• ARTISTS

          Cooee Art has built long-term relationships with Aboriginal and First Nations artists and their not for profit art centres since 1981.

          Our gallery team travels regularly to remote areas of Australia to meet with artists and develop our exhibition program.

        • Auction Artists

          Cooee Art Auctions works with artists bi-annually across two separate departments – Indigenous Fine Art and Modern & Contemporary Fine Art.

          Read through the profiles and market analysis for the top 200 Indigenous artists

        • SHOP ARTWORKS

          Cooee Art curates ethically sourced art from Australian Indigenous communities that we have formed relationships with for 40 years.

          Our gallery team travels regularly to remote areas of Australia to meet with artists to consign artworks.

        • New Arrivals

          Cooee Art gallery artworks arrive in our online shop and our gallery spaces weekly.

          Shop new arrivals that coincide with our monthly exhibition program.

        • All Artworks

          Shop online from the full portfolio of available Cooee Art artworks – paintings, sculptures, fine art prints and artisanal objects ranging from $100 – $500k.

        • EXHIBITIONS

          Cooee Art was established in 1981 and is Australia’s oldest exhibiting Indigenous art gallery. 

          The gallery has presented the finest Aboriginal and First Nations art through their exhibition program for over 40 years showing the work of over 150 individual artists.

          The Cooee Art stockroom includes contemporary Aboriginal paintings, rare bark paintings and artefacts, early desert boards and acrylic paintings as well as sculpture and limited edition fine art prints.

        • Current

          Cooee Art presents monthly solo and group exhibitions in the Paddington gallery supported by public programs including artist talks and workshops.

        • Future

          Explore forthcoming exhibitions in the Cooee Art galleries and our special event program.

        • AUCTIONS

          Cooee Art Auctions provide an informed and professional approach to buying and selling art in the secondary market. We are a market leader with specialist knowledge and proven results. 

          We offer collectable Australian and International artworks for sale by auction and private treaty. 

          Cooee Art Auctions work with artists, galleries, museums and private collections bi-annually to curate and consign artworks across two separate departments – Indigenous Fine Art and Modern & Contemporary Fine Art.

          Our auctions and previews for potential buyers and collectors are presented in the Cooee Art premium 480sqm hybrid gallery and auction space in Paddington. 

        • Indigenous Fine Art

          Cooee Art Auctions offers bi-annual auctions of significant and highly-collectible Australian Indigenous artworks.

          Our Art Market Analytics provides comprehensive artist profiles and market analytics on Australia’s 200 most important Aboriginal artists.

        • Modern & Contemporary Fine Art

          Introducing Modern and Contemporary Australian and international art.

          We seek to establish new benchmarks for pricing and documentation for artists in the secondary art market

        • Art Market Analytics

          Cooee Art has created a comprehensive art market analytics tool with easy navigation. The information we provide is designed to be an invaluable resource for art consultants, valuers, and industry professionals and to serve the interests of artists, galleries, institutions, art centres, collectors and researchers.

        • Artist Profiles

          Each artist is ranked according to their career, and annual artist ranking index. Detailed profiles, market analysis and performance indicators are provided for a growing list of artists along with the artworks that have achieved their ten highest results at auction.

        • Current Indigenous Art Market

          Provides professional advice on the Indigenous art market in line with other investment categories, thereby serving the interests of artists, galleries and collectors.

        • Consultancy

          The Cooee Art team has been providing expert advice for over 40 years in a Consultancy capacity to offer a breadth of services for the business side of art.

        • Valuations

          Cooee Art Founding Director Adrian Newstead OAM has more than 20 years experience in valuing Aboriginal art and artefacts (pre-contact to Contemporary).

        • EXHIBITION AND EVENT MANAGEMENT

          Cooee Art curates and coordinates exhibitions on behalf of charitable organisations, commercial businesses and galleries in Australia and overseas utilising its extensive contacts with individual artists, artists’ agents, galleries and important private and public collections.

