Aboriginal Art and Torres Strait Islander Art – Limited Edition Prints, Paintings, Sculptures and Books
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Aboriginal artist George Milpurrurru is recognised as having been one of the major bark painters of Arnhem Land. He was also a ceremonial leader of the Ganalbingu language speaking people, a skilled hunter, amarngitj or traditional healer, a ceremonial singer and dancer.
His connections to country, people and the Dreaming are reflected in the recurring themes of his work and the Dreamings of his clan, the Gurrumba Gurrumba.
Milpurrurru’s figurative art maintains the religious nature of the subject matter through the repeated patterns of motifs across the surface of his work. The repetition of images refers to the regular patterns of conventional motifs found in the sacred paintings made for ceremonial purposes. The dynamic surfaces of Milpurrurru’s paintings capture the vitality of the inner play between song, movement and painting in ceremony. Milpurrurru’s work is firmly based on the classical tradition of bark painting yet it reflects the vision of a contemporary artist working in the modern world.
His work was represented in three Biennales of Sydney as well as in major exhibitions in Australia, South East Asia and America.George Milpurrurru was one of the principal contributors to ‘The Aboriginal Memorial 1998’ made from 200 painted burial poles symbolising 200 years of white occupation of Australia. This installation has since been exhibited overseas including in the Hermitage Museum of St Petersbug and is on permanent display in the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Milpurrurru, together with fellow artists Roy Burnyila and David Daymirringu (Malangi) sang to consecrate the placing of the poles in the National Gallery. He is one of the few Australian artists who has been honoured with a solo retrospective exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia.
Subject & Themes
Gurrumatji (magpie goose) and its eggs, Yarlman or Biyarri (water lily), Gunungurr (black headed python), Djarrka (goanna), Wangarr Watu or Djanyarr (sacred dog) and Warrnyu (flying fox)Gaminangu (white clay), Dupun hollow log coffin burial ceremony performed by his clan. Crocodile, Mewal – honey spirit, Karr – spider. Collections
Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney.
Art Gallery of SA, Adelaide.
Art Gallery of WA, Perth.
Australian Museum, Sydney.
Gold City Art Gallery, Surfers Paradise, Qld.
Milingimbi Collection, MECA, Milingimbi Educational and Cultural Association.
Museum and Art Gallery of the NT, Darwin. Museum of Contemporary Art, Ramingining Collection, Sydney.
Museum of Mankind, British Museum, London.
Myer Gatner Collection, USA.
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.
National Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour, Sydney.
National Museum of Australia, Canberra. Parliament House Art Collection, Canberra.
South Australian Museum, Adelaide.
The Holmes a Court Collection, Perth.
The John Kluge Collection, USA. Tropenmuseum, Kindermuseum, Amsterdam. Individual Exhibitions
1985 Aboriginal Artists Gallery, Sydney.
1993 The Art of George Milpurrurru, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
1993 Hogarth Gallery, Paddington, NSW 1993 Desert Designs, Fairmont, WA. Group Exhibitions
1966 Bark Paintings from Arnhem Land, Museum of Art, The University of Kansas.
1973 Aboriginal and Melanesian Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.
1975 Australian Bark Painting, from the collection of Dr. Edward L. Ruhe, Meadow Brook Art Gallery, Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan, USA.
1976 The Art of Black Australia, Aboriginal Arts Board.
1976 Art of the First Australians, Australian Exhibit Organisation, Canada.
1977 Exhibition of Aboriginal Art of North Australia, Aboriginal Arts Board.
1979 Traditions and Innovations, National Assembly Building, Darwin 1979 European Dialogue, Biennale of Sydney, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney.
1982 Aboriginal Art at the Top, Museum and Art Gallery of the NT, Darwin.
1983 Artists of Arnhem Land, Canberra School of Arts.
1983 Mulgurrum Exhibition George Paton Gallery, Melbourne.
1983 Arnhem Land Art, Perc Tucker Gallery, Townsville 1983, NAIDOC Week.
1983 NAIDOC Week Ramingining Exhibition, Campbelltown, NSW.
1984 Objects and Representations from Ramingining, Power Gallery of Contemporary Art [Now the Museum of Contemporary Art], Sydney.
1984 Aboriginal Art, an exhibition presented by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Canberra.
1985 National Aboriginal Week Exhibition, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney.
1985 Ramingining Art Exhibition, Nerang Gallery, Gold Coast, Qld.
1986 Central Arnhem Land Art, National Gallery of Victoria.
1986 Origins, Originality + Beyond, Biennale of Sydney.
1986 The Third National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
1986 Ramingining Art, Dreamtime Gallery, Perth.
1986 Ramingining Art, Araluen Centre, Alice Springs, NT.
1986 My Country, My Story, My Painting: Recent Paintings by Twelve Arnhem Land Artists, National Gallery of Australia exhibition at the Drill Hall Gallery, Canberra.
