Geometric shapes defined by densely brushed dots fill this canvas by the contemporary Australian Aboriginal artist Yala Yala Gibbs Tjungurrayi. Part of an artistic movement that began in the early 1970s with the Pintupi clan, of which he is a member, Tjungurrayi adopted the format of painting on canvas to depict what might be considered a cosmological landscape that encompasses the past, present, and future. The serpents relate to ancestors who created the waterholes, indicated by concentric circles, at a specific desert, with the background patterns representing its sand hills. These symbols are drawn from centuries-old cultural traditions of Australian indigenous peoples—including stories of creation, legends of ancestors, and daily customs—that are passed down orally or through ephemeral sand paintings.
Acrylic on canvas
Upper right verso: "Yala Yala" ; also inscribed verso: "P.T.A. - YY871103"
"P.T.A." stands for Papunya Tula Artists, an artist cooperative with whom this artist was active. “YY871103” identifies Yala Yala as the artist, 87 as the year made, and 1103 as the particular piece.
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Purchased with funds given by AustArt
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Yala Yala Gibbs Tjungurrayi (Australian, 1925-1998). Untitled, 1987. Acrylic on canvas, 72 x 48 in. (182.9 x 121.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased with funds given by AustArt, 88.35. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 88.35.jpg)
overall, 88.35.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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