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Angelina Ngale Pwerle

Angelina Ngale Pwerle

Angelina Ngale Pwerle


Angelina Ngal, like her sisters Kathleen and Poly Ngal, initially ventured into the world of batiks and wooden sculptures in the mid-1980s, likely influenced by her late husband, the older brother of Cowboy Loy Pwerl. 

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Angelina Ngale Pwerle


Angelina Ngal, like her sisters Kathleen and Poly Ngal, initially ventured into the world of batiks and wooden sculptures in the mid-1980s, likely influenced by her late husband, the older brother of Cowboy Loy Pwerl. Originally known as Angelina 'Pwerl', after her husband, she transitioned to being called Angelina Ngal; 'Pwerl' in the Alyawarr language corresponds to 'Ngal' in the Anmatyerr language.

Angelina began her painting career as part of the CAAMA 'summer project' during 1988-1989. By the time she was 40, she had already participated in the first exhibition of Utopia women's paintings in Alice Springs in 1980. She quickly adapted to painting on canvas, which brought her international acclaim. Her artworks provide a contemporary interpretation of the cultural, geographic, social, and spiritual aspects of Anmatjerre life. Her paintings of her grandfather's country, Arlparra, often feature the Bush Plum. She uses a concentrated arrangement of red dots surrounded by a blend of meticulously placed, smaller-coloured dots, always ensuring the red dot remains central and distinct.

Angelina's approach has evolved to include a range of beautifully coloured compositions that carry layers of meaning associated with the Bush Plum, incorporating geographical points, local knowledge, and memories of hunting or ceremonial activities. These elements contribute to a textured surface that suggests an ethereal, spiritual landscape to the viewer.

Her work has been featured prominently in exhibitions, including with Niagara Gallery and at the Sydney and Melbourne Art Fairs, as well as with Lauraine Diggins in Melbourne. Her reputation surged following her recognition as a finalist in the 2008 Wynne Prize for Landscape Painting at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Her international presence was bolstered by her participation in the exhibition 'Emily Kngwarreye and her Legacy' at the Art Front Gallery in Tokyo, Japan in 2008, and an exhibition of Utopia art at Rebecca Hossack Gallery in London in 2009.

Today, Angelina Ngal is considered one of the leading artists from the Utopia community, celebrated for her unique blend of contemporary abstraction and indigenous ethereality. Her work captures both the physical and spiritual essence of her homeland in the Eastern Desert, establishing her as a prominent figure in both Australian and global art scenes.

Market Analysis

Angelina Ngal's artworks first appeared at auction in 2000, initially under the name Angelina Pwerle. The name change followed linguist Jenny Green's revised nomenclature for Eastern Desert Artists introduced between 2005 and 2006, leading to some confusion in market records. She has since been represented by several dealers and galleries, including Don Holt at Delmore Downs, Mark Gooch at Mbantua Gallery, Bill Nutall at Niagara Gallery, and Lauraine Diggins at Fine Art Gallery. Most now refer to her as Ngal.

Her market profile was established in 2000 when a remarkable rendition of her bush plum works sold for $6,325 at Christie's in Melbourne. Measuring 177 x 176 cm, this painting would be valued at close to $30,000 today. By 2004, her auction record had increased to $14,000, set by Christie’s for a similarly sized work. This marked a substantial increase in her work's unit price from $20/ to $46/ within four years, reflecting her growing reputation and demand.

A significant benchmark was set in 2007 when Lawson~Menzies sold her painting Spring Flowers at Arlpara 2007, a 150 x 374 cm canvas, for $38,400. This sale from Lauraine Diggins provenance was strategic, establishing a solid market benchmark for her work. In 2010, Deutscher & Hackett auctioned another significant piece, measuring 183 x 183 cm with Niagara Gallery provenance, which sold for $17,400, below its $25,000 primary market value but still a commendable sale.

Her auction records continued to evolve, with a piece from the Laverty Collection achieving $18,000 in 2015, becoming her fourth highest record price. In 2016, Mossgreen sold a piece from the Helen Reid collection, establishing her sixth highest record. Her seventh highest record was set in 2017 when Arnekwety Place Viii 2002 sold for $12,182.

Angelina's secondary market results are expected to improve significantly. Her auction success rate and average price, currently at $5,217, are anticipated to increase as major works come to auction. This was evident in 2012 when two works titled Bush Plum sold for $19,200 and $12,000, becoming her second and fifth best results at the time, offered by Bonham’s from William Nuttall's superannuation fund collection. In total, six of the seven works sold in 2012 fetched $38,925, averaging $6,487 per work.

As a meticulous painter who has been given opportunities to create large-scale works, Angelina Ngal has consistently been featured in prestigious national art prizes. Ranked as the 120th most successful artist, with her peak at the 30th in 2016, her ascent into the top 100 is imminent, marking her as a prominent and increasingly influential figure in the art world.

Disclaimer: At Cooee Art Leven, we strive to maintain accurate and respectful artist profiles. Despite our efforts, there may be occasional inaccuracies. We welcome any corrections or suggested amendments.
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