109 Career Overall Rank
32 2020 Market Rank
Paintings by Pansy Napangardi made their earliest appearance at auction in 1989, the year Gabrielle Pizzi staged her first solo exhibition in her eponymous Melbourne gallery.
No less than 11 paintings had appeared in the secondary market without distinction before Sotheby’s offered a 122 x 122 cm work entitled Watersnake Dreaming at Pikilli (Vaughan Springs), 1989, in its June 1995 Contemporary and Aboriginal Art Sale. The painting sold for $3680.
In June 1997, two works sold at Phillips auctions for $3,740 and $3,630 respectively, and six months later Leonard Joel set a new record with Kunga Kutjara Dreaming, which sold for $7,425 (Still the artist’s 5th highest price on public record).
The artist’s current record price was established in 2005 when Lawson~Menzies sold Pililli, c.1995 for $10,800 and a further 12 works have achieved prices greater than $5000. Even so, with a success rate of 63% and 80 works finding new homes out of the 127 offered for sale, so many works have gone for such low prices that her average result at auction is just $2,534.
Pansy rarely painted for Papunya Tula after the 1980s and managed her own career thereafter with the help of her European husband. For this reason Sotheby’s, have offered only 6 works by this artist since 1990. Bonhams and Christies have handled even fewer.
Though Pansy Napangardi has been an important ‘town’ artist and the winner of the National Aboriginal Art Award in 1989, she is known to have had only 3 solo exhibitions, and these were held at the genesis of her career between 1989 and 1991. Though her works are distinctive and she is strong in the literature, the prices of her works have never hit the stellar heights of several of her contemporaries and are unlikely to do so in the future unless something exceptional is unearthed.
Born in Haasts Bluff c.1940 to a Luritja mother and a Warlpiri father, Pansy Napangardi was for a long time the leading female artist of Papunya Tula.
Long before the international art world embraced Emily Kngwarreye, Pansy Napangardi was growing up in Papunya, watching the desert art founders as they painted. A totally unaffected, extremely pretty young woman, she became the first professional female desert painter amongst the Luritja and Warlpiri, much like Linda Syddick Napaltjarri was to the Pintupi. As soon as she was married and about a decade before Papunya started supplying women artists with their own painting supplies, Pansy moved to Alice Springs. She sold her work independently until the mid 1980s, when she returned to Papunya. In 1989, she won the National Aboriginal Art Award and a solo exhibition at the Sydney Opera House followed the same year. Another followed with Gabrielle Pizzi Gallery in Melbourne.
Pansy’s reputation flowered at the very moment that the attributes of personal style and expressive ability had become highly prized by collectors. Unfettered by convention, she developed a technique of applying multi-coloured dots by dipping the point of her painting stick directly onto the meniscus of a range of complementary colours. She became the most prominent female artist at Papunya Tula from the late 1980s to the mid 1990s, but later reverted to practising as an independent artist for a range of private dealers.
Her sister, Eunice Napangardi, is a renowned Aboriginal artist, her youngest brother Brogas Tjapangati paints for Papunya Tula and her sister, Alice Napangardi, was first married to Kaapa Tjampitjinpa and later his younger brother and fellow artist Dinny Nolan. Pansy Napangardi is a unique artist, whose work deals with her traditional beliefs and cultural heritage in a truly original style.
Central Collection, Australian National University, Canberra.
Donald Kahn collection, Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami.
Gabrielle Pizzi Collection, Melbourne.
Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.
The Kelton Foundation, Santa Monica, U.S.A
The Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane.
The Robert Holmes a Court Collection, Perth. Subjects: Seven sisters, hail, desert raisin, two women, Wiyanpiri Rockhole.
1988, Sydney Opera House.
1989, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne.
1991, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne
2007 - St-art European Art Fair, Artists displayed:, Lucky Morton Kngwarreye, Walangari Karntawarra Jakamarra, Ningie Nangala, Susie Hunter Petyarre, Andrea Martin Nungarrayi, Josephine Napurrula, Pansy Napangardi, Galuma Maymuru, Julie Robinson Nangala, Milminya Dhamarrandji, Alick Tipoti, Samson Bonson, Eddie Aning-Mirra Kerry, Haleema Djorlom, Bronwyn Kelly, James Iyuna, Stephen Kawurlkku, Arts d'Australie, Stephane Jacob, Strasbourg, France; Papunya Painting - Out of the desert, National Museum of Australia, Canberra.
