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About This Artist

MINNIE PWERLE

Minnie passed away in March 2006. Her age at passing seems to be indeterminable, but her birth year is most widely quoted as 1910, although it appears that she was actually born around 1924 (according to arts writer Susan McCulloch in a 2003 Weekend Australian article). She enjoyed a seven year career as an artist and in that brief span rose from obscurity to being one of the most celebrated and sought after Anmatyerre artists from Utopia since her friend, the late Emily Kngwarreye.

Minnie´s bold linear depictions of ceremonial body paint designs (awelye) associated with the Bush Melon plant are raw, fresh and vibrant. Her uninhibited approach to the application of bright acrylic paint to canvas and linen instantly caught the attention of art lovers and collectors. Her first solo exhibition (at Flinders Lane Gallery, Melbourne) in 2000 was a sellout and she was to contribute to solo and group exhibitions at prestigious Australian galleries every year after until her death.

The strength and intensity of her earlier works has been borne out by spectacular results at auction for the resale of her paintings. She will be remembered hereafter as a petite, demure lady and an exceptional talent who shone brightly as an artist in her twilight years and left a legacy of beauty in her wake. When asked why Minnie only took up painting so late in her life, her daughter Barbara Weir responds, “She was waiting for someone to ask her”.


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