Press Release

Tate Modern to stage Emily Kam Kngwarray exhibition in 2025

Emily Kam Kngwarray, Untitled (Alhalkere) 1989. © Estate of Emily Kam Kngwarray DACS 2023, All rights reserved

Tate Modern today announced that it will stage a major solo exhibition dedicated to one of Australia’s greatest artists, Emily Kam Kngwarray. Opening in 2025 and organised in close collaboration with the National Gallery of Australia (NGA), this will be the first large-scale presentation of Kngwarray’s work ever held in Europe, providing a rare opportunity for international audiences to learn more about this celebrated painter. Today’s announcement coincides with the opening of the NGA’s Kngwarray exhibition, running from 2 December 2023 to 28 April 2024.

A senior Anmatyerr woman from the Utopia region of Australia (north-east of Mparntwe/Alice Springs), Emily Kam Kngwarray created works that encapsulated the experience and authority she gained throughout her extraordinary life and career. Her ritual, ceremonial and spiritual engagement with her homelands was translated into vibrant batik textiles and later into monumental paintings on canvas. Tate Modern’s exhibition will bring together key examples of these textiles, paintings and works on paper from across the 1970s, 80s and 90s, many of which have never been shown outside Australia, and will celebrate the achievements of this renowned figure in 20th century art.

Karin Hindsbo, Director of Tate Modern, said: “I am delighted that Emily Kam Kngwarray’s powerful work will be coming to Tate Modern in 2025, and I am deeply grateful to our colleagues at the National Gallery of Australia for working with us on the exhibition. This project encapsulates what Tate Modern is all about: celebrating the world’s most significant artists – those who shape international art history, speak to our times, and imagine new futures – and giving our visitors the opportunity to experience extraordinary works of art.”

The exhibition reflects Tate’s ongoing commitment to better representing Australian art in its collection and programme. In 2015, Tate and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia launched a new partnership via a gift from the Qantas Foundation, which led to 35 works by 24 artists being jointly acquired for the museums’ two collections. In 2021, a free exhibition at Tate Modern entitled A Year in Art: Australia 1992 explored the theme of land rights and the legacies of colonialism in Australian contemporary art. Most recently, this year saw the Turbine Hall host Richard Bell’s Embassy, a travelling artwork which is activated by talks, workshops and screenings in support of Aboriginal rights.