From the remote shores of Rapa Nui to the dense rainforest of Papua New Guinea, the islands of the Pacific are home to some of the most culturally diverse populations on the planet. The region embraces an extraordinary range of art forms, from delicate shell ornaments to spectacularly decorated canoes and meeting houses. These have fascinated outsiders since the exploratory voyages of Captain Cook, the first of which commenced 250 years ago in 1768, and went on to entrance Gauguin and a host of other European artists.
This volume accompanies a major survey in London and Paris of art from Oceania. It brings together the most up-to-date scholarship by the leading experts in the field, encompassing a dazzling array of objects from the region, including many that have never been published before. Also included are many works that have historically been overlooked, such as painted and woven textiles, elaborate wicker assemblages and expressively sculpted vessels, alongside works by artists working in Oceania today. Objects of great aesthetic beauty, these artworks are the product of a complex web of social, mythological and historical influences.