National Center for Modern Art in Roppongi

National Center for Modern Art in Roppongi

Aboriginal Art Directory | 25.02.08

Author: ibonito

A beautiful and interesting post from ibonito blog 2007 about the National Center for Modern Art in Roppongi.

Quoted from the post:

I saw that they have another exhibition coming up: the works of the acclaimed (but unpronounceable) Australian Aboriginal artist Emily Kame Kngwarreye.

Kngwarreye, who died in 1996, was a remarkable figure. She is often claimed to have been a creative genius. Which is remarkable given that she only started to paint in her late 70s. She had lived her whole life in Utopia, a tiny outpost in the blistering Western deserts, which in the 1980s improbably blossomed into a vital centre for Aboriginal art. Her abstract, colorful works were much-coveted by collectors, breaking sales records. She was the first Aboriginal artist to sell a painting for over a million US dollars. The money, controversially, was ploughed almost entirely back into her extended family and community, where it was shared. At one point ashe was buying a car a week for her relatives and singlehandedly providing for half the town. She died with little money herself, leading to accusations that she had been exploited both by white art dealers and by her own community, although others argued back that this was to misunderstand the sharing nature of Aboriginal culture, with its emphasis on group ownership of resources.

Regardless, Kngwarreye is remembered today as one of Australia’s greatest artists. In fact, advocates of Aboriginal art often compare her to a contemporary Picasso. It is claimed that in time, her work will be remembered as some of the greatest and most significant of any artist in the Twentieth century, anywhere. But seeing as art is so subjective, and modern art even more difficult for the average person to interpret, and Aboriginal modern art doubly so, who really knows?


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Artists: Emily Kame Kngwarreye

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Comments (1)

Beautiful work. She was not only an exploited artist but also an exploited senior citizen.

Posted by Arthur Gorham | September 30, 2008 6:41 AM

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