Literature in our Collection

Benjamin, Roger und Weislogel, Andrew C. (Hg.): Icons of the Desert: Early Aboriginal Paintings from Papunya, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, New York 2009, ISBN 9781934260074

Table of Contents        ¦         Cover Text        ¦         Book Review

Table of Contents

John and Barbara Wilkerson: Collectors‘ Foreword -6-

Andrew C. Weislogel: Acknowledgements -8-

Hetti Perkins: Preface -11-

Photographs by Michael Jensen: The Men’s Painting Room at Papunya -14-

Roger Benjamin: The Fetish for Papunya Boarrds -21-

Fred Myers: Graceful Transfigurations of Person, Place and Story - The Stylistic Evolution of Shorty Lungkarta Tgungurrayi -51-

Vivien Johnson: The Intelligence of Pintupi Painting -65-

R.G. Kimber: Relatives of the Artists Respond to the Paintings -71-

Roger Benjamin: Catalogue of the Exhibition -77-

Bibliography -174-

Credits -176-

Cover Text

“Beauty has many forms, but it is not every day that a new kind of beauty is born to the world. Such is the achievement of the painters of Papunya in Central Australia. Their art has a continuity with mark-making, song cycles, and storytelling that precedes the invention of cuneiform writing in the Fertile Crescent, or hieroglyphics in ancient Egypt ... By a miraculous strength of culture and a resilient social organization in a fragile desert ecology, the men who made these paintings adapted their way of life and the rich meaning of their image-making to changing conditions, reasserting with pride and intelligence the oldest continous culture in the world.” – Roger Benjamin In 1971, at the settlement of Papunya in the Western Desert of Australia, the Sydney schoolteacher Geoffrey Bardon provided Aboriginal Law-men with art materials and encouraged them to paint. The resulting works are the first paintings ever to systematically transfer the designs of desert ceremonial imagery to a permanent surface. By exploring the context for the creation of these early paintings, “Icons of the Desert” offers a glimpse into the personalities and artistic intent of seminal artists, and asserts, in the words of the artists‘ own descendants, the reverence these works still inspire in the Aboriginal community today.