Monday, August 01, 2005

Aboriginal art acquired by American and French collectors

Geoff Maslen reports in the July 27, 2005 edition of the Melbourne Age that two vintage works by Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, one of Australia's most renowned Aboriginal painters, were purchased at a Sotheby's auction on July 25 for A$411,750 each.

One was reported to be the first painting ever made by the artist, a small one entitled 'Emu Corrobee Man'. It was purchased for an American collector through Melbourne art dealer, Irene Sutton. The painting was said to have been purchased from the artist originally in 1972 for less than A$100.

The second work was a "wall-sized" canvas, 'Man's Love Story.' It also went for $411,750. The buyer was said to be a collector from France.

Although Australia has restrictions on the removal from Australia of early works by Aboriginal artists , both of these paintings were exempt as they had left the country prior to enactment of the restrictions and had been returned to Australia only for the Melbourne auction.

According to the Melbourne Age, 195 works were sold at Monday's auction for a total of A$2.04 million. Forty-eight of the works went to buyers outside of Australia.

Clifford Possum, now deceased, worked primarily in the genre known as "dot painting" or "desert painting", emulating on canvas the images that traditionally were created on desert surfaces as part of the Aboriginal process of transferring culture to younger generations.

In addition to his own work, Clifford's off-spring became painters of some accomplishment. Gabriella, for example has been quite prolific. Examples of her works are available on line at http://www.tribalworks.com/gabriella_possum_dot_painting_gallery.html

Other Australian Aboriginal paintings also are on exhibit within the pages of this online gallery.

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3 comments:

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Ceri Thomas said...

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Mark's work is the produce of his passion for art, when looking at every piece the attention to detail is nothing short of spectacular and many a person will notice different details upon each viewing, they are truly a joy to observe. There are many talented artists around the world but few achieve the effect in their work as Mark does, when looking at his work that there is more than just a painting or a illustration there is a element of fantasy behind each piece that brings the inner child out of you and draws you in.
Come and check it out if you get time :-)