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20 April

in partnership with

         

 

Supported by the Australian Government through the Australia International Cultural Council, an initiative of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Supported by the Australian Government through the Australia International Cultural Council, an initiative of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

 


With the patronage of

 

 

 

Detailed credits and legal notices

(1) © artists and their estates 2011, licensed by Aboriginal Artists Agency Limited and Papunya Tula Artists. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne- Purchase from the Admission Funds, 1987.

(2) © artists and their estates 2011, licensed by Aboriginal Artists Agency Limited and Papunya Tula Artists. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Presented to The NGV Foundation by anonymous donors, 2006.

(3) © artists and their estates 2011, licensed by Aboriginal Artists Agency Limited and Papunya Tula Artists. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Donated by Mrs Douglas Carnegie OAM, 1989. Photograph: Christian Markel.

(4) © artists and their estates 2011, licensed by Aboriginal Artists Agency Limited and Papunya Tula Artists. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Photograph: Christian Markel.

(5) © artists and their estates 2011, licensed by Aboriginal Artists Agency Limited and Papunya Tula Artists. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Purchased by The Art Foundation of Victoria with the help of Alcoa of Australia Limited, Governor, 1993. Photograph: Predrag Cancar

(6) © artists and their estates 2011, licensed by Aboriginal Artists Agency Limited and Papunya Tula Artists. Gabrielle Pizzi Collection, Melbourne

(7) © artists and their estates 2011, licensed by Aboriginal Artists Agency Limited and Papunya Tula Artists. John and Barbara Wilkerson, New York, USA

(8) © artists and their estates 2011, licensed by Aboriginal Artists Agency Limited and Papunya Tula Artists. Private collection, Sydney Photograph: Jenni Carter

(9) © artists and their estates 2011, licensed by Aboriginal Artists Agency Limited and Papunya Tula Artists Pty Ltd. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Legs Felton, 2011 © photograph Christian Markel.

(10) from left to right: Arrernte early 1920s, Warumungu early 1900s, Warumungu early 1900s, Warumungu early 1900s, Warumungu early 1900s, Arrernte early 1900s © Victoria Museum 2011, photo: Benjamin Healley. Victoria Museum, Melbourne. Purchased from James Field, 1907 and G. F. Hill, 1928

(11) © artists and their estates 2011, licensed by Aboriginal Artists Agency Limited and Papunya Tula Artists. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Purchased by The Art Foundation of Victoria with the help of ICI Australia Ltd, Fellow, 1988. Photograph: Christian Markel

(12) © artists and their estates 2011, licensed by Aboriginal Artists Agency Limited and Papunya Tula Artists. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Felton Bequest, 1988. Photo: Predrag Cancar

 

The Sources of Aborigine painting

Australie, Tjukurrtjanu

Exhibition poster © musée du quai Branly - Click to enlarge, open in a new window

FROM TUESDAY 09.10.12 TO SUNDAY 20.01.13 

  • Jardin Gallery
  • Temporary exhibitions and twin tickets

CURATOR

  • Judith Ryan, Senior Curator, Aboriginal Art, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
  • Philipp Batty, Senior Curator, Central Australia, Museum Victoria, Melbourne

SCIENTIFIC COORDINATION

  • Philippe Peltier, Head Conservator, Head of the Oceania/Insulindia Collections at the musée du quai Branly

around the exhibition

visits, catalogue and events related to the exhibition

exhibition preview

about the exhibition

The exhibition presents for the first time in Europe a major artistic movement, born in 1971-1972 in the community of Papunya, at the heart of the central Australian desert.

By transposing to recycled wooden panels the motifs employed in ephemeral ritual paintings, the Aborigine artists of Papunya created an astonishingly inventive formal art, saturated with meaning. These works change the manner of understanding the territory and conceiving the history of Australian art.

With more than 160 canvases and almost 100 objects and photographs from the period, the exhibition presents the iconographical and spiritual sources of the Papunya movement and traces its development from the first panels to the large canvases of the early 1980s.

pictures of the exhibition

Exhibition synopsis

(9) Bouclier, années 1960. Pigments naturels sur bois (Erythrina vespertilio) - Click to enlarge, open in a new window
Shield, 1960s. Natural pigments on wood (Erythrina vespertilio)

 

introductory sequence

The works of the Papunya Tula movement have their iconographic source in the living tradition of the Aborigines of the central desert: ancestral designs on the shields, flint knives, headbands, ephemeral paintings on the ground and paintings of body art.

