LOS ANGELES – Abell Auction Co. will offer an array of Aboriginal art from the collection of Richard Kelton (1929-2019), whose respect and passion for the Australian Indigenous culture inspired him to curate one of the world’s most important private collections of its kind. The online sale will take place Thursday, July 28, starting at 9 am Pacific time. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
Featuring more than 400 lots, the sale lineup will include paintings on canvas, bark paintings, prints, sculpture, carvings, regalia and other unique items.
“This is a special opportunity for the contemporary art community to continue Richard Kelton’s legacy of preserving the spirit and culture of the Australian Indigenous people,” said Abell Auction Co. Vice President Todd Schireson. “These extraordinary works demonstrate important developments in 20th-century art, ranging from early bark painters of Arnhem Land to the Western Desert artists who set the course for the way in which Aboriginal art was disseminated and appreciated internationally. They also serve as a testament to the prominence and recognition of women artists.”
Highlighted Auction Items
Works by Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Albert Namatjira and other well-known artists of the region will highlight the sale. Featured items include Albert Namatjira’s A Mountain Range, Australia, estimated at $4,000-$6,000; Emily Kame Kngwarreye’s Ochre Body Paint, estimated at $15,000-$25,000; Narputta Nangala Jugadai’s Muruntji Rockhole in Red Tones; Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri’s Love Story Dreaming, estimated at $6,000-$8,000; Janet Forrester Ngala’s Sugar Bag Dreaming; and Tatjarr by Norma Giles.
Emily Kame Kngwarreye was a senior Anmatyerre woman and one of the most prominent female artists in the Aboriginal art movement. Through her fluid, gestural brushstrokes and bold use of color, she expressed deep connection with and knowledge of her country and the ancestral realm that sustains it. Kngwarreye commenced painting in her late seventies and continued until her passing, making an immediate impact on the art world and producing a vast and canonical oeuvre during the last eight years of her life.
Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri was a senior Anmatyerre lawman and was one of the founding artists of Papunya Tula Artists, which was the nucleus of the Western Desert Art movement. Possum was a driving figure of Aboriginal art being exhibited and collected internationally. His work remains sought-after by many collectors.
Albert Namatjira, a senior Arrernte watercolorist, was among the first Aboriginal artists recognized internationally. His work broke the colonial barriers in Australia and granted him citizenship at a time when Aboriginal people were not afforded this right. His beautiful watercolor paintings vivified the desert landscape, subtly showing viewers the interconnectedness of the physical and ancestral realms that is ever-present in the land. His art is still praised today, and he is celebrated as an influential advocate for Aboriginal rights.
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