September 6, 2016

Marking the Infinite: Contemporary Women Artists from Aboriginal Australia

Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane University
Marking the Infinite, installation view. Photo: Jeffery Johnston. Courtesy Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane University.
Newcomb Art MuseumMarking the Infinite: Contemporary Women Artists from Aboriginal Australia

Their subject matter ranges from remote celestial bodies and indigenous flora to venerable crafts traditions and ceremonies. Steeped in ancient cultural practices, the works are specific to each artist. Yet they also speak to universal contemporary themes, with every mark invoking natural and cosmological cycles that bring perspective to the human condition.

The exhibition is drawn from the Miami-based Dennis and Debra Scholl collection, considered the most important private holding of Aboriginal Australian contemporary art in America. Reflecting on his initial interest in the work, Dennis observed, “I was struck by the relationships of the artists to their ancestral land, each other, and to their communities.” He continued, “Having found these artists so personally compelling, I wanted to help bring their work to audiences across North America.”

A major catalogue accompanies the exhibition and features essays by leading experts in the field, including renowned Aboriginal curators Hetti Perkins, Tina Baum, and Cara Pinchbeck, as well as anthropologists Howard Morphy and John Carty.

The show runs August 20 through December 30, with a public reception on Wednesday, September 7. The evening will commence with a talk by collector Dennis Scholl and exhibition curator Henry Skerritt from 6:30 to 7:30pm in the Woldenberg Art Center’s Freeman Auditorium. The reception will immediately follow.

Other exhibition-related events include a talk on September 28 by Dr. Michael Cunningham, Department of Psychology, Tulane University about “Tulane’s Aboriginal Australia Community Development Program” and a film series presenting Ten Canoes on October 4; Rabbit Proof Fence on October 18; and two short documentaries on exhibition artists Nyapanyapa Yunupingu and Angelina Pwerle on November 16. All events are free and open to the public.

Marking the Infinite originated at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno, Nevada and was organized by William Fox, Director, Center for Art and Environment, and Henry Skerritt, Curator, Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of the University of Virginia. The exhibition is drawn from the collection of Debra and Dennis Scholl and at the Newcomb Art Museum was coordinated by Anna Mecugni, curator and Monica Ramirez-Montagut, director.


About the Newcomb Art Museum
The Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane University builds on the Newcomb College legacy of education, social enterprise, and artistic experience. Presenting inspiring exhibitions and programs that engage communities both on and off campus, the museum fosters the creative exchange of ideas and cross-disciplinary collaborations around innovative art and design. The museum preserves and advances scholarship on the Newcomb and Tulane art collections. Free and open to public, the museum’s hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10am to 5pm; Saturday and Sunday 11am to 4pm; and by appointment.


Marking the Infinite: Contemporary Women Artists from Aboriginal Australia to debut at Tulane University

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