Vincent Namatjira, Portrait

Vincent Namatjira OAM joins Yavuz Gallery

15 Jun 2023

Yavuz Gallery is pleased to announce global representation of Vincent Namatjira OAM. 

Namatjira is a leading Western Aranda artist and one of Australia’s most important painters. A subversive portraitist, he uses wit and caricature to interrogate the complex colonial narratives implicit in Australia’s relationship with Empire from a contemporary Aboriginal perspective.

Born in 1983 in Alice Springs, Northern Territory, and now based in Indulkana on Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands, South Australia, Namatjira is an acute observer of national and international politics, painting wry portraits of well-known figures such as US presidents, Australian prime ministers, and the British monarchy. Often inserting himself or portraits of people in his community into these compositions, Namatjira fuses deeply personal histories and incisively political critique. His work is bold, humorous, and conceptually rich in its examination of the connections between leadership, wealth, power and influence.

Namatjira’s practice has gained significant recognition in Australia and overseas. In 2020, Namatjira was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in honour of his contribution to Indigenous visual arts. In the same year, he was the first Indigenous Australian artist to win the prestigious Archibald Prize. Namatjira was also the winner of the 2019 Ramsay Art Prize, Australia’s most generous prize for artists under 40. In 2021, Namatjira was invited to produce the site-specific Circular Quay Foyer Wall Commission for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia. In 2022, Namatjira received a Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship in recognition of outstanding talent and exceptional professional courage.

Vincent Namatjira, Elizabeth and Vincent (on Country), 2021, acrylic on linen, 122 x 152 cm

Namatjira has exhibited in major curated exhibitions, including 경로를 재탐색합니다 UN/LEARNING AUSTRALIA, Seoul Museum of Art, South Korea (2022); the 9th Asia Pacific Triennial, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane (2018–19); Tarnanthi Festival, Art Gallery of South Australia (2017 & 2018); the TarraWarra Biennial 2016, TarraWarra Museum of Art (2016); and Indigenous Australia: Enduring Civilisation, the British Museum, London (2015).

Namatjira’s work is held in significant collections including the British Museum, National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Art Gallery of South Australia, and Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art.

“We are delighted to welcome Vincent to Yavuz Gallery and look forward to celebrating his practice both within Australia and internationally. Vincent is a singular voice in contemporary painting, deploying humour as a potent tool to reimagine and upend the politics of colonial power and Aboriginal Australian identity. We are honoured to be working with him” states Can Yavuz, Founding Director.

Namatjira’s inaugural exhibition with the Gallery will be in October 2023 at Yavuz Sydney. This will coincide with the launch of a major monograph published by Thames and Hudson and Namatjira’s first survey exhibition, Australia in colour, presented at the Art Gallery of South Australia as part of Tarnanthi in October 2023. The exhibition will travel to the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra in 2024.

For enquiries, please contact:

Image: Vincent Namatjira in Indulkana, photo by Rhett Hammerton. Courtesy of the artist and Iwantja Arts.