the art of David Malangi
31 July – 7 November 2004
National Gallery of Australia
Friday 30 July 2004 at 12noon
Followed by lunch
The first retrospective exhibition of David Malangi Daymirringu (1927–1999) will open on Friday 30 July 2004 at the National Gallery of Australia. The exhibition, comprising 67 works, predominantly bark paintings and 13 remarkable sculptures, celebrates the art and life of David Malangi Daymirringu and the important role of this innovative artist in Australia’s cultural heritage.
Malangi came to prominence in the 1960s, painting consistently over four decades within a private ceremonial context as well as for the public domain, gaining international prominence. Malangi is most familiar to Australians through the reproduction of one of his bark painting designs on the reverse of the one dollar note, released as part of Australia’s new decimal currency in 1966.
No ordinary place traces the development of Malangi’s work from the early bark paintings of the 1960s that record his patrilineally inherited land and ceremonies, to the masterful dedications to his mother’s land and culture for which he was also responsible, and where he spent the last 30 years of his life.
‘Malangi was a true innovator in the bark painting medium and No ordinary place provides the opportunity to celebrate the extensive contribution of this talented and highly significant artist in the company of his peers, Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike’ said curator of the exhibition Susan Jenkins.
Malangi was cultural manager of his family’s vast inherited pictorial language, based on the stories and ceremonies associated with the mangroves, mud flats and fresh waterholes around the magnificent Glyde River in central Arnhem Land, and dedicated his entire adult life to the development of a strong individual graphic style.
He was one of a group of renowned Indigenous artists who represented Australia at the landmark exhibition Dreamings: the art of Aboriginal Australia held at The Asia Society Galleries, New York in 1988 and that same year was a key contributor to the magnificent Aboriginal Memorial in the National Gallery of Australia.
To accompany the exhibition, the National Gallery of Australia has published a fully-illustrated publication about the life and art of David Malangi, edited by Acting Curator, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art, Susan Jenkins with contributions by Nigel Lendon, Djon Mundine, Margie West and members of the Malangi family.
The National Gallery of Australia gratefully acknowledge the generous support of our Principal Sponsor, Newmont Australia Ltd, a proud partner of Reconciliation Australia.
The exhibition has also been assisted by the Australian Government through the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Arts Board of the Australia Council; the Indigenous Arts Strategy of the Northern Territory Government; Bula’bula Arts, Northern Territory made an invaluable contribution to the exhibition and the accompanying publication.
We also thank media sponsor the Seven Network, the Reserve Bank of Australia for funding educational material; Australian Air Express for assistance in touring the exhibition around Australia; and the De Bortoli family for providing wines for the media launch and gala opening.