2004 - Art Aborigine Pour Tous, Galerie DAD, Mantes-la-Jolie, France; Kuniya Pilkarti, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne; Mythology and Reality - Contemporary Aboriginal Desert Art from the Gabrielle Pizzi Collection, Heidi Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne.
2000 Arts d’Australie, Arts d'Australie , Stéphane Jacob / Galeries Lafayette, Paris; Papunya Tula: Genisus and Genius, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.
1999 - Salon Grands et jeunes d’Aujourd’hui, Arts d'Australie , Stéphane Jacob / Espace Eiffel Branly, Paris.
1997 L’Art des Aborigènes d’Australie, Arts d'Australie , Stéphane Jacob / Galerie de Stassart, Bruxelles; L’Art des Aborigènes d’Australie, Arts d'Australie , Stéphane Jacob / Espace Paul Riquet, Béziers.
1994, Dreamings - Tjukurrpa: Aboriginal Art of the Western Desert; The Donald Kahn collection, Museum Villa Stuck, Munich; 1994, Jukurrpa Artists, Australian Heritage Gallery, Watson, ACT; 1994, Central Australian Aboriginal Art and Craft Exhibition, Araluen Centre, Alice Springs; 1994, The Eleventh National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin; 1994, Power of the Land, Masterpieces of Aboriginal Art, National Gallery of Victoria.
1993/4, ARATJARA, Art of the First Australians, Touring: Kunstammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf; Hayward Gallery, London; Louisiana Museum, Humlebaek, Denmark.
1993, Aboriginal Art Exhibition, Kung Gubunga, Oasis Gallery, Broadbeach,Qld; 1993, Central Australian Aboriginal Art and Craft Exhibition, Araluen Centre, Alice Springs; 1993, The Tenth National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin; 1993, Ten years of acquisitions,from ANU collection, Drill Hall Gallery ACT; 1993, Central Australian Aboriginal Art and Craft Exhibition, Araluen Centre, Alice Springs.
1991/92, Friendly Country, Friendly People, Touring Exhibition, through Araluen Centre, Alice Springs.
1991, Australian Aboriginal Art from the Collection of Donald Kahn, Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, USA; 1991, Aboriginal Art and Spirituality, High Court, Canberra; 1991, Aboriginal Women's Exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.
1990, l'ete Australien a' Montpellier, Musee Fabre Gallery, Montpellier, France.; 1990, National Gallery of Modern Art, Rome.
1989, Mythscapes, Aboriginal Art of the Desert, National Gallery of Victoria; 1989, The Sixth National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
1988, The Inspired Dream, QAG, Brisbane.; 1988, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne.
1988, ANCAAA and Boomalli, Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Ko-operative, Sydney.
1987, The Fourth National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
1987, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne. Awards: 1989 - Winner National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award. Bibliography: Australian Aboriginal Art from the Collection of Donald Kahn, 1991, Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, USA
Caruana, W., 1993, Aboriginal Art, Thames and Hudson, London. (C)
Crossman, S. and Barou, J-P. (eds), 1990, L'ete Australien a Montpellier: 100 Chefs d'Oevre de la Peinture Australienne, Musee Fabre, Montpellier, France. (C)
Crumlin, R., (ed.), 1991, Aboriginal Art and Spirituality, Collins Dove, North Blackburn, Victoria. (C)
Isaacs, J., 1989, Australian Aboriginal Paintings, Weldon Publishing, New South Wales.
Johnson, V., 1994, The Dictionary of Western Desert Artists, Craftsman House, East Roseville, New South Wales. (C)
1993, Aratjara, Art of the First Australians: Traditional and Contemporary Works by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Artists, exhib. cat. (conceived and designed by Bernard Luthi in collaboration with Gary Lee), Dumont, Buchverlag, Koln. (C)
Ryan, J., 1989, Mythscapes Aboriginal Art of the Desert from the National Gallery of Victoria, exhib. cat., National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. (C)
West, M. (ed.), 1988, The Inspired Dream, QAG, Brisbane.
1988, ANCAAA and Boomalli, exhib. cat., Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Ko-operative, Sydney. (C)
1991, Aboriginal Women's Exhibition, exhib. cat., Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.
Bardon, Geoffrey; Ryan, Judith; Pizzi, Gabrielle; Stanhope, Zara., Mythology and Reality - Contemporary Aboriginal Desert Art from the Gabrielle Pizzi Collection, Heidi Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne.
Johnson, Vivien.(Editor), Papunya Painting: Out of the Desert, National Museum of Australia, Canberra, 2007.
. . . . .
Synthetic Polymer Paint on Linen and Canvas