I have read a number of very negative reports on the Australian Art Exhibition in London. I have not seen it but a recurrent criticism is that it is too “representative” at the expense of quality. Commercial aboriginal art is described as “tourist tat” which, in my judgment, is a fair and accurate description although I’d add the adjective “expensive” to that. Many of the modern Australian painters are simply seen as lacking talent. Again I agree, the skill of the drip-and-splatter set is too narrow.
It is good that Australian culture cops it in the neck occasionally and good that we do not act in an overly defensive way to such criticisms. We are good enough as a nation to cop fair criticism and to live with criticism that might even be a bit unfair.