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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

The Gallery’s Acknowledgement of Country, and information on culturally sensitive and restricted content and the use of historic language in the collection can be found here.

George Tjungurrayi

2002
Matthÿs Gerber

oil on canvas (support: 180.0 cm x 135.0 cm)

George Tjungurrayi (b. c. 1947) is a highly respected senior Pintupi artist. Born around Walawala near Kiwirrkura in Western Australia, he left the Gibson Desert in his late teens and moved between Mount Doreen, Yuendumu and Papunya, where he settled from the early 1960s. In 1976 Tjungurrayi and his oldest brother Willy Tjungurrayi began painting with Papunya Tula Artists guided by senior Pintupi painters. Over the course of his career he has developed his own style which focuses on abstraction, a minimal colour palette and refined lines that undulate across the surface of his works. Tjungurrayi's paintings are topographical depictions of his Country and areas of cultural significance. From the 1970s Tjungurrayi, his wife Nanupu Nangala and their five children moved throughout the region settling in Kintore in the early 1980s where he continues to live and work. Tjungurrayi's work is held in a number of national and international collections, and was included in the 21st Biennale of Sydney in 2020.

Matthÿs Gerber treated this portrait as a series of coloured planes, contour mapping the artist's face as a cartographer might map a landscape, to evoke Tjungarrayi's shimmery, hovery depictions of Country. It is one of a series of searching portraits in which Gerber attempted to merge portraiture, landscape and colour-field painting.

Gift of Pamela Hansford 2007. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.
© Matthÿs Gerber

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Matthÿs Gerber (age 46 in 2002)

George Tjungurrayi (age 59 in 2002)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Donated by

Pamela Hansford (1 portrait)

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Cadel Evans
Cadel Evans
Cadel Evans
Cadel Evans

Winning in technicolor

Magazine article by Alistair McGhie, 2009

Alistair McGhie writes about the portraits of three of Australia's top professional cyclists: Cadel Evans, Stuart O'Grady and Robbie McEwen painted by Matthys Gerber.

George Tjungurrayi
George Tjungurrayi
George Tjungurrayi
George Tjungurrayi

Two painters

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2007

Chris Chapman explains how Matthys Gerber bridges the gap between abstraction and portraiture.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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