c. 1935 - 2017

Yannima Pikarli Tommy Watson is internationally recognised as one of the most significant Aboriginal artists of our time. He is represented commercially by Piermarq and Yanda Aboriginal Art. Watson’s recent series of iconic abstract works are setting record prices both in Australia and internationally, exhibiting at the most exclusive art fairs around the world including The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF) Maastricht, PAN Amsterdam and GAF Amsterdam, in Europe. Also Art Miami, Art Silicon Valley (San Francisco), Art Southampton and the Armory Show in New York, in the USA.

Tommy Watson ‘walked in’ from the desert in his teens; as a child he lived a traditional life in the Gibson Desert, where he gained an intimate understanding of the environment and his Tjukurrpa (ancestral stories). His paintings refer to his country, Ngayuku Ngura (‘My Country’ in Pitjantjatjara language), representing several sites of importance, such as Walu, Utjuri Pukara and Pikarli. As a senior Pitjantjatjara elder, Watson is celebrated for his highly expressive use of bright colour and innovative abstraction.

Tommy Watson is represented in important Australian public collections, including the National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria and Art Gallery of NSW. Watson’s work is also in many important collections around the world including the prestigious Musée du Quai Branly in Paris, France, which commissioned him to paint an entire ceiling on one of the building’s levels, in 2006.

Tommy Watson is considered a pioneer of contemporary indigenous abstraction. The culmination of his artistic career is undoubtedly his 6 x 8 metre masterpiece, Ngayuku Warnka Tjukurpa, the largest and most impressive painting by an individual Aboriginal artist. It is a symbol that Watson’s place is secured as one of the all-time greats of Aboriginal painting.

Most recently, Tommy Watson’s work was featured in our exhibition  From West of Here – Contemporary Aboriginal Art, click here to view the catalogue.


Ken McGregor & Marie Geissler, Yannima Pikarli Tommy Watson, MacMillan Art Publishing (Melbourne), 2010


Musée du Quai Branly, Paris (France)
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Western Australian Art Gallery, Perth
South Australian Art Gallery, Adelaide
Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin

Would you like to view more works by Tommy Watson? Feel free to give us a call on (02) 9660 7799 or email us at [email protected]

Untitled (2013) Acrylic on linen, 122 x 152.5cm cm © Yanda Art
Ngayuku Ngura (2014) Acrylic on linen, 152 x 244 cm © Yanda Art
Utjuri Pukara (2013), Acrylic on linen, 101 x 112 cm
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