There are a few auction standouts, including Marumaru (Black One) by Rover Thomas (Lot 9081 ), a beautiful and simple canvas in natural earth pigments. Completed in 1996, it’s been in private hands since last offered by Mossgreen in 2008.
Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri also has a powerful acrylic on canvas, Two Jangula Men (Lot 9002 ). Depicting two skeletons, the ceremonial design is made all the more striking with a minimalist background devoid of decoration. It’s on offer with six digital work-in-progress images.
The Possum Tjapaltjarri painting is one of 63 works from the collection of Des Rogers, a collector of and dealer in Aboriginal art for over two decades from the 1990’s. Based in Melbourne, he travelled regularly to Alice Springs and outlying Aboriginal communities where he purchased works directly from artists. During this time he developed a close working relationship with the Possum Nungurrayi family, as well as other Central Australian Aboriginal artists.
One intriguing work on offer is a signed pencil drawing by Albert Namatjira, sketched on the lawns of the Acton Hotel in Canberra in February 1954 (Lot 9005 ). Namatjira was visiting Canberra to meet with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, and he created the work at the request of a schoolgirl, Rosemary Trepp. She cherished the drawing for over 50 years, before it was offered at auction for the first time in 2003.
Other impressive offerings include Mina Mina (Lot 9085 ), a large-scale monochromatic work by Dorothy Napangardi (c.1956-2013), named for her hometown in the Tanami Desert; and a vibrant canvas by Karen Bird Ngale, (1984-), titled Alpar (Lot Lot 9016). Ngale is the youngest daughter of renowned Utopian artist Lindsay Bird Mpetyane, and her highly detailed paintings typically depict women's ceremonies and bush tucker, including the Alpar (rat tail bush medicine plant). Walala Tjapaltjarri has three arresting canvases in his trademark graphic style, and a small steel sculpture, Tingari 3 Stack 2/3 (Lot 9048 ), created at Campfire Group Studios, Brisbane in 2004.