“No Boundaries” showcases contemporary Aboriginal art

“No Boundaries,” an exhibit of Aboriginal Australian contemporary abstract paintings, is currently on display at the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA). The exhibit showcases more than 40 original pieces from nine Aboriginal artists whose work has shaped the field of contemporary art.

The artists simultaneously continue the legacy of Aboriginal Australian peoples’ extensive histories involving art, beginning with the earliest rock pictograms, to sacred objects and body painting, while expanding it on a global level. PICA says “It is the ability of these nine Aboriginal artists to speak across cultural boundaries while maintaining their distinctive identities that places them at the vanguard of global contemporary art practice.” Their works carry a dual nature functioning as both a cultural artifact carrying inherent meaning to their peoples and as a piece of art appreciable to a global audience.

The pieces displayed in the exhibit portray their artists’ cultural customs, spiritual beliefs, and connections with the land. Works often take the form of complex abstract dot paintings with colors ranging from from muted earth tones to vibrant hues, all inspired by the colors of their surrounding natural world.

Created from the personal collection of Debra and Dennis Scholl, “No Boundaries” began in Reno, Nevada, at the Nevada Museum of Art. Portland is the second of three cities in which the exhibit will stop.

“No Boundaries” will be on display from June 20 to August 16 on Thursdays and Fridays from 12 to 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 12 to 4 p.m. at the Mason Erhman Building Annex on 467 Northwest Davis Street in Portland. More information may be found online at pica.org/event/no-boundaries.

Photo Credit: “Gunambalayi–Travels of the Black Snake” by Billy Joongoora Thomas/pica.org

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