Dorothy Napangardi

Artwork

Artist Biography

Dorothy Napangardi (c.1950-2013) was the master of movement. Her dotted representations of the landscape around her country are truly captivating and have made her one of the most well-known Australian Aboriginal artists. Dorothy had great success both in Australia and overseas, and some of her many achievements include winning the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award in 2001, a retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in 2003 and being included in the Sydney Biennale in 2012.

Dorothy was born in the early 1950s and her country is Mina Mina, which is about 400km North West of Alice Springs. Mina Mina is the site of an important rock hole and there are many Dreaming stories associated with this country. Dorothy was one of around 3,000 Warlpiri speakers who lived in or are originally from the Tanami Desert region of Central Australia.

Whilst Dorothy had little ‘formal’ schooling, she was well versed in the Jukurrpa (Dreaming) narratives and has a deep knowledge of her country. Her father was also a senior law-giver. Dorothy grew up ‘bush’ with no exposure to white man until her family moved to the Yuendumu settlement.

In 1987 Dorothy began painting and soon found a highly original voice and style. Her work revolves around dotted representations of the landscape around Mina Mina. They explore different and intricate representations of its salt pans and sand hills. Whilst Dorothy does sometimes use colour, it tends to be only in a subtle and minimalistic manner. Her art concentrates on movement to capture the viewer. Christine Nicholls, a well-known curator and writer has stated that Dorothy Napangardi’s success as an artist lies in her ability to evoke a strong sense of movement on her canvases. Nicholls explains that she achieves this effect because of her remarkable spatial sense and compositional ability.

Dorothy has had numerous solo and group exhibitions both in Australia and overseas. Her art is in the collections of several museums, including the National Gallery of Australia, the Linden-Musum in Stuttgart Germany, The Kelton Foundation in Santa Monica USA, The Vroom Collection in the Nertherlands and The The LeWitt Collection in Connecticut, USA.

 

*Please note, images above are for reference only

Artist Exhibitions

Selected Exhibitions:

2012
‘Ancestral Modern’, Seattle Art Museum Seattle, USA
‘All Our Relations’, Biennale of Sydney, MCA Sydney NSW

2011
‘Almanac: The Gift of Ann Lewis AO’ MCA toruing exhibition
‘Wet Paint’ Flinders Lane Gallery Melbourne VIC

2010 ‘All is Calm’ Fireworks Gallery Brisbane QLD
2009 ‘Sculpture and works on paper’ Fire-Works Gallery Brisbane QLD

2008
Black & White: Inspired by Landscapes, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney NSW
‘From the Air’ Fire-Works Gallery Brisbane QLD

2007
‘Divas of the Desert’ Gallery Gondwana Sydney & Alice Springs
‘Country in Mind: Dorothy Napangardi’ Fire-Works Gallery Brisbane QLD

2006 ‘Karnta-kurlangu Jukurrpa’, Gallery Gondwana, Sydney NSW
2005 Dorothy Napangardi Hosfelt Gallery San Francisco USA
2004 ‘Dorothy Napangardi’, Gallery Gondwana, Sydney NSW

2003
‘Collectors Show’, Gallery Gondwana at The Depot Gallery, Sydney NSW
‘Dancing Up Country; the work of Dorothy Napangardi’. Asia Tour. Asialink in partnership with the Museum of Contemporary Art tour to Vietnam Fine Art Museum in Hanoi and the National Art Gallery, Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur
2002-2003 ‘Dancing up Country: the work of Dorothy Napangardi’, Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA)- Level 4 Galleries 140 George Street The Rocks Sydney NSW
2003 Dorothy Napangardi New Paintings Flinders Lane Gallery, Melbourne VIC

2002
‘One Mother’, Dorothy Napangardi and Sabrina Nangala, Gallery Gondwana, Alice Springs NT
‘Native Title Business – Contemporary Indigenous Art ‘National Travelling Exhibition, Gurang Land Council (Aboriginal Corporation), QLD
Indecorous Abstraction – Contemporary Women Painters, Light Sq. Gallery AIT ARTS Adelaide SA
Melbourne ArtFair 2002, Melbourne VIC
2002-03 ‘Dancing Up Country; the work of Dorothy Napangardi’ – Museum of Contemporary Art, MCA, Sydney NSW
2002 ‘Kana-kurlangu’ Dorothy Napangardi – Gallery Gondwana at The Depot Gallery, Sydney NSW

2001
‘alice.fitzroy@af’, Alliance Francaise de Canberra and French Embassy, A.C.T.
‘Country After Rain’, Framed Gallery – The Darwin Gallery, Darwin NT
‘Dreamtime – The Light and the Dark’, Sammlung Essl, Vienna, Austria
‘Mina Mina’, Solo, Gallery Gondwana, Alice Springs NT
’18th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Award’, Darwin NT
‘Masterwork’, Viveien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne VIC
‘Dorothy Napanagardi, New Paintings’, Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne VIC

2000
‘Dorothy Napangardi and Walala Tjapaltjarri, Adelaide Festival, Gallery Australis, SA
‘Dorothy Napangardi’, Hogarth Gallery, Sydney NSW
‘Fifth National Indigenous Heritage Art Award’, Australian Heritage Commission, Canberra ACT
2000-01 ‘The Art of Place Exhibition’, Australian Heritage Commission, Old Parliament House, Canberra ACT
‘Songlines: Walala Tjapaltjarri & Dorothy Napangardi’, Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London
’17th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award’, Darwin NT
‘Melbourne ArtFair 2000’, Melbourne VIC
Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne VIC

1999
‘Treading Softly’, Chapman Gallery, Canberra ACT
‘Painting the Desert’, Alliance Francaise de Canberra and French Embassy, Canberra ACT
‘Recent works by Dorothy Napangardi and Walala Tjapaltjarri’, Vivian Anderson Gallery, Melbourne VIC
‘Recent works by Dorothy Napangardi’, Chapman Gallery, ACT
’16th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Award’, Darwin NT
‘The Redlands Westpac Art Prize’, Mosman Art Gallery, Sydney NSW
‘My Country – Journey of our Ancestors’, Ancient Earth Indigenous Art, Cairns QLD

1998
‘Warlpiri Women’ , Gallery Gondwana, Alice Springs NT
‘Napangardi Dreaming – Ceremony and Song’, Hogarth Gallery, Sydney NSW
N.T. Art Award, Alice Springs NT
’15th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award’, Australia

1991 ‘8th National Aboriginal Art Award’, Darwin NT

Sign up for more information on Dorothy Napangardi

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.