• For Art Basel Miami Beach 2020, Salon 94 presents new works by Yukultji Napangati, Elizabeth Neel, David Benjamin Sherry and Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri. From Death Valley to the Gibson Desert, these multi-generational artists share a unique connection to the land.

    David Benjamin Sherry revisits the vast, protected lands of the American West celebrated by iconic landscape photographers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries who advocated for land protection. A dedicated analog photographer, Sherry has created a series of detailed portraits of threatened national monuments using a traditional large format camera on 8x10 negatives. For Sherry, color is a vehicle of emotion—a tool for re-visioning and queering the American landscape.

    This year, on the opposite coast, Elizabeth Neel has been working in her studio in Morristown, Vermont during the long Covid months. An intensely physical painter, Neel’s mysterious shapes, symbols and strokes in acrylic are poured, brushed, printed, folded, stamped, rolled and dragged onto raw canvas.


    In the heart of the Western desert in Kiwirrkurra, Australia, siblings Yukultji Napangati and Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri depict the land and sacred sites that their ancestors have traversed for millennia. Yukultji Napangati paints the land in association with her mother’s and grandmother’s Dreamings–oral histories, teachings, and philosophies passed on from generation to generation. Her pieces transpose nature into sinuous, undulating lines, sometimes interrupted by amoeba-like forms which alter the rhythmic totality of the composition.

    Landscapes also appear to oscillate and move with visual energy in Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri's dreamtime paintings. Tjapaltjarri's work corresponds to mythical stories of the Pintupi people and the formation of the Gibson desert in which they live, operating more as mnemonic devices than representations of narrative or visual memory.

  • Elizabeth Neel

    B. 1981

    An intensely physical painter, Neel’s mysterious shapes, symbols and strokes in acrylic are poured, brushed, printed, folded, stamped, rolled and dragged onto raw canvas as if she were tilling, harrowing, and leveling a field. It is not surprising that her new works were made in a barn on a farm in Vermont. For Neel, the splendor of landscape, flora and fauna are intoxicating resources which she interprets in abstract bursts of color. The piercing yellow of scanning the Meridian sun (2020) is likened to that of bee pollen or buttercups in an overgrown field. Deep reds and hot pinks which saturate the painting All the Cares (2020) are reminiscent of a mix of mud and blood that soaks a newly born calf, or the rusty clay seeping through one's toes after a downpour.

    The granddaughter of iconic American portrait painter Alice Neel, and sister of filmmaker Andrew Neel, Elizabeth Neel has honed a practice that consistently draws from everything around her. She makes paintings and works on paper in both rural Morristown and urban Brooklyn. Her studios are covered in an abundance of images culled from the internet—exotic flora, animal X-Rays, medieval mosaics, human anatomy diagrams, gothic architecture, poetry and more.


    — Elizabeth Neel, 2020

  • David Benjamin Sherry

    B. 1981

    David Benjamin Sherry is a Los Angeles-based artist who is both challenging and reinvigorating American photography. His work revolves around interests in environmentalism, queer identity and alternative film processes. He’s best known for his colorful landscape photographs, brought upon by the desire to explore the last remaining wilderness in America. Through numerous projects, Sherry’s work expresses deep concern for the rapidly changing environment, while continuing to sustain a queer sensibility in the hetero-male dominated canon of landscape photography. Sherry has referred to himself as a “nostalgic-futurist” and uses a large format 8x10 film camera in order to reflect and understand our connection within the contemporary American landscape. Sherry was born in 1981 in Stony Brook, NY and currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. He received his BFA in Photography from Rhode Island School of Design in 2003 and his MFA in Photography from Yale University in 2007 where he was awarded the Richard Dixon Welling Prize. In 2010 he received the Rema Hort Mann Foundation Visual Arts Grant. Sherry taught Western Landscape and Large Format photography as a distinguished faculty member at the San Francisco Art Institute in 2018.

  • David Benjamin Sherry
    Joshua Tree, Joshua Tree National Park, California, 2020
    Chromogenic print
    88 3/4 x 71 inches (225.4 x 180.3 cm)
    [Also available 40 x 50 inches (101.6 x 127 cm) – $18,000]
    Edition of 3, 2AP
    Includes frame and Optium glazing
  • 'In the last decade, I traveled and photographed extensively throughout the western national forests and national parks. In doing so...

    "In the last decade, I traveled and photographed extensively throughout the western national forests and national parks. In doing so I revisited famous western landscapes that I had seen in the historic photographs of Carleton Watkins, Eadweard Muybridge, William Henry Jackson, and Ansel Adams. I became interested in these iconic landscapes that were so crucial to our collective understanding of the American West but discovered that many of the locations were deteriorating—affected by human interference. 


