Ian Abdulla (1947–2011) was a Ngarrindjeri Australian Aboriginal contemporary artist. He has been called Australia's greatest naive artist. On the morning of 29 January, at the age of 63, he died at the Berri Hospital, South Australia after a brief battle with cancer. His family was by his side.
Abdulla's work featured on the cover of the World Health Organisation's annual report. His works have been exhibited around the world and form part of the permanent collection at the Art Gallery of South Australia and the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
In 1991 Abdulla was named South Australian Aboriginal Artist of the Year, and was awarded an Australia Council Fellowship in 1992. His book, As I Grew Older was awarded the Australian Multicultural Children’s Literature Award in 1994 and, Tucker was short-listed for the Children’s Book Council Eve Pownall Award for Information Books in 1995.
His works are distinct for their juxtaposition of text and image against a flattened foreground. Abdulla's handpainted annotations briefly describe the scene depicted and are placed dead centre at the top of his paintings.
- Abdulla, Ian W. (1993). As I grew older: the life and times of a Nunga growing up along the Murray River. Norwood, South Australia: Omnibus Books. p. 40. ISBN 1-86291-160-6.
- Swimming before school, 1995, synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 239.5 x 160.0 cm stretcher. Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
- Finding frogs in the night to put on the cross line to catch a Ponde or Pilarkie over night, 1990, synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 183.0 x 244.0 cm. Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
- Picking red berries, 1990, synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 81.0 x 122.0 cm. Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
- "Deadly Artists: Ian Abdulla". Deadly Artists Online. Retrieved 2 September 2011. (includes a list of major exhibitions)
- Narratives of charm and wit, John Kean, The Age www.theage.com.au, 15 February 2011
- DEATH OF IAN ABDULLA, Jeremy Eccles, Aboriginal Art Directory News www.aboriginalartdirectory.com, 1 February 2011
- Indigenous artist had unique style Tim Lloyd, The Advertiser, www.adelaidenow.com.au, 31 January 2011.
- Deadly Artists: Ian Abdulla Retrieved 2 September 2011
- Art Gallery of New South Wales Retrieved 6 September 2011
- Ian Abdulla, National Gallery of Australia, nga.gov.au, Retrieved 22 August 2011
- The Children's Book Council of Australia: Winners and Shortlists 1990 - 1999 The Children's Book Council of Australia, cbca.org.au, Retrieved 22 August 2011
- Art Gallery of New South Wales
- Ian W Abdulla: Elvis Has Entered the Building, Sydney Morning Herald, 20 September 2003, Retrieved 22 August 2011