We were thrilled to get a sneak peek of John Kean’s monolithic new book on the history of contemporary desert art in Papunya, central Australia, in Kean’s opening remarks at the artist reception of Candy Nelson Nakamarra’s new exhibition this past Wednesday.
The book is now available online and in all good bookstores near you.
Decades in the making, this lavishly illustrated book draws on social history, visual anthropology, as well as formal art analysis to identify how the key innovations that informed contemporary desert art were realised. Dot, Circle and Frame examines the lived experience and totemic associations of the artists to show just how a new vision of ceremony and Country was assembled.
John Kean is a writer and curator. He was Art Advisor at Papunya Tula Artists Pty Ltd (1977–79); the inaugural Exhibition Coordinator at Tandanya: the National Aboriginal Cultural Institute; Exhibition Coordinator at Fremantle Arts Centre, and Producer with Museum Victoria. John is a regular visitor to Papunya and adjacent Aboriginal communities, and maintains ongoing relationships with the descendants of the founding Papunya Tula artists.
Dot, Circle & Frame: The Making of Papunya Tula Art
by John Kean
Image: Front cover of John Kean’s new book – distressed white writing on a red background reading: DOT, CIRCLE & FRAME: THE MAKING OF PAPUNYA TULA ART, JOHN KEAN