"This illuminating study offers a new insight not only into the work of Australian Aborigines but into the nature and origins of art itself. The accidents of history have enabled a Stone Age culture to exist for a time side by side with modern Australian life, but its art forms, so wnderfully preserved and now enjoying a late flowering under the stimulus of interest from the outside world, must soon vanish wiuth the beliefs and social organization from which they sprang. It is fortunate that a writer of Karel Kupka's imaginative sympathy and understanding has been able to record them for the benefit of the twentieth-century man. The author's approach is essentially that of an artist rather than of an anthropologist, but his conclusions are based on a sound knowledge of anthropological findings, as well as on that personal contact so vital to a real understanding of the Aborigines." - book jacket.
Foreword by Professor A. P. Elkin
Preface by André Breton: "Main première": original text in French, English translation by John Ross
Chapter I. In search of the origins of art
Chapter II. Encounter with another age
Chapter III. Some secrets - true and false
Chapter IV. Bark paintings
Chapter V. Figurative painting
Chapter VI. Symbolic painting
A. Figurative symbolism
B. "Abstract" symbolism
C. "Painted literature"
Chapter VII. Ornamental painting
Chapter VIII. Sculpture without chisels
Chapter IX. The presence of the past
Captions to illustrations.
Originally published 1962.
Bibliography: p. 179-180.
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