts and the sexual exploitation of the Australia postcolonial. Since 1992 the Sidney Museum of Contemporary Art has organized a series of traveling exhibitions entitledSpring, dedicated to young emerging artists.
Ever greater importance has assumed, especially since the 1990s, the interest in Aboriginal figurative culture, which has established itself as one of the most original expressions of Australian art; present in international exhibitions and reviews with artists such as M. Kubarkku (b.1926), J. Angunguna (b.1935), J. Mawandjul (b.1952), MN Jagamara (b.1949), J. Watson (b. 1959), is represented in the main public collections including, in particular, the National Gallery of Australia, in Canberra (among the most significant works The aboriginal memorial, 1987-88, 200 wooden steles painted by 43 artists, dedicated to fallen Aborigines during the European settlement).
UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE
Great Barrier Reef (1981); Kakadu National Park (1981, 1987, 1992); Willandra Lakes Region (1981); Lord Howe Island group (1982); jungle of Tasmania (1982, 1989); Central-Eastern Rainforest Reserve (1986, 1994); Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park (1987, 1994); Tropics of Queensland (1988); Shark Bay, Western Australia (1991); Fraser Island (1992); Australian sites of fossil mammals (Riversleigh / Naracoorte) (1994); Heard and McDonald Islands (1997); Macquarie Island (1997); Greater Blue Mountains area (2000); Purnululu National Park (2003); Royal exhibition building and Carlton Gardens (2004); Sidney opera house (2007).