Kaapa Mbitjana Tjampitjinpa (born circa 1920-1989)
Dancing Ceremonial Men bears the date 26 September 1972 together with the number 37 on the reverse (obscured by frame) synthetic polymer powder paint on composition board 76 x 6.7cm
PROVENANCE: Painted in 1972 Stuart Art Centre, Alice Springs Private collection Centre for Aboriginal Craftsman, Alice Springs Private collection (acquired from the above in 1979) Sotheby's, Important Aboriginal Art, Melbourne, 29 June 1998, lot 44 (as Artist Unknown) Private collection
LITERATURE: Geoffrey Bardon and James Bardon, Papunya, A Place Made After the Story: The Beginnings of the Western Desert Painting Movement, Melbourne: The Miegunyah Press, 2004, ptg.135, p.224
In his final publication on the Western Desert Art Movement, Papunya - A Place Made After the Story, Geoffrey Bardon positively identifies this simple yet elegant early painting as being by Kaapa Tjampitjinpa, and gives it the title of Dancing Ceremonial Men. He remarks with regard to the iconography, "The ritual men form a unit with a travelling line apparently followed by other ritual men, with a varied 'U' configuration possibly as a dancing motif. This simple formulation of repeated yet varied 'U' motifs partly separated with the top grouping and linked by a strong straight line should be compared with another earlier Honey Ant Traveling Dreaming (ibid. Ptg.111 p.207), painted in 1971 by Kaapa Tjampitjinpa .