Life: 1928 -2017
Language: Eastern Anmatyerre
Country: Alhalkere, Utopia, Central Australia
Kudditji Kngwarreye was the younger brother of the late Emily Kame Kngwarreye. He was an Anmatyerre elder and custodian of many important Dreamings, including the one for which he is most famous-- My Country.
A cattle stockman in his earlier years, Kudditji (pronounced Goob-eh-gee) began painting in a fine dot style in the 1980's to which he returned very briefly in the late 90’s. Kudditji participated in many international exhibitions and is highly regarded for the depiction of his Dreamings related to the law of the Emu ancestors. In his later years, he developed his colourful, layered block style representing his Country. He worked with a fully loaded brush in broad, sweeping strokes and most often in only two main colours. He sang his stories as he painted so each work is infused with, and influenced by his life and his traditions.
His works show bold use of colour and to the Western eye, often evoke the abstract expressionism of American, Mark Rothko. While Kudditji’s approach was considered unique in Aboriginal art, everything about it -- from his use of colour, to the bold graphic symbols to the rhythmic movement – is evidence of his profound connection to his Country and his culture.
He largely ceased painting in 2015 and sadly, the much loved Goob as he was affectionately known, passed way peacefully in January 2017 at age 89.
Kudditji's works are highly collectible and much sought after both in Australia and internationally. His works feature in major national and international collections and all important and historical collections of Aboriginal art.
Selected Solo exhibitions:
2011: Kudditji Kngwarreye, Palya Proper, Alice Springs
2009: Kudditji Kngwarreye: Pastels, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2008: 30 Emu Dreamings, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2008: My Country, Japingka Gallery, Perth
2006: Masterwork, Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne
2006: My Country, Japingka Gallery, Perth
2005: Waterhole Aboriginal Art, Danks Street, Sydney
2005: New Paintings, Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne
2005: Colours in Country, Art Mob, Hobart, Tasmania
2004: My Country, New Paintings, Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne
2004: My Country, Japingka Gallery, Perth
2004: Waterhole Aboriginal Art, Sofitel Wentworth Hotel Exhibition, Sydney
2003: New Paintings, Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne
1999: New Paintings, Chapel off Chapel, Melbourne
Selected group exhibitions:
2008: Black & White: Inspired by Landscape, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2005: Big Country, Gallery Gondwana, Alice Springs
2005: Fresh from the Central Desert, Canberra Grammar School, Canberra
2004: Two Senior Men, Art Mob Gallery, Tasmania
2004: Australian Exhibition Centre, Chicago
2004: Spirit of Colour, Depot Gallery, Sydney
2002: The Contemporaries, Contemporary Artspace, Brisbane
1992: Tjukurrpa, Museum fur Volkerkunde, Basel, Switzerland
1991: Central Australian Aboriginal Art & Craft Exhibition, Araluen Centre, Alice Springs
1990: Art Dock, Contemporary Art from Australia, Noumea, New Caledonia