Important Australian Aboriginal Art
30 March 2022


born c.1943

synthetic polymer paint on linen

181.0 x 151.0 cm

bears inscription verso: artist’s name, size and Papunya Tula Artists cat. RT910214

$40,000 – $60,000

Papunya Tula Artists, Alice Springs, Northern Territory
Private collection, Switzerland, acquired from the above in January 1992

This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from Papunya Tula Artists which states: ‘This painting depicts designs associated with the travels of the Tingari Men from Kintore west to the claypan site of Malka to the south-east of the Kiwirrkura Community.

The arcs represent men of the Tjangala kinship subsection who travelled either side of one Tjapanangka man who travelled underground. As events associated with the Tingari Cycle are of a secret nature no further detail was given.

Generally, the Tingari are a group of mythical characters of the Dreaming, who travelled over vast stretches of the country, performing rituals and creating and shaping particular sites. The Tingari men were usually followed by Tingari women and accompanied by novices and their travels and adventures are enshrined in a number of song cycles. These mythologies form part of the teachings of the post­initiate youths today as well as providing explanations for contemporary customs.'

Catalogue text

Immediately recognisable, the paintings of Ronnie Tjampitjinpa are some of the most dynamic renditions of the country and mythologies of the desert country to the west of Alice Springs. Based on the travels of the Tingari, a group of mythical beings who travelled over vast stretches of the Western Desert naming places and establishing law, his art offers evolving interpretations of the Tingari, whilst adhering to their codes of reference.

Seeking to establish himself as a serious painter, Ronnie Tjampitjinpa took an independent direction and began to expand various elements of the Pintupi painting lexicon, increasing them in size and proportion, repeating elements and creating rhythmic and optical sensations so by the early 1990s he was a highly acclaimed painter, most recognised for the bold, graphic qualities of his artwork.

Ronnie Tjampitjinpa has been the recipient of a number of awards, including the 1988 Alice Prize. His first solo exhibition was held at Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne in 1989, and his work was included in Dreaming at the Asia Society Gallery, New York in 1988, and Australian Perspecta in 1993. More recently, an exhibition celebrating 40 years of the artist’s work was held at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney in 2015.

His work is included in various Australian and international collections, including the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; the Musée du Quai Branly, Paris; Collection Fondation Opale, Lens, Switzerland; and the Seattle Art Museum, USA.