Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri

Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri
1958 (Kiwirkurra)

Country: Kiwirkurra
Nationality: Australian
Language group: Pintupi


Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri was born around 1958 east of Kiwirkurra in Western Australia. In 1984 the international headlines were filled with the ’discovery’ of the last group of Australian Aborigines who until the late 20th century had managed to retain their traditional lifestyle in complete isolation. These so-called ’last of the nomads’ or ‘lost tribe’ of nine Pintupi walked in from the bush west of Lake Owen that year and for the first time came into contact with western civilization. Six of these nine Aborigines became artists. From these six, Warlimpirrnga was the first who started painting after carefully observing other artists from the community at Kiwirkurra. Within three years, Warlimpirrnga transformed from a nomad with a traditional lifestyle into one of the leading artists from the Papunya Tula Artists corporation. In 1988, he held his first exhibition in Melbourne. Warlimpirrnga paints primarily in two styles, he makes extensive use of geometric shapes to depict the stories of the Tingari (ancestors), or he uses lines made up of carefully placed dots in his dreamings that depict holy Lake Mackay, a site of which he is one of the custodians. Warlimpirrnga uses the same dot technique as other Pintupi artists like his brothers, Walala and Thomas, but also George Tjungurrayi.


Hetti Perkins, Art + Soul, Miegunyah Press, 2011, p. 76;
Paul Toohey, 'The Last Nomads', The Bulletin, 4 May 2004, p.28-35;
Joan Winter, Native Title Business, Contemporary Indigenous Art (Catalogue), Keeira Press, Queensland, 2002;
P. Corbally Stourton, Songlines and dreamings: contemporary Australian aboriginal painting, Lund Humphries, 1996, p. 177;
Vivian Johnson, The Dictionary of Western Desert Artists, Craftsman House, East Roseville, New South Wales, 1994;
F. Dussart, La Peinture des Aborigines D'Australie, Editions Parentheses, Marseille, 1993;
S. Crossman and J-P. Barou, L'ete Australien a Montpellier: 100 Chefs d'Oevre de la Peinture Australienne, Musee Fabre, Montpellier, France, 1990;
J. Ryan, Mythscapes Aboriginal Art of the Desert from the National Gallery of Victoria, exhib. cat., National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 1989. 


2019 Art New York, SmithDavidson Gallery, Miami, USA

2018 EXPO Chicago, SmithDavidson Gallery, Chicago, USA

2017 Modern Masters, SmithDavidson Gallery, Miami, USA

2016 Art New York, New York, USA

2015 Pérez Museum, Miami, USA

2015 Signs and Traces: Contemporary Aboriginal Art. Cultural institute Zamek. Poznan, Poland
2015 The Armory Show. New York, USA
2014 Art Miami, Miami, USA
2012 dOKUMENTA (13), Fridericianum Museum, Kassel, Germany
2009 Scott Livesey Galleries, Melbourne
2003 Kintore Kiwirrkurra, Melbourne
2002-2005 Native Title Business - Contemporary Indigenous Art, a national travelling exhibition
1999 Exhibition with Ray James Tjangala, Gabrielle Pizzi Gallery, Melbourne
1993 Aboriginal Art Exhibition, Kung Gubunga, Oasis Gallery, Broadbeach (Queensland)
1991-1992 Friendly Country, Friendly People, Touring Exhibition, Araluen Art Centre, Alice Springs
1990 I'Ete Australien à Montpellier, Musée Fabre Gallery, Montpellier, France
1989 Mythscapes, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

Artist's locations

view work by Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri

Maruwa 2018

Tingari #1367

Tingari #2945

Wilikinkara 2017

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