This sequence is designed as a prelude so that visitors can associate Aboriginal painting with the great principles which underpin it.

This section comprises nearly 70 objects, especially head adornments, ancient and contemporary, etched propellers (for lance or arrow), forty painted or etched shields.

Two audio-visual programmes complete the presentation of the objects: a slide show of photographs relating to the ceremonies of the linguistic group Arrernte, and a film on the Ngajakula ceremony (Warlpiri fire ceremony).

(10) Ensemble de couteaux décorés, début des années 1900. Quartzite, verre, bois, résine, pigments naturels, écorce. Museum Victoria, Melbourne, Australie. - Click to enlarge, open in a new window
Set of decorated knives, early 1900s. Quartzite, glass, wood, resin, natural pigments, bark. Victoria Museum, Melbourne, Australia.

 

the first anmatyerr artists

The history of the birth of the movement is told in the exhibition through extracts from a video made by Geoffrey Bardon, schoolteacher at Papunya. He encouraged the teenage students in his class to create works inspired by their own traditional motifs. He also conceived an ambitious project to decorate the external walls of the school, which would eventually lead to the creation of a mural painting of the honey ant by the older Aborigines.

Paintings by the earliest artists - notably Kaapa Tjampitjinpa, Billy Stockman Tjapaltjarri and Long Jack Phillipus Tjakamarra - are presented in this part of the exhibition.

 

The Honey Ant Mural (Peinture murale de la fourmi à miel), école de Papunya, 1971 © Courtesy Dorn Bardon, photo : Allan Scott - Click to enlarge, open in a new window
The Honey Ant Mural, Papunya school, 1971 © Courtesy Dorn Bardon, photograph: Allan Scott

 

Water dreaming

The artiste Walter Tjampitjinpa and Johnny Warangkula Tjupurrula are famous for painting numerous works referencing water dreaming in 1971-72. The sinuous motifs seen in the works of Walter Tjampitjinpa portray the meanders of a water course while the over-dotting technique of Johnny Warangkula Tjupurrula - a recurrent motif in his work - represents the new vegetation.

 

secret paintings

Sacred works, which Aborigine women and children are forbidden to look at, are displayed in an enclosed space. The objects, places and motifs represented in these paintings are linked to secret ceremonies reserved for male Aborigine initiates. There is only one entrance to this space, and it carries a warning, in English and French, about the forbidden character of the works which are exhibited there. Some twenty works by various artists are shown together within this themed space.

(11) Sans titre, Shorty Lungkata Tjungurrayi (Pintupi), 1972. Acrylique sur panneau, 67,7 x 46 cm - Click to enlarge, open in a new window
(11) Untitled, Shorty Lungkata Tjungurrayi (Pintupi), 1972. Acrylic on panel, 67.7 x 46 cm

Pintupi

Pintupi is the name of an Aborigine language, spoken in the western desert, situated in the Northern Territory of Australia. By extension, the term is used for the inhabitants of this region.

The Pintupi artists began to work with different techniques: crayon and water colour on paper rather than painting on panels of wood. The linearity and sobriety of these early works are now recognised as essential to the Papunya movement.

 

the evolution of the movement

In the final exhibition room there are some very large works  (2m by nearly 7m long), which are the most recent (1974-1994) by the artists Johnny Warangkula Tjupurrula, Ronnie Tjampitjinpa, Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, Tim Leura Tjapaltjarri, Mick Namarari Tjapaltjarri and Uta Uta Tjangala. They provide an insight into the evolution of aboriginal painting by illustrating how panels of wood were gradually abandoned in favour of vast canvases. 

 

(12) Spirit Dreaming through Napperby country (Rêve d'un esprit à travers le territoire de Napperby), Tim Leura Tjapaltjarri (Anmatyerr) et Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri (Anmatyerr), 1980. Acrylique sur toile, 207,7 x 670,8 cm - Click to enlarge, open in a new window
(12) Spirit Dreaming through Napperby country, Tim Leura Tjapaltjarri (Anmatyerr) and Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri (Anmatyerr), 1980. Acrylic on canvas, 207.7 x 670.8 cm

media partners of the exhibition