The vibrant paintings of George Tjungurrayi return to Utopia Art Sydney, the gallery of his first solo exhibition in 1997. Vibrancy is testament to Tjungurrayi’s mastery of colour, tone and contrast and the effects of subtly varying those values to create optical interest.
Born in the early 1940s in the desert near Kiwirrkura, Tjungurrayi walked in to Papunya settlement as a young man and commenced painting for Papunya Tula Artists in 1976. In the early years his mentors were the senior painting men Uta Uta Tjangala, Mick Namarari Tjapaltjarri, Yala Yala Gibbs and his peers were Turkey Tolson Tjupurrula and Ronnie Tjampitjinpa. By the early 1990s he had developed his own style, discarding the usual strings of dots and replacing them with lines.
Today his pared down forms are of the interlocking squares of Tingari ancestors, the wavy lines of water or the vibrations of a spear travelling through space, all reduced to a field of linear pattern that shimmer, shift and sometimes dance! George Tjungurrayi paintings invite enthusiasm.
Tjungurrayi was a Highly Commended Finalist in the Telstra Award last year and again this year. His current Highly Commended painting hangs in the 28th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin until 30 October 2011 with his fellow Papunya Tula Artists Bobby West Tjupurrula, Johnny Yungut Tjupurrula, Kawayi Nampitjinpa, Wintjiya Napaltjarri and Yukultji Napangati.
George Tjungurrayi first exhibited in 1990 and has since had paintings in over one hundred group shows. His work is held in twelve public collections at home and abroad. He was named among the Top 50 of Australia’s Most Collectable Artists by Australian Art Collector magazine in 2003. Of his previous solo exhibitions his paintings demonstrate an afinitey for the walls of Utopia Art Sydney. Papunya Tula Artists Pty Ltd now look forward to his fourth solo exhibition ‘Space and Place’ at their representative gallery in Sydney.
This George Tjungurrayi solo exhibition runs from 24 September to 22 October 2011. More at: www.utopiaartsydney.com.au