Ronnie Tjampitjinpa

Date of Birth:



Kintore, NT




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 Ronnie Tjampitjinpa began painting in 1971 in Papunya in the early days of the Aboriginal Art Movement.

His hugely successful work uses a combination of contrasting colour , big bold lines and contemporary design features to amplify the beauty of his Dreamings.

When Ronnie won the Alice Springs art prize in 1980  he began to attract serious attention for his monumental and breathtaking paintings.

He was part of the historical exhibition Papunya Tula: Genisus and Genius on 2000, and was named as one of Australia‘s most collectable artists by Art Collector magazine.

 Born c.1943 around Muyinnga, about 100 km west of the Kintore Ranges across the WA border. 

Ronnie’s family travelled extensively across Pintupi territory, moving throughout this region and also in the area around Lake Mackay in the Northern Territory 

He was initiated into Aboriginal Law at Yumari, near his birthplace. 

Ronnie and his younger brother, Smithy SIMARRON, originally came in from the bush at Yuendumu, and later joined relatives living in Papunya where Ronnie worked as a labourer, assisting with the fencing of the aerodrome. 

Over the years, moving between Papunya, Yuendumu and Mt. Doreen station, Ronnie talked to many people about returning to his traditional lands, this was made possible with the establishment of Kintore in 1981.  Ronnie moved there with his family in the early ‘80s, and has since emerged as one of the major painters of the Kintore area.

Ronnie’s work is based on the Tingari Cycle a secret song cycle sacred to initiated men.

The Tingari are Dreamtime Beings who travelled across the country performing ceremonies to create and shape the country, known to Aboriginal desert people as their Dreaming sites. The Tingari ancestors gathered at these sites for Maliera (initiation) ceremonies. The sites take the form of, and are located at, significant rock-holes, sand hills, sacred mountains and water soakages in the western desert.

Tingari may be poetically interpreted as song-line paintings relating to the songs (of the people) and creation stories (of places) in Pintupi mythology. Ronnie can be considered amongst the first wave of Aboriginal artists linking ancient stories with modern mediums.

Ronnie Tjampitjinpa is also well-known for his Fire Dreamings and he is quite comfortable painting huge canvases, where his bold designs come alive


Chairman of the Kintore Outstation Council, Ronnie currently resides on his outstation at Redbank (Ininti) with his younger brother, Kenny WILLIAMS.



  • National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
  • National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
  • Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth
  • Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory, Darwin
  • Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
  • Bendigo Art Gallery, Victoria
  • Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs
  • Robert Holmes a Court
  • Medibank Private Collection
  • Supreme Court of the Northern Territory, Darwin
  • Artbank, Sydney N.S.W.
  • Flinders University Art Museum, Adelaide
  • Donald Khan, U.S.A.
  • Richard Kelton Foundation, Santa Monica, U.S.A.
  • Musee National des Arts Africains et Oceaniens, Paris, France
  • Groninger Museum, The Netherlands



1982    Brisbane Festival, Brisbane
1983    Mori Gallery, Sydney
1986    Galerie Dusseldorf, Germany
1986    Aboriginal Arts Australia, Canberra
1987, 1988, 1989, 1993, 1996 Gallery Gabriella Pizzi, Melbourne
1988    Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
1988    Expo ‘88, Brisbane
1991, 1993, Chapman Gallery, Canberra
1991   Australian National Gallery, Canberra
1991   Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, U.S.A.
1992    Aboriginal Artists Agency, Sydney
1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998 Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs
1992   Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, Ballarat
1993    Art Gallery of N.S.W., Sydney
1993    Art Museum, Armidale, N.S.W.
1993    Art Gallery of W.A., Perth
1994    National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
1994    Utopia Gallery, Sydney
1994    Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Milan and Palermo, Italy
1994    Museum Villa Stuck, Munich, Germany
1995    Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne
1996 - 2006 Twenty-Five Years and Beyond: Papunya Tula Painting, Flinders University Art Museum, Adelaide
1998    Jinta Gallery, Sydney
1999 - 2001 Spirit Country, San Francisco, touring
1999    Flinders Art Museum Flinders University, Adelaide
1999    Embassy of Australia, Washington, U.S.A.
1999    Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, U.S.A.
1999    In-sites, Australian Exhibition Center - Chicago
2000    Aboriginal Art Galleries of Australia, Melbourne
2000    Aboriginal Lawman- Masterworks, Australian Exhibition Centre, Chicago, U.S.A.

2000    Papunya Tula Genesis and Genius, Australia Gallery, NSW.

2000    Aboriginal Art Galleries of Australia, Melbourne VIC.
2001, 2003 Chapel off Chapel Gallery, Melbourne
2001    Spirit & Vision, Sammlung Essl, Austria.
2003    Bushfire, Fireworks Gallery, Brisbane QLD.
2004    DREAMTIME: The Dark and The Light, Sammlung Essl, Austria.
2008    From the air, Fireworks Gallery, Brisbane, QLD.
2009    The Dreamers, Art Gallery of NSW.
2011   Tjukurrtjanu- Origins of Western Desert Art, National Gallery of Victoria.



  • 1988 Alice Springs Art Prize.