Australischer Salon - Michael Reid

From Paris to Prague, Berlin to Barcelona, for two centuries apartments such as this have witnessed the continuous evolution of European art and Interior Design. In Berlin, these ‘Altbau’ – literally ‘old building’ – combined Modern feasibility with the high-ceilings, large rooms and architectural details of the traditional city house.


Contemporary Aboriginal art is a living, breathing, art-form. One that has evolved outside of the Altbau of Berlin or the Appartements of Paris. Its complexity and conceptuality is immediately recognisable and it is celebrated in the collections of artists including Sol LeWitt, Marina Abramović, and Imants Tillers. 


With this as context, Australischer Salon places contemporary Aboriginal art in a distinctly European setting – contrasting 19th-century Interior Design, and its many evolutions, with Western Desert paintings, Maningrida barks and Yolŋu larrakitj.

Djirrirra Wunuŋmurra Yukuwa, Buyku (6660-21), 2021, 52 x 44 cm

Djirrirra Yukuwa Wunuŋmurra. As with many of the artists in this curation, Djirrirra Wunuŋmurra holds a revered position in her community. This is, in part, a result of her artwork, and the voice that speaks through it. 

Hailing from the Yolŋu nation in North-East Arnhem Land, she is a respected member of her clan, entrusted with its sacred design – the miny’tji. In Wunuŋmurra’s case, this is the mesmerising geometric design, Buyku, pictured here.

Painting on bark, board, glass and larrakitj, Djirrirra continues to champion her culture and her people through her art.

Djirrirra Wunuŋmurra, Yukuwa Buyku (7966-21), 2021, 61 x 71 cm
€ 3.000 / AU $4,400

Djirrirra Wunuŋmurra Yukuwa, Buyku (7876-21), 2021, 71 x 61 cm
€ 3.000 / AU $4,400

Djirrirra Wunuŋmurra Yukuwa, Buyku (6025-21), 2021, 197 x 13 x 13 cm

Eileen Napaltjarri. This painting depicts designs associated with the rockhole and soakage water site of Tjiturrulpa, situated in rocky hills west of the Kintore Community. During mythological times, a group of men and women travelled east from this site toward the rockhole site of Illpilli. Along the way they gathered material for the production of various tools used in everyday life. The lines in the painting depict the lengths of wood that are yet to be fashioned into a variety of tools including kulata (spears), wana (nulla nullas), kiritji (shield) and kali (boomerang).

Eileen Napaltjarri (born c. 1956), Untitled (EN2007040), 2020, 122 × 91 cm

Alec Baker, Ngura (Country) (232-19), 2019, 122 x 152 cm
€ 5.050 / AU $7,500

Carlos Namunjdja, Yabbie and Waterhole (Ngarn) (988-19), 2019, 127 x 40 cm 
€ 1.500 / AU $2,200

Paul Namarinjmak, Ngalyod (Rainbow Serpent)
(381-20), 2020, 
138 x 24 cm 
€ 2.650 / AU $3,900

Samuel Namunjdja Gungara (The Spiralling Wind)(2008-12), 2012, 125.5 x 50.5 cm
€ 4.050 / AU $6,000

Djirrirra Yukuwa Wunuŋmurra. Larrakitj are intricately painted, termite-hollowed, funerary poles. Rarely seen outside of Australia, the traditional use of the Larrakitj by the Yolŋu peoples in North-East Arnhem Land, was as an ossuary, or bone container, erected as a memorial to a dead kinsman.

Long after death, the bones of the deceased would be placed within the pole for final resting. This ritual was completed with a ceremony fully separating the soul from the bones, the final stage of the journey to the pool of souls of their clansmen. The Larrakitj was then placed in the bush, over time disappearing completely to the land that bore it.

George Tjampu Tjapaltjarri (born c. 1945 – 2005), Untitled (210054), 2002, 153 × 122 cm
€ 4.850 / AU $7,200

Djirrirra Wunuŋmurra Yukuwa, Buyku (8051-21), 2021, 61 x 71 cm
€ 3.000 / AU $4,400

Djirrirra Wunuŋmurra Yukuwa, Buyku (7455-21), 2021, 139 x 19 x 19 cm

Right: Brett Weir, Untitled #123, 2018, 60 x 60 cm
€ 3.000 / AU $4,450

Turkey Tolson Tjupurrula (born c. 1938 – 2001), Untitled (9710066), 1997, 153 × 122 cm
€ 9.450 / AU $14,000

Turkey Tolson Tjupurrula. Turkey Tolson was born near Haasts Bluff in the Northern Territory. After his initiation into manhood, his family moved to Papunya, where he lived during the early years of the painting movement. He joined the ground-breaking Papunya Tula artists as one of its youngest members, painting his earliest artworks for Geoff Bardon in 1972.

During this early period, Turkey Tolson was one of the most innovative and figurative artists of the Papunya Tula movement.

This painting depicts designs associated with the Two Travelling Women, who travelled over vast areas of the Western Desert, stopping at many sites along the way. They sang the songs and performed the dances associated with the places they visited, gaining meaning through understanding as they went.

Kanya Tjapangati (1951–2006), Untitled (212169), 2002, 153 × 122 cm
€6.750 / AU $10,000

Kanya Tjapangati. This painting depicts designs associated with Yaltintja, a soakage water site north-west of Jupiter Well in Western Australia. In mythological times a group of Tingari Men camped at this site before travelling to Wilkinkarra (Lake Mackay). Since events associated with the Tingari Cycle are of a secret nature, no further detail was given. 

Generally, the Tingari are a group of mythical characters of the Dreaming who travelled over vast stretches of the country, performing rituals and creating and shaping particular sites. Their travels and adventures are enshrined in a number of song cycles. 

Kanya Tjapangati was born at the site of Pamatjatunya, Western Australia, circa 1951. He commenced painting for Papunya Tula Artists in 1981, today, his works are represented in many prestigious collections, including the National Gallery of Australia.

Timothy Cook, ‘Kulama’ (483-20), 2020, 90 x 90 cm
€4.200 / AU $6,250

Timothy Cook. Born in 1958 on Melville Island, where he lives and works today, Timothy Cook is a member of the Jilamara Arts & Crafts Association. Melville Island lies in the eastern Timor Sea about 60km north of the coast of Darwin in the Northern Territory. Indigenous people have lived here for over 40,000 years. To this day, songs sung here continuously for generations trace the rising and falling of the seas with the freeze and thaw of Ice Ages. 

Together with Bathurst and nine smaller islands, they form the Tiwi Islands. Featuring circular and cross motifs, Cook’s paintings are strongly connected to aspects of Tiwi ceremonial practice, particularly the Kulama (yam ceremony) and Pukumani (funeral ceremony), as well as stories of Purukapali, one of the great mythological Tiwi ancestral figures.

Michael Reid Berlin is the permanent hub for Australian art in Europe. For over three decades, we have developed cherished relationships with the many artists, communities and Art Centres that entrust us with these artworks. Their trust allows our Berlin gallery to present an unrivalled breadth of Aboriginal art in Europe, and ensures we can source any artwork for collectors across the world. 

We are privileged to represent these exceptional artists, and thank them for their faith in us. 

Should you wish to know more about the works in this curation, or to view them in person, contact the Michael Reid team now at, or via telephone at +49 179 614 6937 to arrange a private viewing. Alternatively, visit the gallery at Ackerstrasse 163, 10115, Berlin from Wednesday to Saturday, 11–17h.