Emily Kame Kngwarreye

Posted by Aboriginal Art Directory | 19.06.08

Author: Edan Corkill
News source: Frieze Magazine

Edan Crokill from Frieze Magazine reviews the Emily Kame Kngwarreye exhibition in Japan:

Emily’s paintings are large in size – up to 8 metres in height or width (the artist painted on the ground, so the works’ orientations are determined by the curator) – and they thrive on the National Art Center’s 8-metre-high walls. This is without doubt the most beautiful exhibition put on at this eighteen-month-old venue, designed by the late Modernist Kisho Kurokawa. Even the works at last year’s Monet show seemed fiddly here (there were none of the large water lilies). Emily’s paintings, in contrast, seem to relate to the venue like a sound does to an audio speaker: the bigger the box, the greater the amplification.

Japan now has plenty of young curators working to bring innovative art from all corners of the world to domestic audiences. What it hasn’t had until now is a director of a public museum – and you need to be a director to pull off something this bold – with the knowledge and courage to go outside of the Euro-American mainstream and find an artist with whom he connects personally. For that reason alone this is more than an extraordinarily beautiful exhibition for an extraordinarily gifted artist; it is a watershed in Japanese museum history.


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