World Record for Australian Western Desert Artist at Sydney Sale

An historically important painting by Indigenous artist Long Jack Phillipus Tjakamarra, created at the dawn of the Australian Western Desert painting movement, has been sold at Bonhams Sydney for a record amount of $231,800 (estimate: $70,000-100,000). This new world auction record for the artist is more than double that previously achieved. Extraordinarily rare, the work was painted in 1972 at Papunya which is located in the centre of the Australian desert.

Consigned by Bonhams Barcelona office, the work was the highlight of the Serra Collection Sale which took place in Sydney on 22 July.

Bonhams Aboriginal Art specialist, Francesca Cavazzini said, "It is wonderful to see such a strong result for the largest known example by one of the founding members of this important art movement. Acquired in 1972 by Spanish sculptor Eudald Serra, we were delighted to offer the work which has been in Barcelona for the last 48 years."

The sale saw 81% sold by lot and 149% by value.

Other highlights included two works by the master bark painter from Western Arnhem Land, Yirawala (c.1897-1976):

• Kangaroo (Ubar Ceremony) c.1964, Sold for AU$ 20,740 inc. premium against an estimate of $8,000-12,000

• Male and Female Kangaroos c.1965, Sold for AU$ 31,720 inc. premium against an estimate of $8,000-12,000


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