The paintings of Kathleen Petyarre have been compared internationally to those of the minimalist modern artists Mark Rothko and Agnes Martin, not so much for their formal structure: but for what underlies beneath, partially hidden from the observers view. In actuality, Kathelen Petyarre’s paintings are mental territorial maps which portray her country and the narrative associated with her inherited Dreaming stories.
Her celebrated works, Mountain Devil Lizard Dreaming, when presented on a grand scale, depict the whole of her ancestral country (which covers some 200 square kilometers of the eastern desert of central Australia), whilst other works, like the My Country and Rock-holes series, present a seasonal snapshot within: a close-up of a geographical location spiritually important to the artist.
Since her first works-on-canvas appeared in 1988 in the collaborative Utopia exhibition ’A Summer Project’ (The Holmes a' Court Collection), Kathleen Petyarre’s oeuvre has always been identified by her deft minimalist overtures. Now, in the summer of 2004/5, we see a new style of work emerging, bolder, perhaps more abstract, certainly more modern in it’s technicality and presentation, yet each work retains her signature form and elegant style of delicacy. Through her beautiful and highly evocative paintings, Kathleen Petyarre continues to retain her position at the forefront of the Australian contemporary art movement.
Biography courtesy of Gallerie Australis, Adelaide, Australia
skin group niece of Emily Kame Kngwarreye
skin group sister of Gloria Tamerre Petyarre
skin group sister of Ada Bird Petyarre
skin group sister of Violet Petyarre
skin group sister of Myrtle Petyarre
skin group grandmother and teacher of Abie Loy Kemarre
Finalist, 1998 Seppelts Contemporary Art Award-Visual Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia (1998)
Overall Winner of the VisyBoard Art Prize, Barossa Vintage Festival Art Show, Nurioopta, Australia (1997)