Abstract painting of rippled dots and lines in various colours.



A new record of $US762,000 ($AUD1,172,112) was set on Wenesday, 24.O5.2O23 at Sotheby’s fourth New York auction of Aboriginal Art for Johnny Warangkula Tjupurrula’s 1972 Water and Bush Tucker Story.  The work not only fetched the highest price at the auction, but also set an auction record for any Papunya board.

Tjupurrula is a renowned artist who was at the forefront of the Papunya art movement in the 1970s and 80s, alongside Kaapa Tjampitjinpa, Tim Leura Tjapaltjarri and Long Jack Phillipus Tjakamarra.  The influence of his technique can be sensed in many of the greatest works produced at Papunya in this early period.

Tjupurrula was the late father of Candy Nelson Nakamarra, the exceptional artist behind our current exhibition, Kalipinypa.


Image: Johnny Warangkula Tjupurrula, Water and Bush Tucker Story 1972, synthetic polymer paint on composition board, 65.5 x 46 cm.  Provenance: Papunya, NT (1972); Stuart Art Centre, Alice Springs (cat no 1272149); Private Collection, acquired from the previous; Sotheby’s, Sydney, Aboriginal Art, October 20, 2008, lot 99; Private Collection, acquired from the previous.

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