        • ABOUT

          Cooee Art was originally established in 1981 and runs a hybrid art model to represent and support artists in an ethical and sustainable way. We have two galleries, our flagship gallery in the heart of Aboriginal Sydney in Redfern and a boutique showroom gallery in Australia’s iconic Bondi Beach along with a seperate fine art auction wing, Cooee Art Auctions established in 2017. Cooee is now Australia’s oldest exhibiting Indigenous art gallery. Since first working with Australian Aboriginal artists in 1981, we have presented the finest First Nations art through exhibitions and events in Australia, Europe, and the Americas.

  • Contact

Cooee Art foremost acknowledges Australia’s First Nations Peoples, the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, as the traditional owners and custodians of the unceded land and waters on which we work and reside.

ABORIGINAL FINE ART GALLERY, PURCHASE AUSTRALIAN INDIGENOUS ART, CONTEMPORARY AND ABORIGINAL ART FOR SALE – SYDNEY

Price and availability are subject to change at the gallery’s discretion. While we try to ensure the accuracy of all data across the website, Cooee Art reserves the right to cancel a sale due to price change.

The artist holds the copyright for all images throughout the website and must not be reused or reproduced in any way without explicit permission.

© COOEE ART 1981 – 2021

Maxie Tjampitjinpa

Upcoming auction

Available Gallery Artworks

Sort by
Sort the display of artworks by selecting from the dropdown selection here

Profile

Maxie Tjampitjinpa grew up in Hassts Bluff and attended the school in Papunya during the late 1960’s, prior to the establishment of the Western Desert art movement. By the time Geoff Bardon began teaching at the school, Maxie had been to High School at Nightcliff in Darwin and was working in the Territory capital. On returning to Papunya in his early 20’s he worked as a tractor driver and Police tracker before starting to paint in 1980, just when many of the early painters were moving west in order to return to their homelands near the newly established community of Kintore. As one of the second generation Papunya Tula artists, Maxie began painting during a period when Desert art was moving towards a more individual form of expressiveness as artists moved beyond the limited iconographic lexicon formulated by the older artists in consultation with Geoff Bardon and Peter Fannin. He was instructed by Old Mick Wallankarri Tjakamarra, a man highly revered for his traditional knowledge and one of the senior custodians of the Honey Ant Dreaming centrally located at Papunya.

Being Warlpiri, and having observed from afar the unfolding of the painting movement, Maxie was acutely aware of the polemic that had developed around the early paintings by the Pintupi elders and the dissenting attitude of his own Warlpiri elders to the use of ceremonial symbols and secret knowledge. When, he started to paint during the 1980’s, he was in his early 30’s and became one of the youngest to paint for Papunya Tula Artists. His own contemporaries were more acquainted with their mythological heritage through art and story rather than through the rigors of journey and ceremony, and thus brought a different emphasis to their practice. Maxie was a forerunner in moving away from recognizable design elements and symbols strictly tied to specific place and narrative, as he leaned more towards the qualities of atmosphere and movement. He invented and perfected the flicked dotting technique that became the mark of his own personal style thereby influencing many other Desert artists.

From the outset, Maxie displayed a bold approach, both in his incorporation of basic, though increasingly pared-back, geometrical motifs and in his use of paint to create different effects. His manner of working was always precise and deliberate. A rapid stippling effect across the canvas could convey aspects of the land and its plant and animal life that lay submerged within the fixed iconography. The swarming of flying ants, the haze of heat or dust, and the movement of fire and drifting smoke, were all subjects that inspired Maxie’s prolific output.  His love of painting was evident in the patient building of layer upon layer of vibrant contrasting colours to provide a sense of depth and complexity. In 1984 he won the National Territory Art Award amongst some controversy concerning the acceptance of Aboriginal acrylic painting as a bona fide contemporary art form as opposed to folk art. However the judge, Nancy Underhill, and other art professionals were adamant as to its high quality and creative genius. 

During the 1990’s Maxie relinquished the solid forms that provided focus to his works in favour of mesmerizing, shimmering surfaces.  His bush fire series, first exhibited in Sydney in 1992, depicted the ancestral bushfire that raged across Warlpiri country leaving the earth blackened and waiting for rain and renewal. He, began to spend more time in Alice Springs where ‘boom conditions’ in the Aboriginal art market attracted a plethora of artists, dealers and buyers. He no longer worked for Papunya Tula preferring to paint for Warumpi Arts, set up by the Papunya Community Council, as well as for a number of independent dealers that were supportive of his art practice. While his works were shown in galleries throughout Australia, it was the period prior to any solo exhibitions by prominent Indigneous artists. As he gained renown and became a rising star, his art was included in important group exhibitions, and toured Europe in 1995 with the Robert Holmes a Court collection.

