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Abie Jangala was born in the bush in the vicinity of Thompson’s Rock about 350 kilometres south of Lajamanu.
After the war Jangala joined his family at Yuendemu, an Aboriginal reserve specifically created to accommodate the increasingly displaced Warlpiri population; later he was moved to a second Warlpiri settlement at Catfish, 600 kilometres to the north. Despite these moves, at 16 years of age Jangala returned to the land of his birth to undergo his traditional initiation.
Abie Jangala lived at Lajamanu in the Northern Territory since the early 1950s and was a strong and highly respected elder of this Warlpiri community. He was a man of great ritual authority, ceremonial boss for water-rain-cloud and thunder Jukurrpa (Dreamings) centred on widely dispersed sites in the Tanami Desert.
He said he painted the way his father told him to paint as “he comes to me in dreams”. His work is noted for its striking dense white dotting over a base colour and simple bold linear designs symbolising the graphic quality of the desert. The elements of thunder, lightning and rain which underpin the belief system of the nomadic Warlpiri people, resonate powerfully in a field of white dots.
Abie Jangala became a painter in 1983 and soon his work began to be exhibited in group shows in Australia, the USA and Europe. His work is represented in museum collections all over Australia and in a number of important international collections.
Subjects and Themes:
Ngapa – water dreaming, Frog Dreaming, rain, cloud thunder
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth.
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.
Flinders University Art Museum, Adelaide.
Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
The Holmes a Court Collection, Perth.
The Kelton Foundation, Santa Monica, USA
Thomas Vroom Collection, The Netherlands
Bromberg Collection, Cincinatti USA
Kaplan Levi Collection Seattle USA
Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
Flinders University Art Museum
1993 Abie Jangala – Boss of the Water – Rain – Clouds and Thunder Dreaming, Cooee Aboriginal Art, Sydney
1983 D’un autre continent: l’Australie le reve et reel, ARC, Museum of Modern Art, Paris, France
1987 Australian Made, Hogarth Galleries, Sydney
1989 Lajamanu Painters, Dreamtime Gallery, Perth, WA
1989 Mythscapes, Aboriginal Art of the Desert, National Gallery of Victoria
1990 Contemporary Aboriginal Art from the Robert Holmes a Court Collection, Harvard University, University of Minnesota, Lake Oswego Centre for the Arts, USA
1991 Aboriginal Art and Spirituality, High Court, Canberra
1991 Flash Pictures, National Gallery of Australia
1991 Yapa, Peintres Aborigenes de Balgo et Lajamanu, Baudoin Lebon Gallery, Paris, France
1991 Museums of Modern Art, Koyoto and Tokyo, Japan
1993 The Tenth National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
1995 Stories, Eine Reise zu den Dingen, touring, Sprengel Museum Hannover, Museum fur Volkerkunde Leipzig, Hausder Kulteren der Welt Berlin, Ludwig-Forum fur International Kunst Aachen
1996 Abie Jangala and Artists from Lajamanu, Cooee Aboriginal Art Gallery ,Sydney
1996 This is my country. This is me Seattle Art Museum, Seattle
1996 Nangara:The Australian Aboriginal Art Exhibition-from the Ebes Collection Sichting Sint-Jan,Brugges,Belgium
1996 Abie Jangala, The Rainbow Serpent Gallery, Sydney
1997 Warlpiri Rainman, Cooee Aboriginal Art Gallery, Sydney
1997 Juxtapositions: an exhibition of Australian Indigenous works rom the collection of the Flinders Art Museum, Flinders University Art Museum, Adelaide
1999 16th NATSI Art Award MAGNT Darwin
2001 Yilpinji, Love Magic & Ceremony, The Australian Museum, Sydney, NSW
2003 Yilpinji, Love Magic & Ceremony, Australia’s Outback Gallery, Sydney, NSW; Darwin Entertainment Centre Gallery, Darwin, NT; Alcheringa Gallery, British Columbia, Canada; Thorncrest Gallery, Southport, QLD; Damian Minton Gallery, Newcastle, NSW; Flinders University City Gallery, Adelaide, South Australia
2004 EXPLAINED, A closer look at Aboriginal art, Aboriginal Art Museum, Utrecht, The Netherlands
2004 Yilpinji, Love Magic & Ceremony, Art Mob, Tasmania; Stephanie Burns Fine Art, ACT; Japingka Gallery, Freemantle, WA; Fire-Works Gallery, QLD; Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London, UK Fisketorvet, Copenhagen, Denmark; The Orangery at Adelsns, Sweden; Bruun’s Gallerie, Aarhus, Denmark
2005 Yilpinji, Love Magic & Ceremony, Highpoint Centre for Printmaking, Minneapolis, USA; Galerie Dad, Paris, France; The Jeffrey Moose Gallery, Seattle, USA; University of Virginia, Virginia, USA; Australian Embassy, Paris, France; Chateau de Saint Cirq, Lapopie, France
2006 Yilpinji, Love Magic & Ceremony, Booker Lowe Gallery, Houston, USA