Emily Kame Kngwarreye - Wired: Online Auction London Wednesday, October 28, 2020 | Phillips

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  • Description

    Please note this lot is the property of a private individual.

  • Provenance

    Delmore Gallery, Northern Territory
    Gallery Gondwana, Alice Springs
    Acquired from the above by the present owner in August 1992

  • Catalogue Essay

    Emily Kame Kngwarreye is celebrated as one of the most important Aboriginal artists of the 20th century. Kngwarreye was born to the Utopia tribe, a community from Australia’s northern territory and her work has been critical in globalizing an often-underrepresented canon of art. Kngwarreye’s practice began within a ceremonial context, designing patterns for body painting rituals devoted to the women of her clan. Untitled is an exquisite example of Kame Kngwarreye vibrant and colourful artistic practice, which translates nature’s lyrical qualities into a unique pictorial language. The work is atypical through its circular patterning and is reflective of the body painting in the traditional Yam ceremonies of the artist’s community. The melodious attributes are drawn from landscapes and sounds of the Simpson desert where she lived. These are interpreted and converted into patterns, lines and forms. In Untitled, Kame Kngwarreye uses an accumulation of painted dots to make abstract forms which mimic the echo heard from the wind blowing, sand whirling and plants crackling - thousands of gracefully compiled coloured dots range from reddish- oranges to pink nuances, dabbed with purple hues. Her innate mastery of colour is evident in the way she juxtaposes the vivid pigments which appear to almost be dancing across the canvas. Kame Kngwarreye uses these to create movements which honour the rhythms and tonalities of the natural world that inspire her; these vivacious movements of patterns may also be alluding to the tribal dances performed by the women of her community. In doing so, she integrates her aboriginal roots within her work, highlighting its importance in inspiring her artistic production and inherently allowing the viewer to penetrate her mysterious environment where nature’s harsh and unpredictable characteristics dominate.

    Although she took up painting when she was 80, Kngwarreye’s prolific production made a mark in the artistic world. Her stylistic expression is often paralleled with the aesthetics of American abstract expressionism a vitally influential movement in the post-World War Two era.



signed and inscribed '92F036 Emily Kngwarreye' on the reverse
synthetic polymer paint on linen
119.7 x 90.8 cm (47 1/8 x 35 3/4 in.)
Painted in June 1992.

£4,000 - 6,000 

Sold for £5,292

Contact Specialist

Charlotte Gibbs

Head of Sale, London

+44 20 7901 7993


Wired: Online Auction

Online Auction 28 October - 5 November 2020