Emily Kame Kngwarreye

Emily Kame Kngwarreye
1910 (Utopia, Central Desert) - 02.09.1996 (Utopia)

Country: Alhalkere
Nationality: Australian
Language group: Anmatyerre


Emily Kame Kngwarreye is without a doubt the most famous female Aboriginal artist to date. She may be considered one of the greatest contemporary Australian artists and her influence on the world of both indigenous and non-indigenous Australian art is indisputably great.
Emily was born around 1910 in Utopia, a community in the Central Desert, around 230 kilometres north east of Alice Springs. When Emily started painting in 1988, she was already almost 80 years old. All in all her painting career lasted no more than seven years, yet in this short time she achieved a fame and reputation that many artists who paint their entire lives can only dream of.
One of Emily's most remarkable achievements was her endless ability to create new styles. Most of her work can be distinguished by an exceptionally wide palette of bright colors, but her minimalist, abstract works with two colors, inspired by body paintings, also reflect a rare talent.
Outside of Australia her work increasingly receives the recognition it deserves. In 2008, the National Art Center in Tokyo opened the exhibition 'Utopia: the Genius of Emily Kame Kngwarreye,' the largest collection of works by a single Australian artist ever exhibited outside Australia, with an estimated value of no less than $30,000,000.

Her masterpiece 'Earth's Creation' (4 panels, each 275 x 160 cm) has been exhibited at the Central Pavilion of the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015. In the same year her work was part of the Signs&Traces exhibition in Poznan, Poland.


Neale M., Emily Kame Kngwarreye: Alhalkere, Paintings
from Utopia
, Macmillan Publishers, Melbourne, 1998.

Neale M. (ed.), Utopia; The Genius of Emily Kame Kngwarreye,
National Museum of Australia and The National Museum of
Art, Osaka 2007.


Solo Exhibitions:

2018 'East meets West', SmithDavidson Gallery, Okt - Dec, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2008 National Museum of Australia, Canberra, Australia
2007-08 The National Art Center, Tokyo, Japan
1997 La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy
1994, '96, '97. Mbantua Gallery and Cultural Museum, Australia
1991 Gallery Savah, Sydney, Australia
1990, '91, '92 Hogarth Gallery, Sydney, Australia

Group Exhibitions:

2018 EXPO Chicago, SmithDavidson Gallery, Chicago, USA
2018 Ancestral Modern: Australian Aboriginal Art from the Kaplan & Levi collection, Blanton Museum at the University of Texas at Austin, USA
2016: 'Everywhen: The Eternal Present in Indigenous Art from Australia', Hardvard Art Museums, USA
2015: Central Pavillion, Venice Biennale, Italy
2015: Signs and Traces. Contemporary Aboriginal Art. Cultural institute Zamek. Poznan, Poland
2011: On Line: Drawing through the Twentieth Century, Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA
2010: Aboriginal Art Today!, AAMU Utrecht, The Netherlands
2010: Museum Ludwig, Remembering Forward, Australian Aboriginal painting since 1960, Köln, Germany
1994: National Gallery of Victoria, Australia
1993: "Aratjara Australian Aboriginal Art", touring Germany, London (Haywood Gallery) and Denmark (Louisiana regional gallery)?
1992: "Aboriginal Paintings from the Desert", touring Russia; "Crossroads, Towards a New Reality, Aboriginal Art from Australia", National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto and Tokyo, Japan
1990: "Contemporary Aboriginal Art", Carpenter Centre for the Visual Arts, Harvard Uni. Massachusetts, USA


National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Art Gallery of Western Austalia, Perth, Australia
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia
Museum and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory, Australia

more about Emily Kame Kngwarreye

Artist's locations

view work by Emily Kame Kngwarreye

Bush Tomato #223

Grass-Seed Blue

Grass-Seed Red

My Country #214

My Country #215

My Country #217

My Country Wall #220

Soakage Bore #503

Spinifex Country #504

Yam Multi Colour #224

Related artists