Important Australian + International Fine Art
25 November 2009

Emily Kame Kngwarreye

(c.1910 - 1996)

synthetic polymer paint on canvas

120.5 x 90.0 cm

inscribed verso: ON37 EMILY KNGWARREYE

$30,000 - 40,000
Sold for $31,200 (inc. BP) in Auction 12 - 25 November 2009, Melbourne

Morning Story 1990, a work of similar size and palette with the consecutive catalogue number ON36 is in the Delmore Collection, Alice Springs, in Isaacs, J. et al. Emily Kngwarreye Paintings, Craftsman House, Sydney, 1997, pp. 54–55 pl. 11 (illus.)

This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from the Delmore Gallery, Alice Springs

Catalogue text

Beginning her artistic career in Batik in the late 1970s, Emily Kngwarreye's first works on canvas were produced in 1988 and exhibited in Utopia Women's Paintings: The First Works on Canvas, A Summer Project, at the S.H. Ervin Gallery in Sydney in 1988-89. This led to her receiving the inaugural fellowship from the Confederated Aboriginal Arts Media Association (CAAMA) in 1989 and being awarded an Australian Artists Creative Fellowship in 1992. Kngwarreye was the recipient of solo shows in every capital city in Australia and her works were exhibited overseas from Japan to Europe and the Americas. A year after her death, paintings by Kngwarreye were selected along with works by Judy Watson and Yvonne Koolmatrie to officially represent Australia in Fluent at the Venice Biennale, 1997.

Emily Kngwarreye's work is inextricably linked to the land of her birth, Alhalkerre. Her paintings were mostly based on Anmatyerre body designs and dreaming sites with particular focus on the wild yam and other plants for which she had custodial responsibility. Muna Ndorkwa (Bush Plum) 1990, is a work from the artist's first years and depicts one of those plants. As the accompanying certificate describes, the artist has viewed the plant in 'different stages of ripeness and decay' which gives the painting a 'depth of texture and a splendid fusion of colour'.