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Details & Cataloguing

Aboriginal Art

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London

Doreen Reid Nakamarra 1955-2009
UNTITLED 
Bears artist’s name and Papunya Tula catalogue number on the reverse
Acrylic on Belgian linen, 2007
122 by 153cm
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Provenance

Painted in Kiwirrkura in March, 2007

Papunya Tula Artists, Alice Springs, catalogue number DR0703142

The Luczo Family Collection, USA

Catalogue Note

Cf. Brenda Croft (ed.), Culture Warriors, Australian Indigenous Art Triennale, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2007, pp. 132-135, for discussion and related paintings, two of which are in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia.

In a short but meteoric career in the public eye, Doreen Reid developed a style of dramatic, dichromatic minimalist painting of mesmerizing visual intensity to render the vast landscape of her ancestors. These paintings refer to her traditional lands at and around Marrapinti in the Pollock Hills in the Gibson Desert of Western Australia, one of the most remote locations on the continent. Marrapinti is a freshwater rockhole and soakage essential to survival in the arid desert. It is a place where in ancestral times women camped and performed ceremonies in which they wore nose bones inserted in the septum. The term ‘marrapinti’ also means nose bone. The dazzling optical effects of Nakamarra’s paintings evoke the shimmer of a blazing landscape and suggest the ancestral forces present in the earth at Marrapinti. The place is a source of physical and spiritual nourishment.

Nakamarra’s career is marked by the selection of her work in a number of prestigious exhibitions in Australia and abroad including Culture Warriors, the first National Indigenous Art Triennial at the National Gallery of Australia in 2007, the Biennales of Sydney and Moscow in 2008 and 2009 respectively, and posthumously in Ancestral Modern: Australian Aboriginal Art, The Kaplan & Levi Collection, at the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, USA, and in dOCUMENTA(13) in Kassel, Germany, both in 2012. Currently, her work is also on show in Everywhen: The Eternal Present in Indigenous Art from Australia at the Harvard Art Museum, Cambridge, USA.

Untitled, 2007, shares stylistic affinities with Untitled, 2005, in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia, illustrated in Croft, B.L. (ed.), Culture Warriors: National Indigenous Triennial, Canberra: National Gallery of Australia, 2007, p.134, and Marrapinti Rockhole, 2007, illustrated in McCluskey, P. et al., Ancestral Modern: Australian Aboriginal Art, Kaplan & Levi Collection, Seattle and New Haven: Seattle Art Museum and Yale University Press, 2012, p.107, plate 27. The latter work has been accepted as a donation to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

WC

Aboriginal Art

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London