Major Exhibition of Australian Aboriginal Art to Tour US Museums

Janangoo Butcher Cherel Floodwater, 1993

Nine Aboriginal Australian artists are coming to the US as part of a five-museum tour beginning next year.

Taken from the collection of Miami-based collectors Dennis and Debra Scholl, “No Boundaries” will feature 75 paintings executed by Aboriginal artists between 1992 and 2012. Coinciding with Art Basel in Miami Beach 2015, the tour will include a stop at the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) and travel to four other cities, including a final stop at Cornell University’s Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art.

The artists each have been trained as Lawmen—a special kind of guide that assists in Aboriginal cultural ceremonies—and have used this knowledge of their own traditions to create a body of work that stands alongside that of their contemporaries in Europe and the US who are too frequently the focus of the art world’s attention and adoration.

“The artists all have a common thread,” Mr. Scholl said in a statement provided to artnet News, adding, “each had reached senior status in their communities and had become abstract painters who transcended the expectations of both the community and the art world.”

The exhibition will feature works by Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri, a member of the famed “Pintupi Nine,” whose paintings were included at dOCUMENTA (13) in 2012. Tjapaltjarri isn’t the only member of the group that has been recognized for his talent. While he says it’s important to understand the work in terms of regional history, the transcendent value of the paintings, many of which are being presented  for the first time in the US, will assert itself once given a broader audience, according to Scholl.

“These painters have gone far beyond the boundaries of their community, their ‘country,’” Scholl said, “and the very idea of their work as merely ethnographic. They are simply painters—some of the finest abstract painters this planet has ever seen.”

“No Boundaries” will open at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno on February 15, 2015 and runs through January 3, 2016.

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