Exhibition presents Australian Aboriginal art From the SmithDavidson Collection

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Thursday, June 13, 2024


Exhibition presents Australian Aboriginal art From the SmithDavidson Collection
Origins installation view, Courtesy SmithDavidson Gallery.



AMSTERDAM.- Origins brings the 'crème de la crème’ of Australian Aboriginal Art to Amsterdam.

With major shows in New York, Miami, Austin and Los Angeles, Australian Aboriginal Art has seen a massive surge in interest over the past year alone.

The quality and scope of this exhibition, which includes a selection from the SmithDavidson Collection, is unique for any Australian Aboriginal Art show and has rarely been seen in any previous exhibition in Europe.

Starting as collectors in Contemporary Australian Aboriginal Art in 2006/2007, in the past decade David Smith & Gabriëlle Davidson have become prominent experts in Australian Aboriginal Art and have also established SmithDavidson Gallery internationally as one of the major dealers in this unique art movement. They have brought the works to the public via curated gallery exhibitions, museum exhibitions, including Signs & Traces in Poland in 2015, and pre-eminent art fairs, such as TEFAF Maastricht, Art Miami, Zona Maco Mexico City & EXPO Chicago.

Building slowly but steadily since the art movement's humble origins in the settlement of Papunya in 1971, the current international appeal of Contemporary Australian Aboriginal Art can be illustrated by the retrospective of the works by Emily Kame Kngwarreye (1910 - 1996) in Japan in 2008, traveling from The National Museum of Art in Osaka to The National Art Center in Tokyo. Her work ‘Earth's Creation’ was also featured prominently in the central pavilion of the 56th Biennale di Venezia in 2015. The international acclaim of Naata Nungurrayi (born ca. 1936), George Tjungurrayi (born ca. 1946) and Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri (born ca. 1958) has risen steeply in recent years; after first being shown at Dokumenta 13 curators brought the works of Warlimpirrnga to exhibitions in New York and the PAMM in Miami in 2016.
There is growing interest by private collectors as well, such as the long standing collections of Colin & Elizabeth Laverty, and Thomas Vroom and also by American collectors such as Debra & Dennis Scholl and actor Steve Martin & Anne Stringfield.

Inspired by a cultural tradition that goes back at least 40,000 years, Australian Aboriginal Art as a recognized art movement is less than 40 years old. The ancient visual traditions of the indigenous peoples, by painting on bodies, in the sand and on rocks, originally solely served a ceremonial and religious purpose. It was only in 1971, when the first group started to put these images on board in the settlement of Papunya in Western Australia, that this tradition became art. Thereby creating Australian Aboriginal Art as both a vital expression of the world’s oldest continuous cultural tradition and as a remarkable contemporary art movement.

SmithDavidson Gallery presents over 20 works in this exhibition, which includes 6 recent works from Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri, the current powerhouse of Australian Aboriginal Art, and the pre-eminent member of the Pintupi Nine, the last group of Indigenous people ever to walk out of the Australian desert and to be introduced to Western society as late as 1984.

ORIGINS gives an in-depth overview of the contemporary Australian Aboriginal Art movement as it shows works from the past 25 years, from different and distinct regions, and different artists, both male and female, all with their unique and individual heritage and visual language.










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