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14 Mar 2018

Indigenous Australia: Masterworks from the National Gallery of Australia

me Collectors Room Berlin

Reviewed by Vera Wilde

Warm dots swim in waves of red and peach, orange, and green, giving off the soft yet polished impression of a pointillist hillside, but never coalescing into forms (Poly Ngal, Bush Plum Country, 2002). White circles flow across a brown background, busy but meditative (Anatjari No. 1 Tjampitjinpa, Ceremonial ground, 1981). On a massive orange background, flowers or suns bloom with brightness (Walangkura (Jackson) Napanangka, Untitled, 2009). Gazing into their stationary movement is like staring into fire or water. Trippy, tight, and colorful paintings carry the show.

Two video installations flounder, neither standing on their own aesthetically nor conveying clear messages. One emits a flat, repetitive sound loop that detracts from the whole experience. But several more explicitly political paintings, photos, and chunkier installations succeed at showing rather than telling about painful historical and psychological experiences shaping indigenous Australia.

Exhibition Indigenous Australia: Masterworks from the National Gallery of Australia link
Start date 17 Nov 2017
End date 02 Apr 2018
Presenter me Collectors Room Berlin link
Venue Auguststrasse 68, Berlin, DEU map
Image Mick Namarari Tjapaltjarri, Untilted (Rain Dreaming at Nyunmanu), 1994, © the estate of the artist, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, courtesy of me Collectors Room Berlin

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