1986 Painted Objects from Arnhem Land, National Gallery of Australia.
1987 Australia: Art & Aboriginality, Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth, UK.
1987 Ramingining Art, The Centre Gallery, Gold Coast, Qld.
1987 Ramingining Art, New England Regional Art Museum, Armidale, NSW.
1987 Ramingining Art, Birukmarri Gallery, Freemantle, WA.
1987 Dalkuna mnunuwuy nhe rom, Foreign Exchange, Armadale, Victoria.
1988 Beneath the Southern Cross, Biennale of Sydney.
1988 The Aboriginal Memorial, Sydney Biennale, Pier One, now on permanent display, National Gallery of Australia.
1988 The Inspired Dream, Life as art in Aboriginal Australia, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory and touring internationally.
1989 Aboriginal Art: The Continuing Tradition, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
1989 Recent Works from Ramingining and Maningrida, Roslyn Oxley 9 Gallery, Paddington, NSW.
1989 Masterpiece Fine Art Gallery, Hobart.
1989 Ramingining/Yuendumu, Friends of the Earth Gallery, Melbourne.
1989 Ramingining Art, Ben Grady Gallery, Canberra.
1989 Ramingining Art, Shades of Ochre Gallery, Darwin.
1989 On the Edge: Five Contemporary Aboriginal Artists, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth.
1989 The Sixth National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
1989 A Myriad of Dreaming: Twentieth Century Aboriginal Art, Westpac Gallery, Melbourne; Design Warehouse Sydney [through Lauraine Diggins Fine Art]
1990 l’ete Australien a’ Montpellier, Musee Fabre Gallery, Montpellier, France.
1990 Spirit in Land, Bark Paintings from Arnhem Land, National Gallery of Victoria.
1990 Ramingining/Bathurst Island, The Centre Arts, Adelaide Arts Festival.
1990 Alice Prize, Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs.
1990 Painted Ship, Painted Oceans, S. H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney.
1990 Tagari Lia: My Family, Contemporary Aboriginal Art.
1990 -from Australia, Third Eye Centre, Glasgow, and toured UK.
1990 Keepers of the Secrets, Aboriginal Art from Arnhem l and, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth.
1991 Ramingining and Fiona Foley, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney.
1991 Selection from the John Kluge Collection: Painting Their Land, 24 Hour Art, Contemporary Art Space, Darwin.
1991 Art from the Arafura Swamp, Araluen Centre, Alice Springs.
1991 Ramingining Art, Birukmarri Gallery, Freemantle, WA.
1992 Crossroads-Towards a New Reality, Aboriginal Art from Australia, National Museums of Modern Art, Kyoto and Tokyo.
1992/3 New Tracks Old Land: An Exhibition of Contemporary Prints from Aboriginal Australia, touring USA and Australia.
1993 The Tenth National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
1993 Australian Heritage Commission National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award Exhibition, Old Parliament House, Canberra.
1993 Prints by Ramingining Artists, Hogarth Gallery, Paddington, NSW.
1994 Australian Heritage Commission National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award Exhibition, Old Parliament House, Canberra.
1994 Power of the Land, Masterpieces of Aboriginal Art, National Gallery of Victoria.
1994 Art of the Rainbow Snake, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.
1995 Verhalen om niet te Verdwalen, Kindermuseum, Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam.
1995 The Twelfth National Aboriginal Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
2000 Yolngu Science MCA, Sydney. Films
1988, Here’s My Hand: a testimony to the Aboriginal Memorial (d: Michael Edols and Mark Gold), Produced in conjunction with Ramingining Art & Crafts (now Bulabula Arts) 1993, ‘Bulabula Artists’, (d:Cecile Babiole), produced in conjunction with Bulabula Ar Bibliography
Aboriginal Arts Board, 1976, Art of the First Australians, Australia Council, Sydney Aboriginal Arts Management Association, 1990, Contemporary Aboriginal Art 1990 – from Australia (presented by the Aboriginal Arts Committee, Australia Council and Third Eye Centre, Glasgow), exhib. cat., Redfern, New South Wales. (C)
Altman, J., and Cook, P., 1982, Aboriginal Art at the Top, exhib. cat., Maningrida Literature Production Centre, Maningrida.
Crossman, S. and Barou, J-P. (eds), 1990, L’ete Australien a Montpellier: 100 Chefs d’Oevre de la Peinture Australienne, Musee Fabre, Montpellier, France. (C)
Caruana, W., 1987, Australian Aboriginal Art, a Souvenir Book of Aboriginal Art in the Australian National Gallery, Australian National Gallery, Parkes, Australian Capital Territory. (C)
Caruana, W. (ed.), 1989, Windows on the Dreaming, Ellsyd Press, Sydney. (C)
Caruana, W., 1993, Aboriginal Art, Thames and Hudson, London. (C)
Chanin, E., 1990, (ed.), Contemporary Australian Painting, Craftsman House, Roseville, NSW, Australia.
Cook, P. and Altman, J. (eds), 1982, Aboriginal Art at the Top: a Regional Exhibition, exhib. cat., Maningrida Arts and Crafts, Maningrida, Northern Territory. (C)
Diggins, L. (ed.), 1989, A Myriad of Dreaming: Twentieth Century Aboriginal Art, exhib. cat., Malakoff Fine Art Press, North Caulfield, Victoria.
