Selected for last years Wynne Prize at the Art Gallery of NSW, and with work already held in many State gallery collections, and at the National Gallery of Australia, this is surprisingly the first time Yukultji Napangati has exhibited as a solo artist. A member of the Papunya Tula artist cooperative and the Pintupi language group, Napangati’s family (people of the so-called ‘lost tribe’) lived a nomadic life in the western deserts of central Australia during her childhood.
At the studio in Kiwirrkura, north west of Alice Springs, where she now works Napangati once painted alongside Doreen Reid Nakamarra. While some similarity in styles between their work is evident, Napangati is also very much an individual artist. Using a palette of mainly ochre shades or white on red or black backgrounds, the lines of Napagati’s aerial landscapes can be observed rolling like a smooth wave across the surface. In other works her pulsing fine-lined compositions are interrupted by a motif, or alternatively disturbed by an imperfect circular section of lines advancing in the opposite direction. The effect is felt as a vividly charged energy force on canvas.
On selecting her Untitled winning picture for the 2012 Alice Prize, Judge and Director of the Art Gallery of South Australia, Nick Mitzevich, said, “The shimmer and optical brilliance of Yukultji Napangati’s painting seduces us – it invites us into country – into a rich, complex and multi dimensional experience.”
Until June 21
Utopia Art Sydney, Waterloo
Pic: Yukultji Napangati, Untitled 2012, acrylic on linen, 91 x 61cm. Courtesy the artist and Utopia Art Sydney.