No Boundaries: Aboriginal Australian Contemporary Abstract Painting

No Boundaries: Aboriginal Australian Contemporary Abstract Painting

January 18 - May 15, 2016

The rise of the Aboriginal Australian art movement in the early 1970s ushered in an artistic revolution. As the twenty-first century approached, Aboriginal artists across the continent began transforming their traditional iconographies into more abstract styles of art making. Speaking across cultures, without sacrificing their distinctive identities, they found new ways to express the power of the ancestral narratives of the Dreaming.

Drawn from the collection of Debra and Dennis Scholl, No Boundaries features the work of nine trailblazing artists who were at the forefront of the movement. Each one was a respected senior Lawman, knowledgeable in every aspect of Aboriginal ceremonial traditions. Inspired by these ancient cultural practices, they forged one of the most dynamic painting movements of recent times.

By exploring the cross-cultural potential of abstract painting, they drew attention to the entangled networks that define the contemporary experience, reminding us that contemporary art comes from every corner of the globe. The art and life of each artist is given in-depth analysis by leading art historians, curators, critics, and anthropologists. The essays shed light on the rich and complex histories behind the artworks, placing them in the context of traditional Indigenous culture, the environment, colonial experience, and the global contemporary art world. In doing so, they reveal nine artists working at the vanguard of contemporary art practice.

book-tourThis exhibit is free with museum admission. No Boundaries: Aboriginal Australian Contemporary Abstract Painting originated at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno, Nevada and was organized by William Fox, Director, Center for Art and Environment, and scholar Henry Skerritt. The exhibition is drawn from the collection of Debra and Dennis Scholl.


(photo credits from left to right)

Tommy Mitchell 
| Ngaanyatjarra. Born c.1943. Died 2013. | Warlpapuka, 2009 | © Tommy Mitchell estate, courtesy of Warakurna Artists.

Paddy Bedford | Gija. Born c.1922. Died 2007.  | Untitled, 2005 | © Paddy Bedford estate, courtesy William Mora Galleries, Melbourne.

Ngarra  | Andayin. Born c.1920. Died 2008. | Yalyalji and Malngirri, 2007 | © Ngarra estate, courtesy Mossenson Galleries, Perth.

Boxer Milner Tjampitjin  | Jaru. Born c. 1935. Died 2009 | Oolaign, 2000 | @2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VISCOPY, Australia