Untitled (Water Dreaming at Tjikari) bears artist's name and date on the reverse enamel and synthetic polymer paint on composition board 38 x 50cm
PROVENANCE: Painted in 1971 Purchased by the original vendor in Alice Springs in 1971 Sotheby's, Fine Contemporary Aboriginal Art, Melbourne, 28 November 1995, lot 617 Ebes Collection, Melbourne
Cf. For a stylistically similar example see Untitled (Bungalung Old Man's Fire Story, 1972 in G. Bardon and J. Bardon, Papunya, A Place Made After the Story: The Beginnings of the Western Desert Painting Movement, Melbourne: The Miegunyah Press, 2004, ptg.154, p.239. For a closely related painting in the collection of the Australian Museum see M.A. O'Ferrall et al, Crossroads Towards a New Reality: Aboriginal Art from Australia, Kyoto: The National Museum of Modern Art, 1992, p.83. This example is also related to a Wild Potato Story, 1971 exhibited in Wailbri Pintubi, Art Gallery 67, Festival of Perth, March 1973.
This early experimental work, executed in enamel paint, is no longer accompanied by its original documentation. Nonetheless, the painting bears a number of features that are attributable to Warangkula: the loose meandering lines in the upper register and the incipient 'covering over' of the roundels is a precursor of Warangkula's later mastery of the technique of masking graphic symbols beneath layers of dots and stippling. The motif of roughly parallel meanders joined by verticals is characteristic of a number of Warangkula's paintings, where the design usually refers to rocks or caves, as in Old Man's 'Mala' Wallaby Dreaming, 1972, illustrated in Bardon, G. and J. Bardon, Papunya, A Place Made After the Story: The Beginnings of the Western Desert Painting Movement, Melbourne: The Miegunyah Press, 2004, painting 203, p.273. In the painting Bushfire Dreaming, 1971-2, in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia, a similar design refers to a burned landscape (see Bardon and Bardon 2004, painting 154, p.239, and Ryan, J, J. Kean et al, Tjukurrtjanu: Origins of Western Desert art, Melbourne: National Gallery of Victoria, 2011, p.265).
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