Dorothy Napangardi

Dorothy Napangardi was born around 1958 in the area of Mina Mina salt lake in the Tanami Desert. She belongs to the Warlpiri language group and grew up in the settlement of Yuendumu where her father is still a senior lawgiver. She commenced painting in 1987 and had little formal schooling, but was instructed in the historic Dreamings of her people. 

“Dreaming” is an imprecise English translation of the Warlpiri word Jukurrpa, which describes the origins and journeys of ancestral beings in the land, and identi?es the sacred places where the spirits presently reside. A Warlpiri speaker is quoted in a catalog of Napangardi’s paintings: “To me, Dorothy’s work is like Yapa [people] running through and across their country, moving across their pathways when they go traveling. That’s what it reminds me of, Yapa crossing paths, crossing one another’s pathways as they go traveling.”

Characteristically, she minimises all references to the customary Aboriginal iconography. In 1998 there was a significant turning point in Dorothy's work and in 2001 Dorothy won first prize at the 18th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, in Darwin, Northern Territory.



2018  Ancestral Modern: Australian Aboriginal Art from the Kaplan & Levi collection, Blanton Museum at the University of Texas at Austin, USA
2016 'Everywhen: The Eternal Present in Indigenous Art from Australia', Hardvard Art Museums, USA
2012 'Ancestral Modern', Seattle Art Museum Seattle, USA
2012 'All Our Relations', Biennale of Sydney, MCA Sydney NSW
2011 'Almanac: The Gift of Ann Lewis AO' MCA touring exhibition
2010 'All is Calm' Fireworks Gallery Brisbane QLD
2010: Museum Ludwig, Remembering Forward, Australian Aboriginal painting since 1960, Köln, Germany
2003 'Dancing Up Country; the work of Dorothy Napangardi'. Asia Tour. Asialink in partnership with the Museum of Contemporary Art tour to Vietnam Fine Art Museum in Hanoi and the National Art Gallery, Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur
2002-2003 'Dancing up Country: the work of Dorothy Napangardi', Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA)- Level 4 Galleries 140 George Street The Rocks Sydney NSW
2003 Dorothy Napangardi New Paintings Flinders Lane Gallery, Melbourne VIC
2002 'Native Title Business - Contemporary Indigenous Art 'National Travelling Exhibition, Gurang Land Council (Aboriginal Corporation), QLD
2002 Melbourne ArtFair 2002, Melbourne VIC
2002-03 'Dancing Up Country; the work of Dorothy Napangardi' - Museum of Contemporary Art, MCA, Sydney NSW
2002 'Kana-kurlangu' Dorothy Napangardi - Gallery Gondwana at The Depot Gallery, Sydney NSW
2001 'alice.fitzroy@af', Alliance Francaise de Canberra and French Embassy, A.C.T.
2001 'Country After Rain', Framed Gallery - The Darwin Gallery, Darwin NT
2001 ' Dreamtime - The Light and the Dark', Sammlung Essl, Vienna, Austria
2001 '18th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Award', Darwin NT
2000 'Fifth National Indigenous Heritage Art Award', Australian Heritage Commission, Canberra ACT
2000-01 'The Art of Place Exhibition', Australian Heritage Commission, Old Parliament House, Canberra ACT
1999 'Painting the Desert', Alliance Francaise de Canberra and French Embassy, Canberra
1998 '15th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award', Australia
1991 '8th National Aboriginal Art Award', Darwin NT

Born in *unknown* in 1952

Died in *unknown* in 2013

Site: Monkey Rep