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October - November 1999

Fourth Annual Australian Aboriginal Art Exhibition

This year's show has strong connections to a major showing of works by Australian Aboriginal artists at San Francisco's California Palace of the Legion of Honor. The exhibition, entitled "Spirit Country: Australian Aboriginal Art from the Gantner Myer Collection", will run from September 18th to Jan 9th of the year 2000. It will feature 125 works focusing on acrylic paintings dating from the 60's to the present day painted by artists of the Central and Western Desert and both paintings and sculpture from peoples of Arnhem Land and the islands of Northern Australia. The show's Australian curator, veteran Australian government Aboriginal art liaison Jennifer Issacs, will Lecture at SAM in late September.

The gallery's show will include a strong selection of more than a dozen hand-pulled high quality archival fine art prints, made by some of Australia's greatest artists including Rover Thomas, from the Kimberly region, whose paintings were hung in the Venice Bienale in 1990, and Queenie McKenzie, also from the Kimberly. Also on display will be a group of dot paintings from the Central Desert by artists including Lindsay Bird and Gloria Petyarre and bark paintings from the Arnhem land community of Yirrkala.

Australian Aboriginal art is one of the most powerful recent entries on the contemporary art scene, even though its origins go back further, perhaps, than any other surviving art form on the planet. The "Dreamings", or creation myth stories, of the plant and animal ancestors which support traditional Aboriginal societies are the primary content of their art. Aboriginals see themselves as caretakers of the lands from which they came and their reverence for the earth and its bounty exudes from all their cultural activities.

Ex New Yorker John Gardner, an Australian citizen since 1972, will exhibit a selection of sculptures composed of combinations of cast bronze, aluminum and Australian sandstone in conjunction with this show. Gardner, Australian Aboriginal 4 PR. P. 2 whose career began at the National Academy of Fine Arts in New York in 1961, received a BFA fron the University of Connecticut in 1966 and worked as an assistant to sculptor Irving Marantz in the late 60's. His work is a savvy brand of Ab Ex sculpture, similar to that of Chicago master Richard Hunt. It references forms from Africa, including Kenya and Zimbabwe, but also refelcts elements of Australian Aboriginal culture, with which Gardner is passionately involved.

For more information call Jeffrey Moose gallery, (206) 467-6951. For info on the San Francisco show please surf to:


Marie Minyakuma
ochre on eucalyptus bark

Lindsay Bird Mpetyane
"Men's Dreaming"
acrylic on canvas

Greeny Purvis Petyarre
"Emu (Ankerre) Dreaming"
acrylic on canvas

Ada Petyarre Bird
"Body Paint Design"
acrylic on canvas


Gloria Petyarre
"Grass Seed Dreaming"
acrylic on canvas

Queenie McKenzie
"The Horso Creek Massacre"

Marlee Naparula
"Nulla Nullas"

Rover Thomas
"Durba George"


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