Cooee Art Auction | Major paintings by acclaimed Indigenous artists

Cooee Art announces major painting works by acclaimed Indigenous artists including Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Alec Minglemanganu and Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri in their fifth bi-annual online and live art auction in Sydney on Tuesday 3 December, from 7pm (AEST). The auction will include over 99 Australian Indigenous artworks selected from 40 national and international collections with an estimated value of $1.3m.

The Cooee Art auction arm Cooee Art MarketPlace indicate high demand for these rare works following their record breaking sale of the masterpiece, Earth Creation I by the late Emily Kame Kngwarreye for $2.1m in 2017, the highest price achieved at auction for an Australian female artist. Kngwarreye will be on the radar for collectors following an impressive year in 2019 particularly in the USA with shows at Gagosian (New York and LA), Menil Gallery (Houston) and the Tate Modern (London).

Lot #25 in the auction is Kngwarreye’s vibrant work Kame-Summer Awelye (1992), with a pre-sale estimate of  $200-250,000.The work celebrates the successful life-cycle of Kame, the finger yam (from which Emily derives her middle name), with its daisy-like flowers which form seeds ideal for making damper.

Cooee Art Senior Art Specialist, Adrian Newstead says of the work, ‘A number of exceptional paintings, including this particular work were produced between November 1991 and February 1992 when the Eastern Desert was overwhelmingly humid with hot northerly winds. The anticipation of rain and the ongoing ceremonial activity enlivened the spiritual atmosphere. In this painting, which can be viewed horizontally or vertically, radiant fields of yellow and pink dots which cluster and trace across the surface vary in hue and density.’

Alec Mingelmanganu (c.1905-1981), Wandjina, c.1976, natural earth pigments on bark with cane and bush string frame, 130 x 65cm

Addition auction highlights include an extremely rare bark work Wandijina (c.1976) by Wonambul elder Alec Minglemanganu; thought to be one of the artist’s earliest works. Minglemanganu’s barks are highly distinctive and unique in proportion, composition and tonal quality. The full-length figure of a Wandjina is decorated in lines of dots similar to body painting designs, intended to give a visual brightness which express the spiritual essence of these primary ancestral beings. The finely dashed, red infilling seen on the body represents falling rain. Only five barks by this revered artist have ever appeared for public sale.

A 3-metre painting Untitled (Ceremony of Mount Allan) (1989/90) by the founder of the Western Desert art movement, Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri,­ the work toured the United Kingdom immediately after his private audience with her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip at Buckingham Palace.

Butcher Joe Nangan spent his life acquiring the ritual knowledge of the Nyikina people, across the Dampier Creek from Broome. Known for his skilful engraving of boab nuts and pearl shells, he began producing beautifully executed pencil and watercolour pictures in a Western naturalistic style in 1955. A Suite of Eight Drawings (1981) contains a broad variety of imagery, including images of ceremony, mythological narratives, Rai (spirit beings), flora and fauna and depictions of sacred boards, utilitarian weapons and objects. Nangan draws from a range of historical events in which elements of the supernatural and spirit worlds were thought to have entered the lives of known mortals.

Further artists in the Cooee Art MarketPlace auction include Albert Namatjira, Nyurapaiya Nampitjinpa, George Hairbrush Tjungurrayi, Kathleen Petyarre, Queenie McKenzie Nakara, Ningura Gibson Naparrula, Regina Wilson, Judy Napangardi Watson and Rover (Julama) Thomas.

Cooee Art is committed to presenting Australian Aboriginal artworks as a vital cultural legacy to all the people of the world.

Auction: Tuesday 3 December, 7pm (AEST) at 326 Oxford Street, Paddington NSW
Preview: Thursday 28 November, 6-8pm
Viewing Dates: Friday 29 November to Monday 2 December, 10am-6pm (daily), and Tuesday 3 December, 10am-2pm