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Kathleen Petyarre

Thorny Devil Lizard Dreaming at Dusk - 1999

synthetic polymer paint on Belgian linen
122.0 x 183.0 cm
Price Realised: $20,740.00

MP #502


Gallerie Australis, SA Cat No. GAKP1099207
Mary Place Gallery, NSW
Private Collection, NSW


Paintings by Kathleen Petyarre, 1999, Cooee Art Gallery and Gallerie Australis, Mary Place, NSW
Genius of Place: The work of Kathleen Petyarre, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, NSW, 2001


Catalogue, Cossey D., Nicholls C., Paintings by Kathleen Petyarre, 1999, pp10-11

The most common theme in Kathleen Petyarre's paintings refers to Arnkerrth, the Mountain Devil or Thorny Devil Lizard and the Dreamings associated with this small spiky lizard that is believed to have created the the artist's country. As the Lizard criss-crosses the vast terrain, changing colour according to its environment, it has moved the sand, grain by grain throughout the history of time, creating the hills and valleys, sandhills and waterholes that are seen there today.

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Kathleen was an exceptionally gifted and highly disciplined artist. She spent many hours preparing her canvas, carefully applying layer upon layer of different coloured paint that was absorbed into the linen, thereby imparting an extremely refined appearance to the finished painting. Dots sink into the work, barely visible while others are over-painted across the surface thereby heightening the illusion of three-dimensionality.

Kathleen was a great innovator; a singularly talented artist who won the prestigious national Aboriginal Art and TSI Award and was recognised with a solo retrospective exhibition at Sydney's Museum of Contemporary art - in which this painting featured.