Sol LeWitt, Emily Kame Kngwarreye and Gloria Tamerre Petyarre feature in major Sydney exhibition

AGNSW stages exhibition celebrating the ties between American conceptualism and Australian Central Desert Painting.

Words: Rose of Sharon Leake

Come August, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (AGNSW) will open Sol LeWitt: Affinities and Resonances, a major exhibition exploring the connections between two seemingly disparate times and places in art. “I feel a great affinity for [Emily Kame Kngwarreye]’s work and have learned a lot from her work,” said American conceptual artist Sol LeWitt.

Sol LeWitt: Affinities and Resonances, a collaboration between Kaldor Public Art Projects and the AGNSW, features LeWitt’s work in conversation with paintings by Anmatyerre artists Emily Kame Kngwarreye and Gloria Tamerre Petyarre. The exhibition introduces three new musical commissions, each of which have been developed collaboratively by an American musician and an Indigenous Australian musician in response to a LeWitt work of art. LeWitt’s 30 x 10 metre work Wall drawing #955: loopy doopy (red and purple) will be a hero piece of the exhibition with its bands of vibrant colour, bearing resemblance to paintings by Kngwarreye who LeWitt first encountered in 1997. LeWhitt later became a collector of paintings by Kngwarreye and other Central Desert artists, acquiring 36 paintings and drawings for his personal collection between 1998 and 2005.

“The AGNSW has one of the most significant collections of Sol LeWitt works in the world, thanks to the Kaldor Gift,” says AGNSW director Michael Brand. “Our connection to Sol LeWitt runs deep, literally – in fact if you scratch beneath the surface of paint on one of the walls in the John Kaldor Family Hall you would likely find his original mural from the 1977 exhibition. Sol LeWitt: Affinities and Resonances brings full circle our collaboration and shines an important new light on LeWitt’s connection to First Nations artists.”

Sol LeWitt: Affinities and Resonances runs from Saturday 27 August 2022 to 12 February 2023.

This article was posted 20 July 2022.

Image: Sol LeWitt Wall drawing #955: loopy doopy (red and purple) 2000, acrylic paint, first drawn by: Paolo Arao, Nicole Awai, Hidemi Nomura, Jean Shin, Frankie Woodruff, first installation: Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, November 2000 © Estate of Sol LeWitt.

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