    The pictures I took, which began as an homage to the grand Western landscape photographic legacy, evolved into an opportunity to build upon it. Like my predecessors, I use an 8x10 large-format film camera, which allows for an unrivaled level of detail. However, when printing this series, I’m not interested in depicting the way the subject appears in reality, but rather its potential for emotional resonance between viewer and subject. Color is a conduit for me to make those feelings visible, and to begin a radical, queer new chapter to this colonial, heteronormative history of the medium. In this way I feel I am queering the landscape."


    — David Benjamin Sherry, 2020
  • Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri

    Born C. 1958
    Few painters can match the optical intensity found in Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri's paintings. Glistening like a mirage, they pulse and swirl, hovering between the canvas and the eye like an electromagnetic field. The epicenter of the power in Warlimpirrnga’s paintings comes from his great muse Wilkinkarra (Lake Mackay), a vast expanse spanning 1,350 square miles between the Gibson and Great Sandy Deserts of Western Australia. Warlimpirrnga’s depictions are usually focused on the site of Marawa, a place of particular significance in the journeys of the Tingari—a group of ancestral beings who travelled over stretches of the country and whose stories are commemorated in song cycles, ceremonies and designs traditionally seen on pearl shells and ceremonial shields. In Warlimpirrnga’s paintings there are echoes of these designs, but they are transformed into the artist’s own unique visual vocabulary.

    Tjapaltjarri is represented in major collections around the world, including the National Gallery of Victoria (Melbourne, Australia); the Art Gallery of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia); the Musée du Quai Branly (Paris, France); Toledo Art Museum (Toledo, OH); and Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA). Prominent group exhibitions include Mapa Wiya (Your Map's Not Needed): Australian Aboriginal Art from the Fondation Opale, Menil Foundation (Houston, TX); No Boundaries: Aboriginal Australian Contemporary Abstract Painting, Pérez Art Museum Miami (Miami, FL — exhibition travelled to Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, NV, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Portland OR, Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American History, Detroit, MI, and the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY) and dOCUMENTA 13 (Kassel, Germany).
  • Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri
    Untitled, 2019
    Acrylic on linen
    Framed Dimensions:
    37 1/4 x 37 1/4 x 2 1/4 inches
    (94.6 x 94.6 x 5.7 cm)
    Unframed Dimensions:
    35 7/8 x 35 7/8 inches
    (91.1 x 91.1 cm)
  • Napangati and Tjapaltjarri's works evoke the shimmering plains of their homeland: the vast salt lake Wilkinkarra (Lake Mackay) that lies to the north of Kiwirrkura in one of the remotest parts of the world. An ancient wellspring of culture flows from this sentient desert country, the contemporary expression of which enriches the art of the Papunya Tula artists. For these artists and their contemporaries the act of painting is mnemonic, a tangible expression of living memory.

    — Hetti Perkins

    Curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales in the essay Western Desert Art – a View from Within

  • Yukultji Napangati

    Born C. 1971
    For more than twenty years, Yukultji Napangati has created gorgeous, shimmering paintings which evoke the vast Western Desert where she was born. Minimalist in palette and formally abstract, her paintings draw on the ancestral myths handed down through kinship lines which are both sacred and distinct. The country that Napangati paints is the remote Gibson Desert in Western Australia, north of Kiwirrkurra near the great salt lake Wilkinkarra (Lake Mackay), the heart of the Pintupi homelands. She was born there and lived nomadically with her small family of nine until the age of fourteen, when they were sighted and subsequently reunited with her Pintupi kin. Making national headlines as the last of the desert nomads, “The Lost Tribe” (or “Pintupi Nine”) generated a media sensation when they were discovered in October 1984 living independently and without contact to the outside world. But despite the attention, they insisted that they were not lost, merely living off the land as their ancestors had for millennia.

    Yukultji Napangati began to paint in 1996, as part of a burgeoning initiative amongst Pintupi women to express and preserve their cultural inheritance, and develop an aesthetic language all of their own. She is now recognized as a leading figure of the contemporary Australian Aboriginal painting movement and has received numerous awards including the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ 2018 Wynne Prize for Landscape Painting and the prestigious Alice Prize. Her work has been exhibited worldwide and is included in the permanent collections of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia; the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia; The Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia; the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, NH,The Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, MA, the Milwaukee Art Museum, WI, and the Toledo Museum of Art, OH.
    • Yukultji Napangati, Untitled, 2020
      Yukultji Napangati, Untitled, 2020
    • Yukultji Napangati, Untitled, 2020
      Yukultji Napangati, Untitled, 2020
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