Douglas, M. and Oldmeadow, D., 1972, Across the Top, Rigby Ltd, Adelaide. Groger-Wurm, H., 1973, Australian Aboriginal Paintings and their Mythological Interpretation, Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies, Canberra. (C)
Isaacs, J., 1984, Australia’s Living Heritage, Arts of the Dreaming, Lansdowne Press, Sydney. (C)
Isaacs, J., 1989, Australian Aboriginal Paintings, Weldon Publishing, New South Wales. Johnson, V., 1987, Art and Aboriginality. exhib. cat. Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth, UK.
Isaacs J. Spirit Country: Contemporary Australian Aboriginal Art Hardie Grant Books. Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco 1999.
Johnson, V., 1989, ‘Running Trees,’ Tension 17, 52-55. (C)
Johnson, V., 1988, Among Others: Reply to ‘Black Canberra’, Art & Text 30, September-November, 1998.
Johnson, V., The Dictionary of Western Desert Artists, Craftsman House, East Roseville, New South Wales. (C)
Kleinert, S., 1988, Black Canberra, Art & Text 29, June-August 1988.
Langton, M., 1992-93 ‘The two women looked back over their shoulders & lamented leaving their country: detached comment (recent urban) & symbolic narrative (traditional), ‘Aboriginal Art in the Public Eye, Art Monthly Australia Supplement, 7-9. (C)
McCulloch, A., & McCulloch, S., 1994, The Encyclopedia of Australian Art, Allen & Unwin Pty Ltd, St Leonards, New South Wales. McCulloch S, Contemporary Aboriginal Art: A guide to the Rebirth of an Ancient Culture. Allen & Unwin 1999.
Milpurrurru, G., & Getjpula, G., et al, The Art of George Milpurrurru, exhib. cat., Australian National Gallery, Canberra.
Morphy H. Aboriginal Art Phaidon Press 1998.
Narine, S., 1987, State of the Art: ideas and images in the 1980s, Chatto & Windus, London.
O’Ferrall, M., 1990, Keepers of the Secrets, Aboriginal Art from Arnhemland in the Collection of the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth. (C)
Reser, J., 1977, ‘The dwelling as motif in Aboriginal bark painting’. In Ucko, P. (ed.), Form in Indigenous Art, Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies, Canberra.
Reser, J., 1993, ‘The land is living,’ Art Monthly Australia 62, 20-21. (C)
Ruhe, E. L., 1975, Australian bark painting, from the collection of Dr. Edward L. Ruhe, exhib. cat. Meadow Brook Art Gallery, Michigan, USA.
Ryan, J., 1990, Spirit in Land, exhib. cat., National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.
Schulz, D., 1994, Lines from the Dreamtime, The Australian Way, Qantas in flight magazine, May 1994.
Smith, B. with Smith, T>, 1991, Australian painting 1788-1990, Oxford University Press, 3rd edition.
Sutton, P. (ed.), 1988, Dreamings: the Art of Aboriginal Australia, Viking, Ringwood, Victoria. (C)
Tweedie, P., 1985, This My Country, A View of Arnhem Land, William Collins Pty Ltd, Sydney.
Tweedie, P. and Scollay, C., 1979, ‘Art of the Aboriginal,’ Panorama: the Journal of Ansett Airlines Australia 21 (2), 1,4. (C)
Watson, C., 1987, Dalkuna Mnunuwuy Nhe Rom, exhib. cat., Foreign Exchange, Armadale, Victoria.
Wallace, D., Desmond, M., Caruna, W., 1991, Flash Pictures, exhib. cat., National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
West, M., 1984, ‘The First National Aboriginal Art Award’ in, Australian Aboriginal Studies, Journal of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, 1984, No. 1.
West, M.K.C., (ed.), 1988, The Inspired Dream, Life as art in Aboriginal Australia, exhib. cat., Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane. 1979, European Dialogue, exhibition catalogue, Biennale of Sydney, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1992.
Artlink:Reconciliation? Indigenous Art for the 21st Century Vol 20, 2000.
Artlink: Reconciliation? Indigenous Art for the 21st Century Vol 20,2000Art from the Land: Dialogues with the Kluge-Ruhe Collection of Australian Art University of Virginia USA 1999.
Aboriginal Art’, National Gallery News, 10th Birthday edition, September/October 1992, p. 5-7. Australian National Gallery, Parkes, ACT. (C)
1993, Aratjara, Art of the First Australians: Traditional and Contemporary Works by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Artists, exhib. cat. (conceived and designed by Bernard Luthi in collaboration with Gary Lee), Dumont, Buchverlag, Koln.
Zurbrugg, N., Tim Johnson interviewed, Art and Australia quarterly, Vol 29, No. 1, Spring 1991 ~ 1990, Papunya Tula exhib. cat., Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne. (C)
1990, Balance 1990: Views, Visions, Influences, exhib. cat., Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane. (C)
1993, Tjukurrpa Desert Dreamings, Aboriginal Art from Central Australia (1971-1993), exhib. cat., Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth. (C)
The Native Born: Objects and Representations from Ramingining Arnhem Land. Ed. by Bernice Murphy MCA in association with Bula Bula Arts, Ramingining