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Ronnie Tjampitjinpa (Jampitjinpa)


Born at Tjiturrunya west of Kintore Ranges in Western Australia, Ronnie was initiated into manhood in Winparku, near Lake Mackay in the Northern Territory. After prolonged droughts in the 1950s, he and his family moved, first to Haasts Bluff, then to Papunya.


Here Ronnie began working as a stockman before the family moved to the newly established settlement at Papunya, where he worked at fencing cattle yards.


One of the youngest artists, Ronnie began painting in 1971 with the founding group of Papunya painters and became an important influence on the outstation movement. Ronnie moved to Walungurru with his family after it was established in 1981. In the early 1980s Ronnie painted only intermittently for Papunya Tula Artists; however, by the late 1980s and early 1990s his distinctive graphic style attracted considerable attention. In these later works, his delicate, dotted Tingari designs have been transformed into bands of colour to dazzling optical effect.


Ronnie Tjampitjinpa’s art is a good representation of the characteristic Pintupi style: repetition of forms, which are geometric, simple and bold, and pigments which are often restricted to four basic colours of black, red, yellow and white. But Ronnie experiments with other colours as well.


He has exhibited widely both within Australia and overseas. Ronnie won the Alice Prize in September 1998 with his painting Tingari Story at Nwirmiminya, 1988. He has held several solo exhibitions, beginning with an exhibition at Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi in 1989.

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