aboriginal artist : Kudditji Kngwarreye

View artworks by Kudditji Kngwarreye

Born: circa 1925 – passed away January 2017.
Language: Eastern Anmatyerre

Born around 1925, Kudditji is the brother of the late Emily Kame Kngwarreye.  Emily is considered the most famous Indigenous artist to date. Like Emily, Kudditji has his own magnificently unique and distinctive artistic style.

Kudditji grew up nomadic in the bush North East of Alice Springs. He worked as a stockman, and mineral and gold miner for many years.  He frequently took young men hunting emu as part of their initiation as men. It is the land of this experience that he now paints in his “Emu Country” works.

He began painting in the late 1970’s, after being inspired by the movement coming out of Papunya. His initial painting style was very traditional and finely detailed. Towards the end of the nineties Kudditji’s style changed dramatically. He began to experiment beyond the established norm, and arrived at his current style that has earned him worldwide acclaim.

Kudditji’s phenomenal work has been compared to that of the famous Russian painter Mark Rothko. Utilising great ‘blocks’ of colour, Kudditji maps out his country. He uses vibrant colours, applied with a heavily loaded brush and big sweeping strokes. Occasionally there are only two colours, while in other works, three or more.

Kudditji Kngwarreye died 23 January 2017 in Alice Springs after a long illness, a great loss to the art world.