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. 


1989 - Mythscapes, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
1990 - I'ete Australien a Montpellier, Musee Fabre Gallery, Montpellier, France
1991, 1992 - Friendly Country, Friendly People, Touring Exhibition, Araluen Art Centre, Alice Springs
1993 - Aboriginal Art Exhibition
1999 - Exhibition with Ray James Tjangala, Melbourne
2002-2005 - Native Title Business - Contemporary Indigenous Art, a national travelling exhibition
2003 - Kintore Kiwirrkurra, Melbourne
2012 - dOKUMENTA (13), Kassel, Germany
2014 - Art Miami, Miami, USA
2015 - The Armory Show. New York, USA
2015 - Signs and Traces: Contemporary Aboriginal Art. Cultural institute Zamek. Poznan, Poland
2015 - Pérez Museum, Miami, USA
2016 - Art New York, New York, USA
2017 - Modern Master, SmithDavidson Gallery, Miami, USA



Artist's locations

view work by Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri

Tingari #1367

Tingari #2897

Tingari #2945

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