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WHITFORD F I N E A R T 6 DUKE STREET ST. JAMES’S LONDON SW1Y 6BN TEL.+44(0)20 7930 9332 FA X . + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 7 9 3 0 5 5 7 7 info@whitfordfineart.com w w w. w h i t f o r d f i n e a r t . c o m


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KUDDITJI KNGWARREYE

15th October – 5th November 2010

All works are for sale

WHITFORD F I N E A R T

6 DUKE STREET ST. JAMES’S LONDON SW1Y 6BN TEL. +44 (0)20 7930 9332 EMAIL info@whitfordfineart.com www.whitfordfineart.com


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KUDDITJI KNGWARREYE

Front cover: My Country , 2007 (cat. no. 17) Back cover: My Country , 2006 (cat. no. 21)


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‘MY COUNTRY’: Travelling through Utopia

Kudditji Kngwarreye is one of Aus tralia’s leading Aboriginal artis ts. He recounts his tr avels across his land in blocks of s trong colour boasting outstanding aesthetic excellence. His art tr anscends the notions of time and place, thus reflecting true Aboriginal culture. Moreover, his paintings unav oidably draw strong associations with Western abstract art. Kudditji’s knowledge of his country is as vast as the land itself, both in a physic al sense and in its his tory and how it came into being. Born ar ound 1928 at Alkahar e, Kudditji is part of the Anmaty erre language group, whose land is situated in Utopia, North East of Alice Springs. Early in life, Kudditji learned his peoples’ ‘Dreamings’ and as an Elder, he taught the younger boys the practical skills of hunting as well as knowl edge of the ceremonial sites in Utopia. Most of the four hundred-odd Aboriginal cultures in Australia share the belief that the w orld was created in the ‘Dreaming’ by ancestral spirits who left symbols all around them to guide them in their lives. If one can understand these symbols then one has a complete understanding of the world and of the meaning of life. In order to gain and retain this knowledge over the generations, the Aboriginal peoples travel their territory. In their travels, they relive their Dreamings and ancestral stories as a collective. Whereas most Aboriginal painters depict the actual ancestral symbols from what seems to be a hovering position above the ground, Kudditji chooses t o portray the essence of his land and his tr avels without perspective. His paintings capture the changing moods and seasons of the t

erritory, songs, s tories, hunts and the f ood and

waterholes of the Anmaty erre country, thus uniting the earthl y and timel ess perceptions associated with his culture. His colour-block paintings encompass an omnipresent point of view; stripped of the notions of time and place, they seem t o have no beginning and no end. This pr actice inevitably brings t o mind Jackson P ollock’s statement ‘When I am painting I hav e a general notion as to what I am about. I c an control the flow of the paint. … There is no accident, just as there is no beginning and no end.’ Whereas Jackson Pollock relied on his intuition and his body to infuse his images with emotional f orce, Kudditji interprets the timeless collective memory of his people. Aesthetically Kudditji’s paintings have been compared to those of Mark Rothko and Hans Hofmann, whose Colour-Field paintings practically remain unknown to Kudditji. In fact, during the 1970’s when Utopia station was ceded to the Aboriginal people, Kudditji drove cattle and worked in various goldmines in the Northern T erritory. The y ounger brother of the c elebrated painter Emily Kame Knwarreye, Kudditji came to painting only in 1986. Initiall y, he assisted his sister when she de veloped her own original artistic style. Stimulated by the intr oduction of acrylic paints, Emil y painted large lyrical abstracts, contradicting previous notions of what c ontemporary Indigenous art meant. During the 1990s, Kudditji intuitiv ely set out to develop his famed sister’s dot and line abstracts into colour-block Abstraction. Kudditji’s paintings embody the v ast landscape of his c ountry, sweltering under the e xtreme elements, charged with the cultural symbols and stories of his people. He celebrates a rapidly disappearing way of Aboriginal lif e in sensational colours, thus making his art a bright t orch on the path from Utopia to the modern world. An Jo Fermon, October 2010


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My Country 2009 Acrylic on canvas 91 x 91 cm

Fig. 1: Cliffs and breakaway country in the Western Desert


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My Country 2006 Acrylic on canvas 50 x 111 cm

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My Country 2009 Acrylic on canvas 158 x 122 cm


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My Country 2007 Acrylic on canvas 100 x 162 cm

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My Country 2009 Acrylic on canvas 151 x 121 cm


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My Country 2009 Acrylic on canvas 92 x 122 cm

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My Country 2007 Acrylic on canvas 142 x 121 cm

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My Country 2009 Acrylic on canvas 85 x 123 cm

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My Country 2009 Acrylic on canvas 122 x 122 cm

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Fig. 2: Dry clay-pan, glazed by the r elentless sun


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10. My Country 2006 Acrylic on canvas 121 x 122 cm

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11. My Country 2007 Acrylic on canvas 125 x 180 cm

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12. My Country 2009 Acrylic on canvas 91 x 152 cm

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13. My Country 2008 Acrylic on canvas 155 x 86 cm


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14. My Country 2009 Acrylic on canvas 123 x 136 cm

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Fig. 3: Ghost gum clinging to the red cliffs of Karlamilyi, deep in the Great Sandy Desert


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15. My Country 2008 Acrylic on canvas 197 x 193 cm

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16. My Country 2009 Acrylic on canvas 80 x 123 cm

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17. My Country 2007 Acrylic on canvas 240 x 195 cm


