Australian gallery D’Lan Contemporary opens new New York space with First Nations artist Daniel Walbidi

D’Lan Contemporary presents ‘Yurlupirti – Forever Without End (eternal),’ a solo exhibition of Yulparitja / Mangala contemporary artist Daniel Walbidi, the inaugural exhibition at the Australian gallery’s new space at 25 East 73rd Street in New York.  ‘Yurlupirti – Forever Without End (eternal)’ will feature 10 new paintings by Walbidi. The exhibition will be on view from April 26 to May 31, 2024, with an artist talk and opening reception on April 25, from  6 PM to 8 PM. 

This exhibition follows the successful launch of D’Lan Contemporary‘s first New York space in May 2023, where the gallery hosted its first exhibition of Daniel Walbidi, marking Walbidi’s premiere in NYC.  ‘Yurlupirti – Forever Without End (eternal)’ will present a new body of larger-scale works and delve deeper into Walbidi’s personal beliefs and cultural perspectives grounded in the land. This marks the D’Lan Contemporary’s second collaboration with Walbidi and the artist’s primary representative Emily Rohr and Short St. Gallery (Broome, Western Australia), highlighting the significant demand and  appreciation for Australian First Nations art in the global art market

Daniel Walbidi creates art that acts as a bridge to the spiritual and ancient wisdom of the desert, deeply rooted in Australian First Nations’ perceptions of reality and the importance of land acknowledgment. Employing a vivid, layered abstract style, he explores profound questions about life through this new body of work. With water as a central theme, Daniel mirrors the fusion of coastal and desert environments through an intense color palette, offering a visual narrative that pays homage to his Yulparitja/Mangala heritage. 

“My ambition is not only to be a successful artist, but also to be someone who is able to make our culture known and understood and to give a different perspective of what land is to Aboriginal people,” Walbidi said. “The laws of the land extend to New York. There is a long tradition through the Native American community, which I often think about… The fundamental laws for existence are all written in the land. My aim is to share our perspective because it will shift the approach and understanding of Western  people. If you are born in the land, you are of the land.”

Daniel Walbidi is from Bidyadanga, a coastal community 250km south of Broome, Western Australia, home to the Karrajarri people. Originally the La Grange Mission, this remote area in Western Australia served as a settlement for Indigenous people migrating from the desert to assist in building cattle stations.

“Daniel’s upbringing fostered a deep appreciation for his people’s traditions and cross-cultural connections,” Lucy Foster, Gallery Manager of D’Lan Contemporary, said. “As we prepare to see Daniel’s paintings grace the walls of our new space in New York, his  art and words offer a poignant reflection on the importance of preservation and the enduring resilience  of Australian First Nations cultures.”

D’Lan Contemporary was founded in 2016 by D’Lan Davidson, a leading international Australian First Nations art consultant, dealer, and gallerist. The gallery has since dedicated itself to showcasing  exceptional works of art by leading and emerging Australian First Nations artists globally.

Since first discovering Daniel’s work during his tenure at Sotheby’s Australia, D’Lan has been determined to  collaborate with the artist and showcase his remarkable paintings to a broader audience.

The Australian gallery’s opening of a second space in New York signals a new direction in programming strategy. This additional space will present curated exhibitions featuring living Australian First Nations artists, alongside a schedule of events and educational talk programming. The 81st Street location will remain open by appointment with a focus on exhibiting exceptional secondary market works of art for private sale. 

‘Yurlupirti – Forever Without End (eternal)’ will be on view from April 26 to May 31, 2024, Tuesday to Saturday, 11 AM to 6 PM. An opening reception will take place on Thursday, April 25 from 6 PM to 8  PM. The artist will be present and participate in a conversation with his primary representative, Emily Rohr of Short St. Gallery, in a discussion hosted by D’Lan Davidson and New York Gallery Manager, Lucy Foster. 

About Daniel Walbidi 

Daniel Walbidi (b. 1983) is from a small coastal community 250km south of Broome called Bidyadanga, the traditional homeland of the Karrajarri people. Formerly La Grange Mission, it is where people were brought into from the desert to help build the cattle stations there. This is how Daniel’s desert parents came to live at the coast. Bidyadanga has five tribes living within the community.

“We all  speak and understand each other’s languages and live together as one big family,” Walbidi said.

At the age of 16, Daniel actively sought to exhibit his work. He was painting on wood boards, old doors, off cuts and anything he could find to express himself. He urged the elderly people in the community to start painting so that he could learn about his people’s history and cultural background. He has since  become initiated and continues to paint and exhibit his work around Australia. 

Taking colors from nature—both from the desert and the ocean—Walbidi’s artistic practice has been  deeply rooted in Australian First Nations perceptions of reality and the importance of land  acknowledgement, as well as his people’s traditional teachings and experiences. 

Walbidi won the painting prize at the National Indigenous Art Awards at the Museum and Art Gallery of  Northern Territory in 2014. He was named among the Top 50 of Australia’s Most Collectable Artists by Australian Art Collector in 2011. His work has been collected by significant institutions and exhibited globally including at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York).

About D’Lan Contemporary 

D’Lan Contemporary was founded by D’Lan Davidson in Melbourne, Australia in 2016; a leading art consultant, dealer, and gallerist specializing in Australian First Nations art for over 20 years. Representing Australia’s most dynamic art movement, D’Lan Contemporary presents regular exhibitions of modern and contemporary art by leading Australian First Nations artists alongside a  program of educational talks and events, to celebrate and promote the rich art and culture of the  country’s first peoples. 

In 2023, D’Lan Contemporary expanded to New York’s Upper East Side, enabling the gallery to further foster awareness of and appreciation for Australian First Nations art internationally. The 81st Street  location will continue to operate by appointment, focusing on private sales of outstanding secondary market artworks. 

D’Lan Contemporary maintains strict ethical practices and exclusively exhibits and sells works of art  with impeccable provenance to protect the artist, the buyer, and the market from fraudulent sales or unethical procurement. The gallery is committed to creating a sustainable marketplace and generating positive industry  change; the gallery gives back 30% of its net profits to communities. 

D’Lan Contemporary New York (73rd Street Location)  

Tuesday–Saturday, 11 AM–6 PM 

25 East 73rd Street (Upper East Side), New York NY 10021 

D’Lan Contemporary New York (81st Street Location) 

Appointment Only 

4 East 81st Street (Upper East Side), New York NY 10028 

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