Oceanic Art


A new edition of this concise but authoritative survey of the diverse, dazzling and compelling art of Oceania in all its forms, past and present.


ISBN: 9780500204405 Category:

Nicholas Thomas


The dazzling colours and patterns of the art of the Pacific Islands have long entranced Western audiences, not least artists such as Gauguin and Picasso. The tendency has been to regard Oceanic art as ‘primitive’, mysterious and shrouded in taboo, but Nicholas Thomas, in looking at and beyond the familiar, stunning surfaces of masks and shields, carved canoe prows and feathered gods, discovers the significance of such objects, past and present, for the peoples of the Pacific.

In this revised edition with a completely new chapter on globalization and contemporary art, he shows how each region is characterized by certain art forms and practices – among them Maori ancestral carvings, rituals of exchange and warfare in the Solomon Islands, the production of barkcloth by women in Polynesia – while also being shaped by influences from within the Pacific and beyond. The dynamism and diversity of this compelling art are highlighted by the works accompanying this revelatory text – from those that evoke deep-rooted customs to ones that address contemporary political issues, now illustrated in colour throughout.

Additional information

Weight 480 g
Dimensions 15.3 x 20.9 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 1 September 2018
Number of pages 224
Format Paperback / softback
Dimensions 15.3 x 20.9 cm
Weight 480 g


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