Maxie Tjampitjinpa’s prodigious contribution to the burgeoning Aboriginal Art world was cut short by his early and untimely death from renal failure in 1997. He is remembered for his unique contribution as an innovative influence on Desert painting during the period when women were making a greater impression in the market and a number of male artists had embraced the modernist abstracted aesthetic that would propel Aboriginal art into the new millennium.  

MARKET ANALYSIS

Maxie Tjampitjinpa painted for Papunya Tula from 1981 until his death in 1997, yet, increasingly during the last five years of his life, he created works for Warumpi Arts and a number of independent dealers. They included Chris Simon, from whom the artist’s record holding work was originally sourced.  Maxie’s growing ‘independence’ was due entirely to the fact that, suffering from the renal failure that eventually took his life, he underwent regular dialysis in Alice Springs. Having moved into town, he was no longer serviced by Papunya Tula, that would only supply art materials to artists living ‘out bush’. This is evidenced by the fact that only seven of the Papunya Tula works that have been offered for sale at auction were produced during the five years between 1993 and the year of his death. Interestingly no paintings created prior to 1987 have appeared for sale, other than a couple created for community contractors. 

When Bush Fire Dreaming sold for $16,730 at Bonham’s and Goodman in March 2006, it transcended a record that had stood for almost a decade during a period in which the Aboriginal art market had experienced a boom. The 180 x 180 cm work had carried an estimated of just $4,000-8,000 (Lot 1294). The previous record had been set for a whopping 256 x 184 cm canvas at Christie's in August 1998 (Lot 1106). Entitled Bushfire 1996it had achieved only $13,800 against a presale estimate of $12,000-15,000, despite it’s Utopia Art Sydney provenance. Another work sold in 1998 occupies his seventh highest result and two more sold in 1998 and 1999 remain in his top 20.

The best result achieved for a work with Papunya Tula provenance has been the $9,600 paid for Untitled 1996 a 183 x 122 cm painting that had been estimated at $8,000-12,000 by Sotheby's in July 2004 (Lot 302). The image depicted a bushfire at the site of Warlurkulanga, north-west of Papunya adjacent to sand dunes.

While Sotheby’s have in fact been the most successful of all auction houses with works by this artist, having sold 13 for a total of $35,389, it is Lawson~Menzies with just eight sales to their credit that have generated $40,920.

Works by Maxie Tjampitjinpa have suffered mixed results when offered for sale. They first appeared as early as 1989 when only one of the three offered sold for just $500. By far and away his best year at sale was 2004 when nine of 13 works sold for $55,200 or an average of $6,133 and five of his current top ten results were established. Nevertheless, only four works are recorded as having sold for more than $10,000 and only nine have sold for between $5,000 and $10,000.

His most spectacular failures at auction have been for the beautifully rendered and unusual Spirit Women's Dreaming 1989, estimated at $12,000-15,000 by Lawson~Menzies in May 2004 (Lot 7) and the Papunya Tula provenanced 121.5 x 121.5 cm Fire Dreaming 1991 offered by Deutscher~Menzies in June 1999 (Lot 19) with an estimate of $15,000-20,000.

Maxie Tjampitjinpa’s works are singularly distinctive, but his fortunes at auction have definitely been mixed as indicated by his low clearance rate. His career should be seen in the light of his special place in the development of the emerging Papunya men’s style of the 1990’s. Paintings by Maxie Tjampitjinpa should be judged more on their aesthetic value than their source provenance. They are still eminently affordable and are more than worthy of any fine contemporary collection. Having fallen out of favour in recent years, the work is overdue for a reassessment, as Maxie was an extremely talented artist with barely any unworthy works on the market – even his less accomplished works are still things of great beauty.

