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Albert Namatjira

 (1902 - 1959)
Albert Namatjira was active/lived in Australia.  Albert Namatjira is known for landscape paintings.

Albert Namatjira

Biography from Mossgreen Auctions

Albert Namatjira had been a dedicated craftsman for several years before taking up the brush.  Images emblazoned on his early boomerangs, woomeras and mulga plaques attest to Namatjira’s exceptional powers of observation and flair for design.  It was during a celebrated expedition, with the intrepid artist Rex Battarbee in 1936, that Namatjira learned the watercolour techniques that would bring him into public prominence.

Importantly, Namatjira’s early experience as a ‘camel boy’ gave him the capacity to carry provisions, camping gear and painting equipment required for extended travel to distant picturesque locales.  Namatjira was in every way a man of the twentieth century.  On receipt of his first income tax assessment in 1946, Namatjia bought a small truck, enhancing his mobility for painting trips out west, incorporating visits to relatives at the newly established mission outposts at Haasts Bluff and Areyonga.

Significantly, Battarbee taught Namatjira to paint en plein air, noting the way light moved slowly over his subject.  Battarbee was a keen photographer who used the camera as an aide-memoire in his painting practice. 

Significantly Battarbee demonstrated how to hold his squared-off index fingers and thumbs in front of his eyes to create a framing device.  Namatjira frequently utilized the technique when composing his paintings.  Battarbee later gave Namatjira a camera and further instruction on developing film.  While none of Albert’s photographs have been identified, the verisimilitude of works, such as Amulda Gorge suggests that Namatjira was profoundly influenced by ‘modern’ ways of seeing.

(1) John Kean (1) Martin Edmond, Battarbee and Namatjira, Artamon, Girimondo Publishing Company, 2014, p. 152-157

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About  Albert Namatjira

Born:  1902
Died:   1959
Known for:  landscape paintings