Painting Now

Papunya Tula Artists

6 - 27 July 2013

exhibition essay

PAINTING NOW: PAPUNYA TULA ARTISTS

Christopher Hodges

As you walk in the front door of the Art Gallery of New South Wales today, paintings by Papunya Tula Artists greet you, hanging beside their peers from across Australia and the world. This is a far cry from 1988, when indigenous art was consigned to the basement and formed a very separate and minor part in the story of Australian art.

Utopia Art Sydney is celebrating its 25th year of representing Papunya Tula Artists with an exhibition that demonstrates the continuing strength of some of Australia’s leading painters today.

Rather than looking back, we are looking forward optimistically. Too often people view aboriginal art as an historical artefact, but these artists have been painting in a contemporary context for forty years now, and these vital images we see today are as exciting as the works I first saw in 1988. Certainly some of the senior artists have passed on but new and exciting artists have continuously emerged under the supportive community values of the artists’ own company, Papunya Tula Artists.

PAINTING NOW: PAPUNYA TULA ARTISTS

Christopher Hodges

As you walk in the front door of the Art Gallery of New South Wales today, paintings by Papunya Tula Artists greet you, hanging beside their peers from across Australia and the world. This is a far cry from 1988, when indigenous art was consigned to the basement and formed a very separate and minor part in the story of Australian art.

Utopia Art Sydney is celebrating its 25th year of representing Papunya Tula Artists with an exhibition that demonstrates the continuing strength of some of Australia’s leading painters today.

Rather than looking back, we are looking forward optimistically. Too often people view aboriginal art as an historical artefact, but these artists have been painting in a contemporary context for forty years now, and these vital images we see today are as exciting as the works I first saw in 1988. Certainly some of the senior artists have passed on but new and exciting artists have continuously emerged under the supportive community values of the artists’ own company, Papunya Tula Artists.