GAGOSIAN QUARTERLY TALKS "DESERT PAINTERS OF AUSTRALIA" + ACTOR STEVE MARTIN (LINKS)
Ten acclaimed Indigenous Australian desert painters have just been exhibited in a major gallery in New York City and all but one of the artworks come from the personal collection of Hollywood actor Steve Martin. The prestigious Gagosian Gallery centres on the work of Western Desert artists. Works by acclaimed painters Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri, Yukultji Napangati, Ronnie Tjampitjinpa, Makinti Napanangka, Naata Nungurrayi, Willy Tjungurrayi and George Tjungurrayi are included in the exhibition at Madison Avenue’s Gagosian, which is at the forefront of the global commercial art market.
The world's most influential art dealer, Larry Gagosian, will show the paintings in his Madison Avenue gallery and it could be a game-changer for the fragile Indigenous art sector. Martin is a dedicated art collector. He's curated exhibitions and has been collecting art by trailblazers like Andy Warhol, Edward Hopper and David Hockney for more than four decades.
Four years ago, he read a New York Times article about an exhibition of Western Desert painter Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri's artworks on display in New York and by the end of that day he'd acquired one for his home.
"I'd truly never seen anything like it before. I still have it hanging in the house," Martin said in an exclusive interview with the ABC.
"I didn't realise it was part of a movement, a group, and then later I started seeing Indigenous pictures.
"People would tweet them and I got really interested in it and I just started searching and thought I really should wise up about this."
Martin's exploration of Indigenous art led him to acquire pictures by other Western Desert painters.