Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri
One of Australia's greatest Aboriginal artists
Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri
Died: June 2002
Region: Western Desert
Community Centre: Papunya, Alice Springs
Country: Karinyarra - Mt Wedge, Tjuirri -Napperby Station
Language Bloc: Arandic
Language: Anmatyerre, Arrernte
Social Affiliations: Tjapaltjarri subsection
Subjects and Themes:
Men's Ceremony, possum, fire, kangaroo, snake, fish, man's
love story, lightning, goanna, water,
Awards & Commissions:
1983, Alice Prize, Alice Springs NT
1985, Mural Design, Araluen Centre, Alice Springs
1991, Strehlow Research Foundation, Alice Springs
1991, Mural, new Alice Springs Airport
Clifford Possum was the Chairman of Papunya Tula Artists during the
late 1970s and early 1980s.
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.
Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth.
Berndt Museum of Anthropology, University of Western Australia.
Broken Hill Art Gallery.
Donald Kahn collection, Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami.
Flinders University Art Museum, Adelaide.
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.
Pacific Asia Museum, Los Angeles.
Parliament House Art Collection, Canberra.
Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane.
South Australian Museum, Adelaide.
The Holmes a Court Collection, Perth.
The Kelton Foundation, Santa Monica, U.S.A.
1987, Paintings of Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, Avant Galleries, Melbourne
1988, Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri Paintings 1973-1986, Institute
of Contemporary Arts, London
1990, Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London
1974, Anvil Art Gallery, Albury, New South Wales, Australia.
1980, The Past and Present of the Australian Aborigine, Pacific
Asia Museum, Los Angeles
1980, Papunya Tula, Macquarie University Library, Sydney.
1981-82, Aboriginal Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Art
Gallery of Western Australia, Australian Museum, Queensland Art Gallery
1982, Perspecta (with Tim Leura), Sydney.
1983, XVII Bienal de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo.
1984, Painters of the Western Desert: Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri,
Paddy Carroll Tjungurrayi and Uta Uta Tjangala, Adelaide Arts festival
1984, Aboriginal Art, an Exhibition Presented by the Australian Institute
of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Canberra
1985, Dot and Circle, a retrospective survey of the Aboriginal acrylic
paintings of Central Australia, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne
1985, The Face of the Centre: Papunya Tula Paintings
1971-1984, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.
1987, Circle Path Meander, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
1987, Aboriginal Art from the Central Desert and Northern Arnhem Land,
Community Arts Centre, Brisbane
1988, Dreamings, the art of Aboriginal Australia, The Asia Society
Galleries, New York.
1988, The Fifth National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art
Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin
1989, A Myriad of Dreaming: Twentieth Century Aboriginal Art Westpac Gallery,
Melbourne; Design Warehouse Sydney [through Lauraine Diggins Fine Art]
1989, Aboriginal Art: The Continuing Tradition, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
1989, Papunya Tula: Contemporary Paintings from Australia's Western Desert,
John Weber Gallery, New York,
1990, l'ete Australien a' Montpellier, Musee Fabre Gallery, Montpellier, France.
1990, Songlines, Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London
1990, Contemporary Aboriginal Art from the Robert Holmes a Court
Collection, Harvard University, University of Minnesota, Lake
Oswego Center for the Arts, United States of America
1991, Aboriginal Art and Spirituality, High Court, Canberra
1991, Alice to Penzance, The Mall Galleries, The Mall, London
1991, Australian Aboriginal Art from the Collection of Donald Kahn, Lowe
Art Museum, University of Miami, USA
1991, Canvas and Bark, South Australian Museum, Adelaide.
1992, Crossroads-Towards a New Reality, Aboriginal Art from Australia,
National Museums of Modern Art, Kyoto and Tokyo
1993, Tjukurrpa, Desert Dreamings, Aboriginal Art from Central Australia
(1971-1993), Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth WA
1993/4, ARATJARA, Art of the First Australians, Touring: Kunstammlung
Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf; Hayward Gallery, London; Louisiana
Museum, Humlebaek, Denmark
1994, Dreamings - Tjukurrpa: Aboriginal Art of the Western Desert; The
Donald Kahn collection, Museum Villa Stuck, Munich
1994, Power of the Land, Masterpieces of Aboriginal Art, National
Gallery of Victoria.
1994, Yiribana, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.
Australian Aboriginal Art from the Collection of Donald 1991, Lowe Art
Museum, University of Miami, USA.
Bardon, G., 1979, Aboriginal Art of the Western Desert, Rigby, Adelaide. (C)
Bardon, G., 1991, Papunya Tula Art of the Western Desert, McPhee Gribble,
Ringwood, Victoria. (C)
Berndt, R. M. and Berndt, C. H. with Stanton, J., 1982, Aboriginal
Australian Art, a Visual Perspective, Methuen Australia Pty Ltd, Sydney.