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18. My Country 2007 Acrylic on canvas 150 x 141 cm

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19. My Country 2006 Acrylic on canvas 120 x 300 cm

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20. My Country 2009 Acrylic on canvas 180 x 48 cm


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21. My Country 2006 Acrylic on canvas 192 x 175 cm


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Fig. 4: Rock formations deep in the Western Desert region


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22. My Country 2009 Acrylic on canvas 168 x 181 cm

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23. My Country 2009 Acrylic on canvas 98 x 123 cm

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24. My Country 2007 Acrylic on canvas 144 x 184 cm

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25. My Country 2007 Acrylic on canvas 108 x 205 cm

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26. My Country 2008 Acrylic on canvas 122 x 121 cm


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27. My Country 2009 Acrylic on canvas 123 x 91 cm


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28. My Country 2006 Acrylic on canvas 155 x 230 cm

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Fig. 5: A clay-pan, filled with fresh water after rare rain, in the desert of Central Australia


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29. My Country 2009 Acrylic on canvas 120 x 122 cm

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30. My Country 2009 Acrylic on canvas 122 x180 cm

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KUDDITJI KNGWARREYE (born c.1928)

SOLO EXHIBITIONS 2010 Kudditji Kngwarreye, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney 2009 Kudditji Kngwarreye - a selection of works from the Hank Ebes Collection, Burrinja Gallery, Upwey, Melbourne; Kudditji Kngwarreye - Recent Works , Japingka Gallery, Fremantle 2008 30 Emu Dreamings, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney; My Country, Japingka Gallery, Perth 2006 New Paintings, Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne; My Country, Japingka Gallery, Perth 2005 Colours in Country, Art Mob, Hobart, Tasmania; New Paintings, Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne; Waterhole Aboriginal Art, Danks Street, Sydney 2004 My Country, Japingka Gallery, Perth; Kudditji Kngwarreye: My Country - New Paintings , Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne; Waterhole Aboriginal Art, Sofitel Wentworth Exhibition, Sydney 2003 New Paintings, Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne

GROUP EXHIBITIONS 2010 Utopia: Eastern Anmatyerre Artists , Neo Gallery, Brisbane; Arnkerrthe - A Tribute to Nancy Petyarre , Astras Gallery, Gold Coast; Summer Collection, Japingka Gallery, Perth 2009 Aboriginal Art, Mary Place Gallery, Sydney; Summer Collection, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney; Pink 2009, Art Mob Aboriginal Fine Art, Hobart, Tasmania; Utopia 09, Neo Gallery, Brisbane; Size Matters, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney; Kudditji Kngwarreye - Pastels new works, new palette, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney Rêves Aborigènes, Musée Arts et Histoire de BormesLes-Mimosas, Bormes-Les-Mimosas, France

2008 Black & White: Inspired By Landscape , Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney; Central Australian Aboriginal Art The Ultimate Collection, Alice Sundown Aboriginal Art, Alice Springs; Utopia, Art Equity, Sydney 2007 Contemporary Aboriginal Paintings, John Leech Gallery, Auckland 2006 Artist of Utopia Then & Now , Outback Alive, Canberra; Togart Contemporary Art Exhibition, Darwin; Masterwork, Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne 2005 Fresh from the Central Desert , Outback Alive, Canberra Grammar School, Canberra; Ken Field Memorial Art Exhibition , Scotch College, Melbourne; Big Country, Gallery Gondwana, Alice Springs; Colours in Country, Art Mob Gallery, Hobart, Tasmania 2004 Two Senior Men, Art Mob Gallery, Tasmania; Heartbeat – Living Country , Wentworth Hotel, Sydney; Australian Exhibition Centre, Chicago; Spirit of Colour, Depot Gallery, Sydney 2002 The Contemporaries, Contemporary Artspace, Brisbane 1999 Chapel off Chapel Gallery, Melbourne 1992 Tjukurrpa, Museum für Völkerkunde, Basel, Switzerland 1991 Central Australian Aboriginal Art and Craft Exhibition, Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs 1990 Art Dock, Contemporary Art from Australia , Noumea, New Caledonia

COLLECTIONS Hank Ebes Collection, Melbourne Araluen Art Center, Alice Springs Macquarie University, Sydney Guillemain and Sordello Collection, France


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Adrian Mibus with the Artist

Text and paintings images: © Whitford Fine Art Figs. 1-5: © Tim Acker Photographs of the Artist: © An Jo Fermon Produced by Artmedia Press Ltd • London


CAZIEL Pages 2012_Whitford 24/04/2012 12:00 Page C


Kudditji Covers

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WHITFORD F I N E A R T 6 DUKE STREET ST. JAMES’S LONDON SW1Y 6BN TEL.+44(0)20 7930 9332 FA X . + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 7 9 3 0 5 5 7 7 info@whitfordfineart.com w w w. w h i t f o r d f i n e a r t . c o m

Profile for Whitford Fine Art

Kudditji Kngwarreye: My Country - Travelling Through Utopia  

Kudditji Kngwarreye is one of Australia's leading Aboriginal artists. He recounts his travels across his land in block of strong colour boas...

Kudditji Kngwarreye: My Country - Travelling Through Utopia  

Kudditji Kngwarreye is one of Australia's leading Aboriginal artists. He recounts his travels across his land in block of strong colour boas...

Profile for whitford

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