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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)


Photo: iocolor, Seattle



Yukultji Napangati

Australian Aboriginal, Pintupi people, Kiwirrkura, Western Desert, Western Australia, born ca. 1970

Tangled vines form the magnetic core of this painting and inspired the title. Yunarla is a bush banana, known by the name “silky pear vine,” but is also a rockhole and soakage site that the artist remembers as a place where ancestral women stopped to camp and replenish their energy. When she was about fourteen years old, Yukultji Napangati was one of a small group of Pintupi who walked into a remote community center. They were acknowledged to be the last of their people to be living independently in the region and to make contact with non-indigenous Australians. She settled in the Kiwirrkura community and began painting there in the late 1990s.

--Pam McClusky, Curator of African and Oceanic Art, 2012
Synthetic polymer paint on canvas
42 1/8 x 48 1/16 in. (107 x 122cm)
Gift of Margaret Levi and Robert Kaplan
Photo: iocolor, Seattle
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistorySeattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Ancestral Modern: Australian Aboriginal Art from the Kaplan & Levi Collection, May 31 - Sept. 12, 2012 (Nashville, Tenessee, Frist Center for the Visual Arts, June 23 - Oct. 15, 2017; Madison, Wisconsin, Chazen Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin, Jan. 26 - Apr. 22, 2018; Austin, Texas, Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas, June 3 - Sept. 9, 2018; Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, Audain Art Museum, Oct. 5, 2018 - Jan. 28, 2019). Text by Pamela McClusky, Wally Caruana, Lisa Graziose Corrin, and Stephen Gilchrist. Cat. no. 28, pp. 108-109, reproduced.

Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that we are on the traditional homelands of the Duwamish and the customary territories of the Suquamish and Muckleshoot Peoples. As a cultural and educational institution, we honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future. We also acknowledge the urban Native peoples from many Nations who call Seattle their home.

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