Greeny Purvis Petyarre Biography

View Greeny Purvis Petyarre paintings

Greeny Purvis Petyarre was a gentleman, a quiet, confident, traditional elder. Born around 1930 to the Eastern Anmatyerre tribe, Greeny, was also an innovative and exciting artist.

During her second solo of Greeny's work in 2004, Gabrielle Pizzi told Don Holt that, in her opinion, Greeny was 'the most sophisticated male Australian Aboriginal artist of his time'.

Greeny was the eldest nephew of Emily Kame Kngwarreye. His father, Alhalkere Jack, was Emily's brother. Greeny was married to Kathleen Kemarre, with whom he had four daughters, Judy, Maureen, Jedda, and Jennifer. He was the senior "Emu Man" of Utopia, and also painted the Turkey, Yam and Kangaroo Dreamings.

Don Holt remembers vividly the day just after Emily Kame Kngwarreye died, when Greeny rang him up and invited him to attend the very important "sorry business". He arrived with a load of fresh meat to feed 500 people and found that he was the only white man there. Greeny was strong and authoritative and totally in control. He asked Don where he thought Emily should be buried. It was decided that her own Country near the Sandover River, would be appropriate.

Don was invited by Greeny to supply and build the headstone on the grave. This was later done by Don and Lindsay Bird, together. Lindsay's mother was Emily's sister.

Greeny often visited Delmore and was commissioned by the Holt family to paint, especially after Emily passed away. He would often linger for a quiet chat.

His work has been widely sort after and since his death on May 3, 2010, he is sadly missed as one of nature's gentlemen.

COLLECTIONS

Art Gallery of South Australia
Artbank
The Delmore Collection
Aboriginal Art Museum, Utrecht
Museum de Lyon, France
Musée des Confluences, Lyon
Thomas Vroom Collection, Amsterdam

 

EXHIBITIONS

2004  National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin
2004  Stadtgalerie Bamberg Villa Dessauer, Bamberg, Germany
2004  Addison Road Gallery, Marrickville
2003  Hogarth Gallery, Sydney
2002  Gallerie Le Temps du Reve, France
2002 Chapel Off Chapel, Melbourne
2002  Anmatyerre Men, World Vision, Walkabout Gallery, Sydney
2002  Light Over Utopia, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle
2002  Art and Soul Gallery, Nashville, Tennessee, USA
2002  The Strength and the Light: Art from Australia, Neuer Kunstverein, Aschaffenburg, Germany
2002  Glen Eira City Gallery, Melbourne
2002  Gallerie Le Temps du Reve
2001  Das Verborgene im Sichtbaren, Stadtische Gallery, Wolfsburg, Germany
2001  Recounting the Essence of Life: Art from Australia, Kunstforum HDZ, Bad Oeynhausen, Germany 
2000  Gabrielle Pizzi Gallery, Melbourne
2000  Mary Place Gallery, Sydney
2000  Contemporary Art of Australian Aborigines, Freiburg, Germany
2000  Art of the Aborigines, Leverkusen and Dormagen, Germany
2000  Utopia Tradition and Innovation – Recent work by the Artists of Utopia, Hogarth Galleries, Darwin
2000  Artists of Utopia, Tandanya Cultural Institute, Adelaide
2000  Dream Paths: Contemporary Paintings of Australian Aborigines, Stadtische Gallery, Traunstein, Germany
1999  Utopia, BMG Art, Adelaide
1998  Dreamings, Spazop Pitti Arte, Florence
1998  Dreamings, Vlaams-Europeesch Conferentiecentrum, Brussels, Belgium
1998  Museum Darestad, The Netherlands
1997  Quadrivium Gallery, Sydney
1997  Aboriginal Art Galerie Baehr, Speyer, Germany 
1997  Utopia: Contemporary Aboriginal Works, Quadrivium Gallery, Sydney
1996  Nangra, Stichting Sint-Jan, Brugge, The Netherlands
1996  Nangra, Stichting Sint-Jan, Brugge, The Netherlands
1996  Dreaming of the Desert: Aboriginal Dot Paintings of the Western Desert, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
1995  Dacou Gallery, Adelaide
1993  Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs
1984  First National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin
 

AWARDS

2004  Finalist, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin
1984  Selected Entrant, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin