Aboriginal art has changed dramatically since the early days at Papunya, with many artists moving away from traditional iconography while maintaining their traditional stories. These works have progressively become more abstract. Many years ago now, Rover Thomas and Emily Kame Kngwarreye were the key proponents of this stylistic shift. To view the bold, minimal works of Kudditji Kngwarreye or the fine detail of Jorna Newberry is to understand just how much diversity there is in Modern Aboriginal Art.
Why Indigenous Aboriginal art has become a popular contemporary art form
Aboriginal art has become one of the leading art movements in the world today. Indeed, this ancient art form has evolved to become one of the most contemporary, attractive and interesting forms of painting today. The move away from natural ochres and pigments into modern materials and often vibrant paints revolutionised this art form, making it the darling of the Australian art auction scene and our Australian art exports leader over the last 20 years.
The value of investing in Aboriginal artwork
Indigenous art collectors are drawn to Aboriginal artworks for their raw, expressive and unique storytelling. With most Aboriginal artists living in remote, rural areas of Australia, authentic Indigenous artworks are hard to come by.
Aboriginal artworks allow art collectors to incorporate a meaningful, nature-inspired piece of art into their homes. Each piece tells a powerful story through its bold, vibrant pigments and patterns, using specific palettes intrinsic to their region. Most Aboriginal works are highly emotive, expressing each artist’s personal journey from their upbringing and their unique life experiences.
Contemporary Aboriginal art is inspired by varying motifs, from human figures and bushland food like bananas and water lily roots to native landmarks without the interference of technology. The underlying themes of nature pay homage to the Dreamtime — Aboriginal people’s belief that the land and people were created from spirits, rivers, streams, water holes, land, hills, rocks, plants and animals.
Why Wentworth Galleries is renowned for having the best Aboriginal art for sale
While many galleries have recently started selling Aboriginal art, Wentworth Galleries have connected wonderful people with Australia’s best visual artists for 30 years. We take great pride in ethically sourcing the best Aboriginal artworks from the most talented artists so that you can enrich your home or office space with our vibrant pieces.
We’re also amongst the first and only galleries exhibiting Indigenous Art in conjunction with western style contemporary art. To cut a long story short, we have the experience and connections necessary to acquire some of the best available works.
How to determine the value of Aboriginal art for sale
For the inexperienced eye, it's easy to misjudge the quality of one Aboriginal artwork compared to another, but if you take your time, visit multiple galleries, and look at a lot of art, you will soon be able to tell the difference.
Whether you’re new to Aboriginal art or a long-time investor, if you’re interested in building your art collection, you must be aware of the following factors which directly correlate to the value of your Aboriginal artwork:
The artist’s identity
By investing in art from popular Aboriginal artists, you’re more likely to yield the best possible investment return.
The origin of the artwork
Before buying Aboriginal artwork, we highly recommend you familiarise yourself with the communities and regions where the artists are or were based. Sometimes, the specific origin of the artwork can impact the art’s value.
The advantage of buying Aboriginal art from a reputable gallery like Wentworth Galleries is you can count on the gallery to supply you with the relevant information and paperwork, including the artwork's title, a Certificate of Authenticity, and the artist’s biography. Written documentation that communicates the history of ownership of the artwork is preferred where possible.
By carefully considering each of these factors when inspecting Aboriginal artwork for sale, you can determine the artwork's authenticity and whether or not the artwork accurately reflects the artist’s place of origin.
Remember that a pop-up auction bargain may not always be the bargain it first appears to be when buying Aboriginal art. Keep these factors in mind when doing research and opt to buy Aboriginal art from a well-established gallery or community art centre.
Browse our collection of Aboriginal art for sale
At Wentworth Galleries, we truly have something for everyone. From Janet Golder Kngwarreye, who comes from a reputable family of high-profile artists and is one of the leading painters of Gloria's famous leaf designs, to Ronnie Tjampitjinpa, known for his signature geometric painting style and is one of the Papunya region's finest desert painters.
