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Details & Cataloguing

Aboriginal Art

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London

Emily Kame Kngwarreye 1910-1996
KAME- SUMMER AWELYE II
Bears Delmore Gallery catalogue number 91L33 on reverse
Synthetic polymer paint on canvas
135 by 300 cm
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Provenance

Painted at Delmore Downs Station, Northern Territory for the Delmore Gallery in December 1991
Stefano Spaccapietra Collection, Switzerland

Catalogue Note

Kame- Summer Awelye II, painted in December 1991, is the third in a sequence of four magisterial works on the same monumental scale painted at the end of 1991 in the heat of Australian desert summer: Kame (in the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria) was painted in November 1991; Kame – Summer Awelye I, the companion painting of Kame- Summer Awelye II, was painted earlier in December; and Merne Arherrke was painted later in December. These three paintings are illustrated in Isaacs 1998, at plate 20 on pages 68-9, at plate 21 on pages 70-1 and at plate 22 on pages 72-3 respectively.1 Kame – Summer Awelye I is also illustrated in the retrospective exhibition catalogues in Neale 1998, plate 61, catalogue number 47 at pages 98-99.2 Kame – Summer Awelye I and Merne Arherrke are also illustrated in Neale 2008 at plates D-20 and D-21 on pages 134-5 respectively.3

The four paintings are among the first Kngwarreye painted on such a large scale, one that she was capable to handle with relative ease, but also a scale that allowed her to emphasize the broad expanse of her country, drawing the viewer into the canvas. They were painted during a time of intense ceremonial activity and the black primer of the canvas on which Kame- Summer Awelye II is painted may allude to the skin of ritual participants whose torsos Kngwarreye would have daubed with ritual patterns. In this reading of the painting, Kame- Summer Awelye II emphasizes the intrinsic connection of the individual to the landscape as a form of personal expression.

The canvases also mark the beginnings of Kngwarreye’s adventurous experimentation with an extended palette, moving away from pure earth colours of natural ochres to describe the flowers and seeds of the atnulare tuber in richer and subtle tones of secondary colours. The paintings are remarkable in the span of Kngwarreye’s œuvre in that the fields of dots appear to float across the picture plane and beyond, and the images are not anchored to a ground of free-flowing tracery that organizes the compositional structures of many of her paintings.

WC

1 Isaacs, J. et al., Emily Kngwarreye Paintings, Craftsman House, Sydney, 1998

2 Neale, M (ed), Emily Kame Kngwarreye. Paintings from Utopia, Brisbane: Queensland Art Gallery and Macmillan, 1998

3 Neale, M. et al, Emily Kame Kngwarreye. Utopia: The Genius of Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Osaka: The National Museum of Art, 2008

Aboriginal Art

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London