Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri

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.


2021-2022 ‘Irrititja Kuwarri Tjungu (Past & Present Together): 50 years of Papunya Tula Artists’, Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, USA

Papunya 50 Years, 1971 - 2021, SmithDavidson Gallery Amsterdam, October 27 - December 12, 2021

2021 ‘Aboriginalisties’, Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels, Belgium
2020 ‘ORIGINS, Australian Aboriginal Art from the SmithDavidson Collection’, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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.’ Zamek Cultural Centre, 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, Australia
2003 Kintore Kiwirrkurra, Melbourne, Australia
2002-2005 Native Title Business - Contemporary Indigenous Art, a national travelling exhibition
1999 Exhibition with Ray James Tjangala, Gabrielle Pizzi Gallery, Melbourne, Australia
1993 Aboriginal Art Exhibition, Kung Gubunga, Oasis Gallery, Broadbeach, Australia
1991-1992 Friendly Country, Friendly People, Touring Exhibition, Araluen Art Centre, Alice Springs, Australia
1990 ‘I'Ete Australien à Montpellier’, Musée Fabre Gallery, Montpellier, France
1989 ‘Mythscapes’, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

Born in Kiwirkurra on November 30th, 1957

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