If you’re new to buying Aboriginal artworks, take a look at our site and discover a wealth of information regarding the artists’ reputation, place of origin and life stories. That way, you can rest assured that your purchase will be in your best interest and in the best interests of the artists and their families.
Discover Aboriginal art at a gallery local to you
It has been said by a professor of art and leading Aboriginal art speaker that Wentworth Galleries has the best collection in Sydney, if not the world. Quality pieces of art by some of the world’s greatest artists, all backed up by a 2-year exchange guarantee.
If you’re in Sydney, we suggest visiting the Art Gallery of New South Wales to see their Aboriginal art display. We would also recommend visiting multiple commercial galleries selling that art genre. Once you've had a good look at what is available, come and talk to us at Wentworth Galleries and see our collection.
You can find Aboriginal art in galleries all over the world — in Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, New York, Los Angeles, Singapore and beyond. You'll get the best of it at Wentworth Galleries in Sydney.
Rent or buy Aboriginal artworks from Wentworth Galleries today
Wentworth Galleries have been in Sydney CBD for over 25 years, renowned for their exceptional services. Our number one priority is making authentic Aboriginal art as accessible as possible for our valued customers to enjoy.
If you’re tentative about buying artwork right away, you can trial the artwork in your home or office at no cost and obligation free! If that’s not enough, we take it one step further and give you the option to exchange your purchased artwork for your full purchase price credit within two years of the date of purchase. Our art rental service means you can rent Aboriginal art or our Australian contemporary art anywhere from six months to 36 months with the option to purchase. That way, you can easily switch up your office or home art if you decide to redecorate for a move or just feel like something different. Not to mention, our art rental is 100% tax deductible for businesses!
If you opt to purchase your artwork, we ship our Australian artworks worldwide and pack with extreme care to prevent any damage, so your prized possession can arrive at your door safe and sound.
Secure your favourite artwork sooner rather than later with our interest-free lay-by, providing flexible payment options to make purchasing quality artworks more accessible for our valued customers. Artmoney is another great way to own the artwork you love sooner.
So what are you waiting for? Whether you need to organise a gift registry, organise framing or require acquisition on a specific piece, reach out to our expert team, and we’ll provide you with all the information you require.
How can you tell the difference between a fake and an authentic piece of Indigenous Aboriginal art?
If you’re in the market for authentic Aboriginal art, you should steer clear of any artwork described as “Aboriginal-style art.” Tags like “Aboriginal-style” often refer to mass-produced art by non-Aboriginal people, often without the consent of the original artist.
It’s estimated at least 80% of “Aboriginal style” art is not actually produced by Aboriginal artists. It’s crucial to avoid purchasing artwork that is not authentic. After all, the last thing you want to do is misappropriate the cultural significance of Aboriginal art or cause any harm to Aboriginal artists.
So, what can you do to ensure you’re buying Aboriginal art that’s authentic?
Check the artist’s identity — Invest in art from popular or known Aboriginal artists to yield the best investment return and confidence in your purchase.
Investigate the artwork’s origin — Familiarise yourself with the community and region of the artist or ask the gallery. Sometimes, the specific origin of artwork can impact the art’s value. It certainly has an affect on the style of the painting with different regions having quite distinct styles.
Ensure Artwork Authenticity — Buy Aboriginal art from a reputable gallery like Wentworth Galleries that supplies the relevant documentation, including the artwork title, a Certificate of Authenticity, and the artist’s biography.
Why are Indigenous Aboriginal artworks so expensive?
Over the years, international interest in Aboriginal artworks has grown exponentially, with investors worldwide learning the intrinsic link of Aboriginal art to the an ancient culture and the nature of the Dreamtime that dates back to the Palaeolithic era. The increased international interest in Aboriginal art has caused an increase in the value of these paintings, particularly those of older, traditional Aboriginal artists. Even so, there are original authentic artworks at Wentworth starting at just $125 and from there, the sky is the limit.