Brody, A., 1985, The face of the centre: Papunya Tula Paintings 1971-1984, NGV, Melbourne.
Caruana, W., 1987, Australian Aboriginal Art, a Souvenir Book of Aboriginal
Art in the Australian National Gallery, Australian National Gallery,
Parkes, Australian Capital Territory. (C)
Caruana, W. (ed.), 1989, Windows on the Dreaming, Ellsyd Press, Sydney. (C)
Caruana, W., 1993, Aboriginal Art, Thames and Hudson, London. (C)
Chanin, E., 1990, (ed.), Contemporary Australian Painting, Craftsman House,
Roseville, NSW, Australia.
Cooper, C., Morphy, H., Mulvaney, D.J. and Petersen, N., 1981, Aboriginal
Australia, Australian Gallery Directors Council, Sydney. (C)
Crossman, S. and Barou, J-P. (eds), 1990, L'ete Australien a Montpellier:
100 Chefs d'Oevre de la Peinture Australienne, Musee Fabre, Montpellier, France. (C)
Crumlin, R., (ed.), 1991, Aboriginal Art and Spirituality, Collins Dove,
North Blackburn, Victoria. (C)
Crocker, A. (ed.), 1981, Mr Sandman Bring Me a Dream, Papunya Tula Artists
Pty Ltd, Alice Springs and Aboriginal Artists Agency Ltd, Sydney. (C)
Diggins, L. (ed.), 1989, A Myriad of Dreaming: Twentieth Century Aboriginal
Art, exhib. cat., Malakoff Fine Art Press, North Caulfield, Victoria.
Duerden, D., 1990, 'Clifford Possum in London', Art Monthly, August 1990,
No. 33, P. 12
Isaacs, J., 1984, Australia's Living Heritage, Arts of the Dreaming, Lansdowne
Press, Sydney. (C)
Isaacs, J., 1989, Australian Aboriginal Paintings, Weldon Publishing,
New South Wales.
Johnson, V., 1994, The Dictionary of Western Desert Artists, Craftsman House,
East Roseville, New South Wales.
Johnson, V., 1994, The Art of Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, Gordon and Breach
Arts International limited, Craftsman House, East Roseville, NSW.
Johnson, V., 1995, 'Is there a gender issue in Aboriginal art?', Art &
Australia, Vol. 32, No. 3.
1993, Aratjara, Art of the First Australians: Traditional and Contemporary
Works by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Artists, exhib. cat.
(conceived and designed by Bernard Luthi in collaboration with Gary Lee),
Dumont, Buchverlag, Koln. (C)
Neale, M., 1994, Yiribana, exhib. cat., Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney. (C)
Maughan, J., and Zimmer, J., (eds), 1986, Dot and Circle, a Retrospective
Survey of the Aboriginal Acrylic Paintings of Central Australia, exhib.
cat., Communication Services Unit, Royal Melbourne Institute of
Technology, Melbourne. (C)
McCulloch, A., & McCulloch, S., 1994, The Encyclopedia of Australian Art,
Allen & Unwin Pty Ltd.
Smith, B. with Smith T., 1991, Australian Painting 1788-1990, Oxford
niversity Press, 3rd edition,
Sutton, P. (ed.), 1988, Dreamings: the Art of Aboriginal Australia, Viking,
Ringwood, Victoria. (C)
1983, XVII Sao Paulo Biennale, exhib. cat.
1981, Australian Perspecta 1981, A Biennial Survey of Contemporary Australian
Art, exhib. cat., Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney. (C)
1988, Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri Paintings 1973-1986, exhib. cat., Institute
of Contemporary Arts, London
1990, Contemporary Aboriginal Art from the Robert Holmes a Court Collection,
exhib. cat., Heytesbury Holdings Ltd., Perth.
1993, Tjukurrpa Desert Dreamings, Aboriginal Art from Central Australia
(1971-1993), exhib. cat., Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth. (C)
© Discovery Media, Documentation Pty Ltd, and the Australian
Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
Clifford received little education as he grew up in the bush
around Jay Creek and worked at various stations around Glen
Helen, Mt. Wedge and Mt. Allan as a stockman.
Encouraged to paint by his brother Tim LEURA with the Geoffrey
Bardon's group of painting men during the early 70's.
Employed at Papunya teaching wood carving and was Chairman of
Papunya Tula Artists in the late 70's early 80's.
Clifford has two daughters, Gabriella and Michelle, both of
whom have gone on to become recognised artists as well.
Although Clifford has country around Mt. Wedge, Napperby
station and Mt. Allan, he spends most of his time, either in
Alice Springs or with his daughters in Melbourne and Adelaide.
Regarded as one of the most famous of the Western Desert
aboriginal artists, his works are highly sought after.
For more Information
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