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Manta Irititjangku, Ngura Kutjupalakutu: Ancient Land, New Territory

Gallery Nine5
24 Spring Street, 212-965-9995
May 31 - June 28, 2012
Web Site

Nearly 30 bold and colorful paintings of contemporary Aboriginal Australian artwork will be exhibited for the first time in North America at gallery nine5 in New York City starting May 31, 2012. In collaboration with Ninuku Arts and Harvey Art Projects, gallery nine5 celebrates the unique work of the men and women of the remote western APY Lands in the South Australian Desert.

gallery nine5 intends to open doors to contemporary Aboriginal artwork to New York City art collectors, and the international community at large. This is the largest exhibit that the artists of the Ninuku Arts Center have produced for a single show. The growing popularity of Aboriginal Art marks a turning point in Aboriginal and Western relations. Preserving an ancestral tradition of 30,000 years, indigenous art was comprised of natural media such as leaves wood, rock and sand. Only in the last 40 years has painting on canvas been incorporated into popular practice. This exhibition features prominent artists in the movement, as well as emerging figures.

To the Western eye, the pieces are similar in aesthetic to Abstract Expressionism. The work is simultaneously innovative, but inherently related to tradition. The artists use contemporary materials like canvas and acrylic in their creations, but the abstractions rely on stories passed down through generations and draw inspiration from the vibrant colors of the Australian landscape. The works on view display the beliefs and practices of the Dreaming or Tjukurrpa, the ancestral stories of the land from which Indigenous people draw physical and spiritual strength.

The members of the Ninuku Arts Center hail from the Pipalyatjara and Kalka communities, among the most secluded regions in the South Australian Desert. For the past few years the APY Lands Art Centers have been attracting attention and Australian collectors are directing their interests towards this district of the country.

This presentation is made possible through the generosity of the Government of South Australia and the Australian Government National Arts and Crafts Industry Support.

Ninuku Arts is a unique emerging art center based in a small and peaceful community known as Kalka in the western APY (Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara) Lands in the South Australian desert. The art center represents artists from the Pipalyatjara and Kalka communities.

Harvey Art Projects has initiated numerous shows spanning the US with some of the most reputable Art Centers in Australia such as Papunya Tula Artists, Bidyadanga Artists and Warlayirti Artists, and now Ninuku Arts. As the exclusive representative of Papunya Tula Artists in the United States, Harvey Art Projects has enjoyed a number of successful American exhibits in recent years.

gallery nine5 is a vital space for groundbreaking, established artists to exhibit their work in the epicenter of the art world. Committed to the exploration of contemporary art, the gallery stages exhibitions that examine the work of a distinct array of international artists. gallery nine5 has championed indigenous Australian art since 2009, when it presented Contemporary Aboriginal Paintings, featuring works by Papunya Tula artists including Lorna Brown Napanangka, and Walangkura Napanangka.
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