c. 1932 -
Naata Nungurrayi is the most notable living female Aboriginal artist, whose works achieve auction records well over $200,000. Her work is internationally sought-after and was named among the Top 50 of Australia’s Most Collectable Artists in the Australian Art Collector in 2004 (issue 27, Jan-March). In 2003, Naata was chosen to have one of her paintings represented on a special edition of an Australia Post international stamp.
Naata’s work is included in all important public and private collections nationally including the NGA, NGV, AGNSW. Moreover, her work is exhibited internationally; in Europe at The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF) Maastricht and PAN Amsterdam, but also extensively in the USA: at Art Miami, Art Silicon Valley (San Francisco), Art Southampton and the prestigious Armory Show in New York.
Born in the desert around 1932 and raised in an orthodox tribal life, Naata’s paintings depict sacred women’s sites and ceremonies in the Kintore and Kiwirrkura region, but also patterns associated with ritual body painting. Naata is one the few female tribal elders to have permission to paint certain features of her ‘tjukurrpa’ (ancestral stories). Her ability to combine traditional icons prized in early Papunya works, with increasingly vibrant colour and decisive composition, continues to drive her success,
Alongside the few remaining vibrant abstract works available in the primary market, Piermarq now exclusively brings Naata’s final body of work Iconography to collectors. Intrinsically linked to Naata’s own culture, these icons represent the beginnings of all human language and art before people became sedentary – examples of which can be found on ancient petroglyphs (rock carvings) on all habitable continents around the world. They are historical documents that will soon be our only link to the genesis of culture. Completed over five years, Iconography is arguably one of the most significant bodies of indigenous art completed since the Papunya boards of the early 1970’s.
‘Naata Paints for both Papunya Tula Artists and Yanda Aboriginal Art. Often when an Indigenous artist paints for more than one agent, confusion arises about the quality and sometimes authenticity of the paintings due to different styles and colours of the artworks that can result. In the case of Naata, there is a definite similarity between the works she paints for Papunya Tula Artists and Yanda Aboriginal Art, including her palette, depiction of her stories and country, and most importantly, the quality. Accordingly, there is growing market acceptance of both sources of provenance for Naata’s paintings.’
Dennison, S (2016) Australian Indigenous & Oceanic Art – Featuring Works From The Helen Read Collection, Melbourne: Moss Green Auctions, p. 43.
Naata Nungurrayi’s work featured within From West of Here – Contemporary Aboriginal Art in April 2016, click here to view the catalogue.
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