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Unpredictable, quirky, innovative and quite varied – some of the adjectives to describe the latest Icons of the Desert: Early Aboriginal Paintings from Papunya exhibition at NYU’s Grey gallery. I would also add dreamy, hypnotic and spiritual to the list

In 1971, schoolteacher Geoffrey Bardon provided a select group of men in Papunya, a community 160 miles west of Alice Springs in Australia, with acrylics and boards. Before these boards were made available, most artistic renderings had been in the fleeting form of body decoration, ceremonial objects and temporary ground paintings.

The new pieces established an artistic permanence as well as a striking new visual language, featuring dream motifs, ceremony, storytelling, song and the ancient tradition of mark making that dates back more than 10,000 years.

These Papunya boards, of which fewer than 600 remain, formed the genesis of the Western Desert Art Movement. Approximately fifty of these exhilarating pieces are on exhibit by notables such as Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, Shorty Lungkarta Tjungurrayi, Johnny Warangkula, and Mick Namararri Tjapaltjarri.

I urge you to go and experience the sweat, tears and love that has been poured into each individual piece. The intensity is real, the vitality is powerful. Do not miss this one-of-a-kind exhibit which runs through December 5th.

To view the ArtistsinAuction website click here.

Rainbow and WaterWomen-s-Dreaming-Abo-4e5fbd6b8aeaWater-Dreaming-1972--4b1690c85ccdCeremonial-Story-for-4906b5de1742Big-Cave-Dreaming-wi-46589eb65948An-untitled-1973-wor-4b0d90687c22-4af8a4d5dde0Medicine-Story-1971--4447a52c1646

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