Vale Kudditji Kngwarreye

Vale Kudditji Kngwarreye



We say farewell to a senior artist from the Utopia community in Central Australia who passed away last week.

An Anmatyerre Elder and custodian of many important Dreamings, including Emu Dreaming and more recently the bright, bold and colourful depictions of his beloved country.

'Colours of Dreaming' exhibition, Muk Muk Fine Art Alice Springs 2013

Born circa 1928 in a remote desert area of Utopia, approx 230 kilometres north-east of Alice Springs in Central Australia.

He was the younger brother of acclaimed artist Emily Kame Kngwarreye (dec 1996) and had a largely traditional bush upbringing.

Prior to an artistic career he had numerous jobs throughout the Central Desert as a stockman, and also worked in mineral and gold mines. He began painting in the early 1980’s.

A custodian for ceremonial sites located in his country at Utopia Station, many of his paintings refer to sites at Boundary Bore, where men's initiation ceremonies are performed. 

His artworks depicted various interpretations of 'Emu Dreaming' and 'Men’s Business'. The distinctive symmetrical dotted paintings have been collected by museums and collections around the world.

Emu Dreaming

'Emu Dreaming' 2002

In the early 1990’s Kngwarreye's experimentation with his art led him to move briefly away from ‘dot art’ altogether. With a heavy loaded brush he painted his country with broad strokes and a combination of bold colours and soft fusions, accentuating the natural colours of land and sky over various seasons.

This style was appreciated by an astute few but was not that well received by the major galleries.

'My Country' 195 x 205cm 2005

As his major source of income he returned to the more popular pointillist dotting style. It was not until 2002 that Kngwarreye revisited this more abstract expressionist style.

In 2006 Kngwarreye was nominated for Australian Art Collector Magazine 50 Most Collectable Artists. 

His works have been shown throughout Australia and the world to much acclaim.

Farewell Kngwarreye.

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