Signature: bears artist's name and title, and # SYSS2891 on reverse
Recent Works from Ramingining and Maningrida,
Roslyn Oxley 9 Gallery, 1989
Similar Catfish paintings were exhibited in the major memorial exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia in 2004 - "No Ordinary Place - the Art of David Malangi" - lent by the Art Gallery of NSW and the Art Gallery of WA., and both dating from the 1980s.
"Malangi continually experimented with compositional format in devising paintings to venerate the Djan'kawu. He developed a series distinctive for the central placement of figures on the bark, in bold white pigment and rärrk on a dense black ground." NGA catalogue online.
The depiction of the Ancestral beings in this way signals a sacred dimension and suggests a realm beyond the everyday. Thus, as the catfishis one essence of the Djan'kawu, represented on bark, it also becomes an icon of the Djan’kawu in the spiritual sense.
Malangi was painting these iconic, minimal works when he was in his late sixties; a mature painter and a ritual leader. The process of distilling the subject was an intellectual and spiritual exercise associated with attaining cultural authority and religious knowledge.
Painted in the Milingimbi region, Northern Territory
Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
Corporate Collection, Sydney
Charles Nodrum, Melbourne
About David Daymirringu Malangi (1927-1999)