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Mick Namarari Tjapaltjarri: Mysteries that Remain

Mick Namarari Tjapaltjarri: Mysteries that Remain

One of Australia’s most acclaimed Indigenous artists, Mick Namarari Tjapaltjarri was a founder of the Western Desert art movement. Mysteries that Remain is an important survey of Namarari’s work, featuring paintings on canvas and board from 1971-1990. It reveals the depth and complexity of Namarari’s artistic experiments as he restlessly strove to present the ancestral narratives of his desert homelands in new and innovative ways. Drawn from the extensive holdings of Namarari’s work in the Kluge-Ruhe Collection at the University of Virginia, Mysteries that Remain tracks Namarari’s progress from his iconographic and ritually explicit works of the 1970s to more abstracted landscapes of the 1990s. It shows Namarari to be an artist who grasped the creative challenge of painting for the art market while never losing sight of the ancestral underpinnings of his country. In turning our focus to Namarari’s art, we might see this reserved figure more clearly. And despite their alluring colors and designs, these paintings retain their mystery, hinting at the spiritual world beyond the painted image. This exhibition sheds new light on this enigmatic and important artist as he moved from detailed figurative works through to grand abstractions. A quiet, reserved man, this exhibition places Namarari in his rightful place as contemporary master.

This exhibition is organized by the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of the University of Virginia.

Image: Mick Namarari Tjapaltjarri (Pintupi, 1926 – 1998), Ceremony at Tjilka, 1973, synthetic polymer paint on composition, 23 15/16 x 18 x 1/2 in., Gift of John W. Kluge, 1997, Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of the University of Virginia, 1996.0002.002.

On Display
Tuesday, May 21, 2024 to Sunday, January 12, 2025
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Thursday 11AM - 4PM
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