Press Release: Australian Contemporary Indigenous Art II

Contact: John Addison, 505-992-0711                                              June 23, 2012



Australian Contemporary Indigenous Art II   

July 13 – September 8, 2012

Opening Reception: Friday, July 13, 5-7:30


Chiaroscuro Contemporary Art, in association with Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne, Australia is pleased to present Australian Contemporary Indigenous Art II. Building upon the successful reception of our initial joint exhibition in 2010, Part II focuses on the trajectory of three pivotal master Indigenous artists Djambawa Marawili, Dorothy Napangardi and Jean Baptiste Apuatimi side by side with the voices of the next generation, such as Tjungu Playa artists Teresa and Kaye Baker, Ginger Wikilyiri and Anyupa Stevens.

This exhibition explores a diversity of artistic production displayed by this distinguished group of painters. The radiant flowing color of Djambawa Marawili’s bark paintings and the elemental power of Dorothy Napangardi’s intricate repetitive patterned acrylics on canvas, compliment Jean Baptiste Apuatimi’s ancestral narrative abstractions and the Tjungu Playa artists’ vibrant colorful reworking of traditional symbolism. Co-curator Vivien Anderson explains:

“If we compare this exhibition to Chiaroscuro’s Australian Contemporary Indigenous Art Now in 2010, you could say it refines the presence of the individual as artist contrasted with the collective or school of artists. Even within the Tjungu Palya artists, there is a clear ascension of masterly aptitude in the compositions of Teresa and Kay Baker, relative newcomers to art practice. Their work is loaded with articulate imagery, born of a generation that has walked in two worlds, living and practicing Anangu culture on their own country, whilst interacting with the modern world of education, finance, communication, and technology day to day as they raise their own families. The uncompromising command of Jean Baptiste Apuatimi’s mark making in ochre propels her as a Culture Warrior, passionate about her Tiwi culture. Djambawa Marawili simply inspires a sense of awe in the poetic sweep of his narrative paintings on bark. And Dorothy Napangardi’s abstract masterpieces condense the physical environment of the sacred salt lake Kirrwirrkura (Lake Mackay) and merge it with the mystical elements of the Karnta Kurlangu Jukurrpa or Women’s Dreaming”

In 2010, on the occasion of the first joint exhibition, artist Gali Yalkarriwuy Gurruwiwi from Elcho Island, North East Arnhem Land performed the Banumbirr – Morning Star Dance as he and the other indigenous Australian artists who traveled to Santa Fe were received by a community of indigenous American artists from this region. Although far from Australia, Gali observed that he could feel the heartbeat of his ancestral lands radiating through the New Mexico high desert, through the people and into the artwork. There was a profound connection made between the indigenous cultures from two continents, and it is this connection that we bring alive again in the 2012 exhibition by welcoming these five modern masters to Chiaroscuro Contemporary Art.

To demonstrate the scope of the exhibition, below is a list of artists, number of pieces presented and medium.

Please contact gallery for press images and more information on each artist.

Jean Baptiste Apuatimi – Earth pigments on canvas, 10 paintings

Djambawa Marawili – Earth pigments on bark, 10 bark paintings

Dorothy Napangardi – Synthetic polymer paint on canvas (acrylics), 11 paintings

Tjungu Palya GroupAll synthetic polymer paint on canvas (acrylics), 5 paintings

The Tjungu Palya Group consists of: Kay Baker, Teresa Baker, Anyupa Stevens, and the Watarru Collaborative

*Illustrated catalog available upon request.


Australian Contemporary Indigenous Art II   

July 13 – September 8, 2012

Opening Reception: Friday, July 13, 5-7:30  


Location: Chiaroscuro’s Main Space, 702 ½ Canyon Road on Gypsy Alley, Santa Fe, NM 87501, 505-992-0711

High resolution photographs available; call Heather Doyle at 505-992-0711 or email