Charlie Tjapangati

Charlie Tjapangati

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DOB: c.1949
Born: Jupiter Well, near Kiwirrkurra, WA

Charlie Tjapangati was born in c.1949 at Palinpalintjanya which is located north west of Juniper Well. In 1964 as a fully initiated young man he moved with his family to Papunya. It was here that he found himself working in construction of the settlement in exchange for rations.

Charlie commenced painting for Papanya Tula in 1978, after quietly observing the older men for years. He travelled to the USA for an exhibition in the following years with well-known Aboriginal Artist Billy Stockman.

In 1982 Charlie moved to the Pintupi settlement of Kintore. His works generally depict the significant ceremonial story of the Tingari Cycle. The surface narrative elements that are often termed the painting's 'story' or 'Dreaming' are only one level of an Aboriginal painting's true significance. The imagery employed by Aboriginal artists has a deep cultural resonance that often defies simple logic or narrative interpretation. The western viewer can, however, intuitively feel the power of this spiritual resonance without necessarily having to understand the details, which are essentially for the initiated only.


  • Artbank, Sydney
  • Flinders University Art Museum, Adelaide
  • National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
  • Museums & Art Galleries of the Northern Territory, Darwin
  • Victoria Art Centre, Melbourne
  • Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
  • The Holmes a Court Collection, Perth
  • Aboriginal Art Museum, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • University of Virginia, USA
  • Kelton Foundation Collection, Santa Monica, USA


Selected Group Exhibitions:

2020 Desert Stories, Paul Johnstone Gallery, Darwin
2021 Now & Then: Works from Papunya Tula Artists 1974-2020, Fireworks Gallery, Brisbane
2019 Spring Collection: Exhibition to celebrate our beautiful Spring Collection, Brenda Colahan Fine Art, Sydney
2018 2018 Papunya Tula Artists: Visual Rhythm II, Paul Johnstone Gallery, Darwin
2006 Rising Stars 2006, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne
2006 Papunya Tula Artists - across the board, Utopia Arts, Sydney
2005 Rising Stars Papunya, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne
2005 Papunya Tula Artists, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne
2005 Papunya Tula Artists - new work for a new space, Utopia Art, Sydney
2004 21st Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
1992 Crossroads - Towards a New Reality, Aboriginal Art from Australia, National Museums of Modern Art, Kyoto and Tokyo
1990 Paintings from the Desert, Contemporary Aboriginal Paintings, Plimsoll Gallery, Centre for the Arts, Hobart
1989 Masterpiece Fine Art Gallery, Hobart
1983 Mori Gallery, Sydney
1982 Georges Exhibition, Melbourne
1982 Brisbane Festival, Brisbane
1981 Australian Perspecta, A Biennial Survey of Contemporary Australian Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
1980 Contemporary Australian Aborigine Paintings, Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, CA, USA