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Emily Kame Kngwarreye (c.1910-1996)
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Emily Kame Kngwarreye (c.1910-1996)

Untitled (1992)

Emily Kame Kngwarreye (c.1910-1996)
Untitled (1992)
with inscription 'EMILY KNGWARREYE' on the reverse, and with inscription 'Delmore 92C 126' on the canvas overlap
synthetic polymer on canvas
47¾ x 35 13/16in. (121.3 x 91cm.)
Delmore Gallery, Northern Territory.
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Lot Essay

Emily was born about 1910 at Alhalkere (Soakage Bore), on the edge of the Utopia cattle station in the Northern Territory. She took to painting shortly after Ronald Gooch began to distribute canvases to the Utopia artists in 1988, and attracted attention as soon as her pictures were shown at the S.H. Ervin Gallery in Sydney in the same year. Her unique 'dump dump' technique immediately distinguished her from her fellow aboriginal artists

'Increasingly, from 1990, Kngwarreye made the veil of dots, the dot-in-itself, the principal visual structure of her painting. The root network became obscured in the palimpsest -- to near invisibility. Rather than applying dot marks according to precise regulated patterns in one plane (as was the norm in 1980s Papunya painting) she strewed an infinity of dots, smaller often superimposed over larger, across her canvases. The result was a kind of abstraction in which Kngwarreye's canvas has no evident visual centre, few points of specific emphasis, and no corners -- except those provided by the physical limits of the unstretched rectangular cloth.' (R. Benjamin, 'A new modernist hero' in M. Neale, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Alhalkere, Paintings from Utopia, Brisbane, 1998, p.47)

'The finely dotted clouds of 1990-92 were painted with small brushes, single dipping. Early works (1989-90) often show double dotting in which the artist placed smaller dots on top of those beneath. Then, in 1992, came a radical change -- Emily began to use large brushes, creating big dots or splodges. This dump dump style commenced a significant period; the technique served her well as it saved energy. She soon improvised on this application procedure, cutting down the hairs of the brush around its perimeter but leaving the central hairs long. By double dipping with the altered brushes she produced 'florets' of colour as she brought the brush down on the canvas vertically then lifted it with a twist. (J. Isaacs, 'Anmatyerre Artist' in Emily Kngwarreye Paintings, Sydney, 1998, p.21)

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