Several representatives from Papunya Tula Artists will travel to the United States in early February for Icons of the Desert: Early Aboriginal Paintings from Papunya. This important exhibition features seminal works drawn from the collection of John and Barbara Wilkerson, most dating back to the earliest years of painting at Papunya, 1971-1972.
Bobby West Tjupurrula, Ray James Tjangala and Joseph Jurra Tjapaltjarri will be accompanied by Manager of Papunya Tula Artists, Paul Sweeney, and artists assistant, Luke Scholes. Here the men from Kiwirrkura will create a traditional ground painting using materials collected from the region surrounding Kiwirrkura late last year. They will also take part in a symposium, â??Papunya Then and Now”.
The collection includes important works by such great names in the history of late twentieth-century Australian art as Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, Kaapa Mbitjana Tjampitjinpa, Tim Leura Tjapaltjarri, Uta Uta Tjangala, Charlie Tarawa (Tjaruru) Tjungurrayi, and Shorty Lungkarta Tjungurrayi, and many others. The exhibitionâ??s centerpiece is Johnny Warangkula Tjupurrulaâ??s staggering Water Dreaming at Kalipinypa of 1972, whose visual intricacy has been likened to a page in a medieval illumination manuscript.
On Saturday, February 14, the Johnson will host a symposium, â??Papunya Then and Now,â?? featuring presentations by Roger Benjamin; Fred Myers of New York University; Vivien Johnson and Jennifer Biddle, both of the University of New South Wales; Paul Sweeney, manager of Papunya Tula Artists in Alice Springs; and Bobby West Tjupurrula, artist and son of first-generation Papunya artist Freddy West Tjakamarra. A talk with the artists who created the â??ground workâ?? will be open to the public at 3:00 p.m.
January 10â??April 5, 2009.