Oceanic Art

Anthony J. P. Meyer, Joint Author, Olaf Wipperfurth, Photographer
Anthony J. P. Meyer, Joint Author, Olaf Wipperfurth, Photographer Knickerbocker Press $100 (640p) ISBN 978-1-57715-000-8
Reviewed on: 09/02/1996
Release date: 09/01/1996
Hardcover - 640 pages - 978-3-89508-080-7
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An astonishing wealth of little-known art of Melanesia, Polynesia and Micronesia is showcased in this revelatory survey, stunningly illustrated with some 800 lavish color plates. Meyer, an American-born art dealer and Paris-based gallery owner, has unearthed South Pacific island treasures including a monumental wood sculpture representing the primordial couple, canoe-prow figureheads, decorative combs oddly reminiscent of Alexander Calder mobiles, sophisticated jewelry and textiles, potent painted masks with echoes of Klee and Picasso. The text, printed in parallel columns in English, German and French, proceeds geographically from New Guinea to Vanuatu, Fiji, Samoa, the Cook Islands, New Zealand, Hawaii and Easter Island, with many stops in between. Brimming with vitality and originality, these complex artworks explode conventional stereotypes of ""primitive"" art and embody cosmologies in which every plant, animal, person and object has a soul. (Sept.)
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