What is this (ethnographic) painting?

Here’s the painting.

It seems to be painted on some fine linen which is glued over a board or canvasboard.

It was acquired around 1950. We don’t know where or who painted it. But the people who bought it traveled a lot.

I opened a similar thread in Cafe Society, got one response saying it appeared Australian aboriginal. Dexter gave me permission to also open a thread in GQ about this.

Photo not coming up.

Looks kinda like Southwest American Indian art.


I’ll try to find some close examples.

Check out the bighorn sheep at the bottom.


Some human renditions near Moab.


I think we have a winner over in Cafe Society – representation of Maori rock art

Here’s something very similar on a different site http://www.artandobject.co.nz/Auctions/Browse/ID/59/LotID/049

You’ve found it! That’s not just “similar”, it’s clearly by the same artist. It’s a screenprint, which means that the shapes are cut out of stencils. I can see that the exact same stencils were used on your piece as on this one. The red grouping of figures on the right side of yours is identical to the dark brown grouping in the center of this one. Same with the pale green group in the lower left corner of yours, and the teal group in the upper right of this one, and so on.

You’ve got yourself an A. R. D. Fairburn, or an extremely precise copy thereof. It mentions his screen printing in the third paragraph from the bottom.

Yes I do think it’s by the same artist. Pretty exciting!!!

Also, after reading some of the biography of A.R.D. Fairburn, it’s very possible that the owners met him personally. The owners not only traveled extensively but had a lot of cultural and political contacts in those circles.