Ronnie Tjampitjinpa


Ronnie Tjampitjinpa
(around 1943, Tjiturrunya, Australia)

Ronnie Tjampitjinpa is one of the last active painters who were witnesses of the emergence of this pictorial movement. Even if he is often regarded as one of the most important Australian abstract painters, his work draws on the tradition. His paintings strike by their strength and their geometry. When he is painting, he concentrates his whole energy, his vision, his knowledge. The brush seems to move without obstacle and even his Water Dreaming - that looks so complex - is created skilfully. The artist tries to go as far as possible with his experimentation of stripping and austerity. 

Bush Fire Dreaming is only constituted by parallel lines. Not any figurative element appears, it is a symbolic painting ; especially as symbols linked to Tingari Cycles appear, these ones are the most sacred and most secret motifs of the Aboriginal iconography. The peregrination of Ancestors is symbolized by squares, interlocked one in the other. These motifs tell in a symbolic way the trips of Tingari Ancestors, who shaped the desert reliefs and brought life in it. Faint tint remind a bit of ochre tint of the desert and hills of Kintore, the community he is from. Labyrinths evoke then motifs of corporal paintings associated to the Water Dreaming, the other emblematic thematic of this insider seen as a rain ?creator?.

Extraordinary personality, Ronnie is initiated to the secrets of the Central Desert tribes. His paintings created at the beginning of the seventies don?t look like the one produced in the nineties.

Exhibitions selected

Collections :

Aboriginal Art Museum, Utrecht, Netherlands
Quai Branly Museum, Paris
Artbank, Sydney
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth
Campbelltown City art Gallery, Adelaïde
Donald Kahn Collection
Lowe art Museum, Miami
Gabrielle Pizzi collection, Melbourne
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
The Holmes a Court Collection, Perth
Museum and art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin

In 2015, a big retrospective was dedicated to him at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the most important Australian museum.