Pintupi language. Born c.1958.
In 1984, Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri walked out of the desert and into the contemporary art world. Born around 1958, on a hillside near Lake Mackay, he lived nomadically with his family in the remote western desert. It was not until 1984 that his family first came into contact with the outside world, making international headlines as the “Lost Tribe” of the Pintupi. Three years later, after settling at the community of Kiwirrkurra, he approached Daphne Williams of the community arts center Papunya Tula Artists, with his desire to paint. Under the tuition of established artists in the community, he completed his first painting in April 1987. His first 11 works were exhibited in Melbourne at Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi in 1988, the entire group being acquired by the National Gallery of Victoria. Despite his relative youth, Warlimpirrnga’s upbringing made him a formidable repository of ancient knowledge; he quickly assumed a position of authority within the Pintupi, admired for his prodigious knowledge of healing, law and ceremony. Steeped in the arcane mythology of the Tingari ancestors, Warlimpirrnga was part of a small group of artists that pioneered the stark, linear style that has become synonymous with Pintupi painting at Kiwirrkura. Swirling lines of dots create a pulsating field of optical intensity. Shimmering like a mirage, they evoke the shifting movement of desert sands, while hovering between the canvas and the eye in a powerful metaphor for the energy fields of the Dreaming that run through all things. Warlimpirrnga is represented in most major collections in Australia, including the National Gallery of Australia, Art Gallery of New South Wales and National Gallery of Victoria. In 2OO8 he was featured in the Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, and in 2O12 he was included in dOCUMENTA 13 in Kassel, Germany.