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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.

George Tjungurrayi

2007
Greg Weight

inkjet print on cotton rag paper (sheet: 59.4 cm x 42.0 cm, image: 45.6 cm x 37.1 cm)

George Tjungurrayi (b. c. 1947) is a highly respected senior Pintupi artist. Born around Walawala near Kiwirrkura in Western Australia, he spent his childhood in this region. In his late teens Tjungurrayi left the Gibson Desert 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 including Uta Uta Tjangala and Yala Yala Gibbs Tjungurrayi. Over the course of his career he developed his own style which focused on abstraction, a minimal colour palette and refined lines that undulate across the surface of his works. Tjungurrayi's paintings focus on topographical depictions of his Country and areas of cultural significance to Pintupi culture. 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.

From 2006 to 2010, Greg Weight travelled extensively through central Australia meeting and photographing contemporary Pintupi and Warlpiri artists. This photograph of Tjungurrayi is one of the portraits included in his resulting book Artists of the Western Desert (2011).

Gift of Patrick Corrigan AM 2020. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.
© Gregory Weight/Copyright Agency, 2021

Artist and subject

Greg Weight (age 61 in 2007)

George Tjungurrayi (age 64 in 2007)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

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.

Two painters

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2007

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

101 photographic portraits

Magazine article by Michelle Fracaro, 2004

Pat Corrigan's generous gift of 100 photographic portraits by Greg Weight.

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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 National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency