Welcome to the second 2018 Cooee Art MarketPlace Aboriginal Fine Art offering. To be held on November 27th this multi-vendor auction features 88 works from 43 private collections in Australia and overseas. The estimated sale value is $1.0 - $1.2 million. The sale includes a number of highly significant works including paintings by the three artists who are credited as having initiated the Western Desert Art movement – clan brother’s Tim Leura Tjapaltjarri and Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, and their ‘brother in arms’ Kaapa Mbitjana Tjampitjinpa.
Tim Leura and Clifford Possum grew up in the same house under the sharp eye of Tim’s father, One Pound Jimmy Tjungarrayi and shared the country around Mount Allan and Napperby Cattle Stations. Both men were highly educated in the tribal customs and rituals of the region.
Works by Tim Leura Tjapaltjarri are rare due to his premature death (in 1984) at the dawn of the contemporary movement and his cultural cache amongst museums and collecting institutions. Yet no less than 3 of his works will be offered in this sale and each are exceptional in their own right. The highlight is Untitled (Rainmaker Bird Ceremony), 1972 (Lot 42). It is the prototype for brother Clifford’s Emu Coroboree Man, painted in February 1972, the first painting created by Possum in the Papunya shed specifically for Bardon. (sold Sotheby’s July 2005, $411,750). Tim Leura often created motifs, compositions and graphic elements that Clifford in turn used in his own work - Leura taking on the role of creative director and Possum following up with a stronger and more conceptual graphic representation. This extraordinary early board carries a presale estimate of $80,000-100,000.
Possum's Love Story at Ngarlu, 1991 (Lot 49) was illustrated lavishly with an extensive explanation of the iconography in Dr. Vivien Johnson’s monograph, The Art of Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, 1994, and has traveled extensively in Europe and North America. This tale of incestuous lust and the magical spells cast by an old Tjungurrayi man in order to seduce a woman of the wrong skin, is estimated at $80,000-120,000.
Rainbow Storm Dreaming, 1971 (Lot 38) by the third founding artist Kaapa Tjampitjinpa is an interesting formalisation of the component elements of the Water Dreaming that include men in caves, rain, clouds, rainbow, running water, waterholes and underground water. This rare board was only recently ‘discovered’ amongst an assorted collection of bric-a-brac in a garage sale in far north Queensland and authenticated following close examination by conservators. Estimated at just $14,000-18,000 it could be the ‘find’ of the sale.
Cooee Art MarketPlace charges buyers just 15% commission compared to 25% through other auction houses. Owned by Cooee Art, Australia’s oldest exhibiting Indigenous fine art gallery, its specialist resources have taken decades to build and are available free of charge to both sellers and potential buyers. You can discover a wealth of information on all of the major artists whose works are included in this catalogue on our Cooee Art website.
We look forward to hearing from you or seeing you in person in the lead up to the auction.
Adrian Newstead OAM
1 | Tim Leura Tjapaltjarri, Untitled (Rainmaker Bird Ceremony), 1972, powder pigment on composition board,
91.5 x 60.5 cm, EST. $80,000-100,000, Lot #42
2 | Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, Love Story at Ngarlu, 1991, synthetic polymer paint on Begian linen,
152.5 x 122 cm, EST. $80,000-120,000, Lot #49
3 | Kaapa Mbitjana Tjampitjinpa, Rainbow Strom Dreaming, 1971, poster paint with PVA glue on composition board,
47 x 65 cm, EST. $14,000-$18,000, Lot #38
4 | Jarinyanu David Downs, Untitled - Wakaya Ceremony, c.1983, natural earth pigments and synthetic polymer paint on composition board,199 x 120 cm, EST. $25,000-35,000, Lot #31