Michael Jagamara's Five Stories sets a new record

Michael Jagamara Nelson's Five Stories (1984) has become the most valuable work by the artist to sell at auction.

It made £401,000 ($520,097) in a sale of aboriginal art at Sotheby's London on September 21, more than double its pre-sale estimate of £200,000 ($259,400).

Jagamara Five Stories
Michael Jagamara Nelson is among the most celebrated Aboriginal artists of the 20th century

The painting is an iconic piece of 20th century Aboriginal art.

It depicts five ancient folk tales from the Walpiri people, who live in the region to the west of the town of Alice Springs.

As in much aboriginal art, the symbols align to the topography of Jagamara's ancestral lands.

Sotheby's comments: "[Five Stories] has been published and exhibited widely, possibly more so than any other work by an Indigenous Australian artist.

"During the 1980s and 1990s Five Stories featured in several landmark exhibitions in Australia and abroad at a time when Aboriginal artists were breaking through the barriers that had consigned their art to the ethnographic domain to emerge as part of the discourse that is the world of contemporary art."

Other highlights included a pair of male and female sculptures produced by Benedict Palmeiua Munkara sometime in the 1960s.

They made £251,000 ($325,856), an increase of 401.9% on a valuation of £50,000 ($64,911).

Tim Klingender, Sotheby's senior consultant on Aboriginal art, told Blouin Artinfo: "The remarkable prices achieved in the saleroom today reflect the depth of interest from across the globe for these hugely important works of art.

"To see so much international bidding - and so many new buyers entering the field - points to an exciting future for this annual event in London."

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