Aboriginal collection goes walkabout

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Works bought in Australia by Dennis and Debra Scholl will visit five US museums

Ngarra’s Yalyalji and Malngirri, 2006. Photo: © the Ngarra estate, courtesy of Mossenson Galleries, Perth

The Miami-based collectors Dennis and Debra Scholl are known for buying the latest in contemporary art, but a recent obsession has led them far from the traditional gallery scene. Over the past five years, the couple have acquired around 320 works by Australian Aboriginal artists. “No Boundaries”, a show drawn from their collection of 75 abstract paintings by nine Aboriginal artists, is due to travel to five US museums over the next two years, and is due to be on view at the Pérez Art Museum Miami during Art Basel in Miami Beach 2015.

VIPs can get a sneak preview this week; the curator Tina Kukielski has organised a display at the Scholls’ home that juxtaposes the work of contemporary Aboriginal artists, including Nyapanyapa Yunupingu and Minnie Pwerle, with that of Western contemporary artists such as Joel Holmberg and William Pope L. “These are not outsiders in the classic sense, because they have their own system,” Dennis Scholl says.

The collector is a part-time wine-maker and his interest began when he visited Australian vineyards in the Barossa Valley. “After 38 years of collecting, Debra and I have been a little frustrated by the contemporary art world during the past few years,” he says. “We began to look for another avenue and found this extraordinary, moving and pulsating work.”

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