MARKET PERFORMANCE

2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
0.0910 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.7069 0.2202 0.2893 0.0638 0.1536 0.0000 0.0186 0.2878 0.2990 0.0136 0.0000 0.1807 0.0363 0.0247 0.0494 0.0000
3/8 0/3 0/4 0/1 9/13 3/7 4/7 1/3 2/3 0/0 1/2 4/5 5/7 1/2 0/1 6/7 1/1 1/3 1/4 0/0
$920 $0 $0 $0 $6,169 $5,390 $5,233 $4,070 $5,900 $0 $345 $5,175 $3,576 $186 $0 $907 $1,320 $609 $2,436 $0
Yearly Market Performance Graph from 2000 -

top 10 Historical artwork sales

1

Bush Fire Dreaming

auction: Bonhams & Goodman Sydney lot: 1294 date: 29/03/2006
180 x 180 cm Acrylic on canvas

$16,730.00
2

Bushfire

auction: Christie's Sydney lot: 1106 date: 17/08/1998
256 x 184 cm Synthetic polymer paint on canvas

$13,800.00
3

Bushfire Dreaming, 1996

auction: Cornette de Saint Cyr Paris lot: 5 date: 09/05/2011
122 x 91 cm Acrylic on linen canvas

$11,107.00
4

Bushfire, 1996

auction: Lawson~Menzies Sydney lot: 199 date: 23/11/2004
122 x 182 cm Synthetic polymer paint on linen

$10,800.00
5

Country in Flood 1997

auction: Lawson~Menzies Sydney lot: 148 date: 23/02/2012
183 x 91 cm Synthetic polymer paint on canvas

$10,625.00
6

Untitled 1996

auction: Sotheby's Australia Pty. Ltd. Melbourne lot: 302 date: 26/07/2004
183 x 122 cm Synthetic polymer paint on linen

$9,600.00
7

Water Dreaming at Watulpuya, 1992

auction: ArtCurial Paris lot: 27 date: 07/07/2008
122 x 122 cm Acrylic on belgian linen

$9,399.00
8

Bushfire, 1996

auction: Lawson~Menzies Sydney lot: 235 date: 23/11/2004
121 x 91.5 cm Synthetic polymer paint on linen

$8,400.00
9

Rain Dreaming at Watulpunyu 1988

auction: Sotheby's Australia Pty. Ltd. Melbourne lot: 299 date: 29/06/1998
106 x 183 cm Synthetic polymer paint on canvas

$8,050.00
10

Water Dreaming, 1996

auction: Lawson~Menzies Sydney lot: 238 date: 31/05/2005
183 x 183 cm Synthetic polymer paint on linen

$7,200.00
REDFERN GALLERY

17 Thurlow Street,
Redfern, NSW, 2016

p. +61 (02) 9300 9233
Opening Hours:
Tuesday – Saturday 10am till 5pm

BONDI BEACH GALLERY

31 Lamrock Avenue
Bondi Beach, NSW 2026

p. +61 (02) 9300 9233
Opening Hours:
Open by appointment

Cooee Art foremost acknowledges Australia’s First Nations Peoples, the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, as the traditional owners and custodians of the unceded land and waters on which we work and reside.

ABORIGINAL FINE ART GALLERY, PURCHASE AUSTRALIAN INDIGENOUS ART, CONTEMPORARY AND ABORIGINAL ART FOR SALE – SYDNEY

Price and availability are subject to change at the gallery’s discretion. While we try to ensure the accuracy of all data across the website, Cooee Art reserves the right to cancel a sale due to price change.

The artist holds the copyright for all images throughout the website and must not be reused or reproduced in any way without explicit permission.

© COOEE ART 1981 – 2021

Cooee Art foremost acknowledges Australia’s First Nations Peoples, the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, as the traditional owners and custodians of the unceded land and waters on which we work and reside.

ABORIGINAL FINE ART GALLERY, PURCHASE AUSTRALIAN INDIGENOUS ART, CONTEMPORARY AND ABORIGINAL ART FOR SALE – SYDNEY

Price and availability are subject to change at the gallery’s discretion. While we try to ensure the accuracy of all data across the website, Cooee Art reserves the right to cancel a sale due to price change.

The artist holds the copyright for all images throughout the website and must not be reused or reproduced in any way without explicit permission.

© COOEE ART 1981 – 2021