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George Milpurrurru

1934 – 1998

George Milpurrurru (1934-1998), Ganalbingu (Yolgnu) painter, was one of the most important bark painters of the twentieth century. Milparrurru is part of an eminent art family; his father Dick Ngulmarrmar taught him to paint on bark, and his sister is the artist Dorthy Djukulul. His work combines traditional and innovative themes. In 1979 he and David Malangi became the first indigenous artists to exhibit at the Biennale of Sydney. He was one of the senior contributing artists to the Aboriginal Memorial, first officially shown in 1988. After that he began to paint on canvas and paper. He was the first living Aboriginal artist to be honoured with an individual show - at the National Gallery of Australia in 1993. That year Milpurrurru and Others v. Indofurn became an important case in the history of application of copyright to indigenous arts.

Updated 2018