Modern art

By: Louk Vreeswijk

Nov 29 2015

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Category: Australia, Oceania

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It is interesting to see Aboriginal art exhibited in a context of old and contemporary art from other parts of the world, as is the case in the Art Gallery of New South Wales. When I visited this museum in Sydney I was impressed to see how well the Aboriginal art collection holds between the rest. While deeply rooted in the land and its millennia old culture of the Dreaming of the ancestral past, it shows at the same time surprising affinity with the aesthetics of Western modern art, especially abstract art. This must be one explanation of how Aboriginal art of the past 40 years could conquer the modern art galleries, museums and markets the world over with considerable success.
In the top photo we see in the background two paintings (acrylic on canvas) by Pintupi artists from the Western Desert region. The painting on the left is by Ronni Tjampitjinpa (2001) and the one on the right by George Ward Tjungurrayi (2003).

Untitled 2001 (detail), acrylic on linen, by Ronnie Tjampitjinpa. Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney, Australia 2015

Untitled 2001 (detail), acrylic on linen, by Ronnie Tjampitjinpa. Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney, Australia 2015

The small photo shows a detail of Tjampitjinpa’s painting in the top photo. His typical style of painting is inspired by the ground designs drawn in the sand for ceremonial purposes. In this particular painting he evokes the country west of Wilkinkarra (Lake Mackay) where he used to walk around when still a boy.

Photo of the week: Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia 2013

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