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Major touring exhibition of Australian Aboriginal art debuts at Tulane's Newcomb Art Museum
Regina Pilawuk Wilson, Sun Mat (detail), 2015.

NEW ORLEANS, LA.- Tulane’s Newcomb Art Museum is presenting Marking the Infinite: Contemporary Women Artists from Aboriginal Australia, a landmark traveling exhibition of contemporary indigenous art. The show’s North American tour debuts with a four-month stay at Newcomb before continuing on to some of the most prestigious museums in the United States and Canada.

"It is an honor to share with the New Orleans community such a historically significant exhibition,” noted museum director Monica Ramirez-Montagut. “These nine Aboriginal women create contemporary work not only of exceptional visual beauty, but also art that embodyies the world’s oldest living cultural history.”

Hailing from remote areas across the island continent, the show’s artists are Regina Pilawuk Wilson, Angelina Pwerle, Carlene West, Gulumbu Yunupingu, Lena Yarinkura, Nonggirrnga Marawili, Nyapanyapa Yunupingu, Wintjiya Napaltjarri, and Yukultji Napangati. All but Gulumbu Yunupingu and Wintjiya Napaltjarri are still alive and practicing.

Their subject matter ranges from remote celestial bodies and indiginous flora to venerable crafts traditions and ceremonies. Steeped in ancient cultural practices, the works are specific to each artist. Yet they also speak to universal contemporary themes, with every mark invoking natural and cosmological cycles that bring perspective to the human condition.

The exhibition is drawn from the Miami-based Dennis and Debra Scholl collection, considered the most important private holding of Aboriginal Australian contemporary art in America. Reflecting on his initial interest in the work, Dennis observed, “I was struck by the relationships of the artists to their ancestral land, each other, and to their communities.” He later added, “Having found these artists so personally compelling, I wanted to help bring their work to audiences across North America.”

The show runs August 20 through December 30, with a public reception on Wednesday, September 7. The evening will commence with a talk by Dennis Scholl and exhibition curator Henry Skerritt from 6:30 to 7:30 in the Woldenberg Art Center’s Freeman Auditorium. The reception will immediately follow.

A major catalogue accompanies the exhibition and features essays by leading experts in the field, including renowned Aboriginal curators Hetti Perkins, Tina Baum, and Cara Pinchbeck, as well as anthropologists Howard Morphy and John Carty.

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