Robin Boyd as trampoline

Revisiting The Australian Ugliness
by
August 2021, no. 434
Buy this book

After The Australian Ugliness edited by Naomi Stead, Tom Lee, Ewan McEoin, and Megan Patty

Thames & Hudson, $90 hb, 128 pp

Robin Boyd as trampoline

Revisiting The Australian Ugliness
by
August 2021, no. 434
The Black Dolphin Motel, Merimbula, New South Wales, designed by Robin Boyd, 1961 (photograph by Mark Strizic. Copyright the estate of Mark Strizic, Pictures Collection, State Library Victoria)
The Black Dolphin Motel, Merimbula, New South Wales, designed by Robin Boyd, 1961 (photograph by Mark Strizic. Copyright the estate of Mark Strizic, Pictures Collection, State Library Victoria)

Robin Boyd was that rare thing, an architect more famous for a book than for his buildings.

The Australian Ugliness, first published in 1960, was widely read when it appeared, and for quite some time after – the Penguin editions alone sold nearly 100,000 copies. It was entertaining, satirical, and, with its unwavering judgements, played to the then prevailing yearning for sophistication. Together with Donald Horne’s The Lucky Country (1964), it can be seen as a seminal critique of Australia in the 1960s, as the country was groping towards a fuller nationhood. The twenty or so contributors to the present book, After The Australian Ugliness (the ‘After’ is underlined on the front cover), variously assess Boyd’s classic text and take it as a point of departure.

Jim Davidson reviews 'After The Australian Ugliness' edited by Naomi Stead et al.

After The Australian Ugliness

edited by Naomi Stead, Tom Lee, Ewan McEoin, and Megan Patty

Thames & Hudson, $90 hb, 128 pp

Buy this book

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