Not unlike other important Aboriginal artists from the Utopia Region, NT, Gloria Petyarre's creative development was not encumbered by or steeped in Western traditions and conventions. Potent dreamtime stories and virtuous experimentation facilitated her paintings to convey her peoples affinity with the land.
Her paintings harness an existential exuberance, dynamism and brilliance, prompting scholars to affiliate them with paintings by the Abstract Expressionist. Acknowledged by the art intelligentsia of Australia, in 1999 Gloria Petyarre was awarded the prestigious Australian landscape prize - The Wynn - presented by The Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney.
Her first solo exhibition was in 1991 at Australian Galleries in New York, USA. Throughout the 1990's her paintings were included in many important group exhibitions in Australia and overseas, including: Utopia Womenís Painting - The First Works of Canvas - A Summer Project. Utopia - A Picture Story, travelling exhibition, England, Ireland and India. Aboriginal Womenís Exhibition, Art Gallery of N.S.W, Sydney; Flash Painting - National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; The Body Paint Collection at Bishop Museum, Hawaii and also toured the United States;
Her paintings are featured in books including; Michael Boultonís - The Art of Utopia, Fire and Shadow by Anna Voigt and Nevill Drury, New Visions New Perspectives by Anna Voigt, Dreamings Of The Desert published by The Art Gallery of South Australia, and Contemporary Aboriginal Art by Susan McCulloch.
Gloria Petyarre's paintings are represented in the permanent collections of: National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Art Gallery of Queensland, Brisbane; Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery and Levi Collection in Seattle, USA.
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