420 - Traditional, Modern & Contemporary Art in Singapore

27 July 2012

Auction House AAG announces an important auction of 'Traditional, Modern & Contemporary Art' from Southeast Asia for Saturday 28 July. As usual, AAG is collaborating with its local partner Larasati for this auction to be held in Singapore. With 53 lots, the auction is modest in size, but the works are of high quality and art-historical value and thus represent the most important artists of the past century.
Some Balinese paintings by the originally Dutch artist Arie Smit will be the first to be auctioned. The four works (lot 2-5) each show the painter's typical naive painting style and the bright use of color, while they provide a good overview of the development of his oeuvre over the years.
Four works by Swedish artist Richard Winkler will then be offered. Although only 42 years old, this painter already has a remarkable international reputation. After starting his career as an illustrator, he once decided to move to Bali where he married Regine, his Indonesian pen pal since high school. All four works (lot 6-9) depict life in Bali in an almost caricatural way in bright and clear colours.
The Balinese art market has undergone a very positive development in recent years. This art movement is now finally getting the appreciation it deserves. Several top Balinese artists will be represented in this auction, such as Nadera, Sukada, Roepet and Poleng. 
The latter was known among the Balinese as a specialist in carving sacred ritual masks, endowed with magical powers, and intended for the surrounding temples of Ubud. As a traditional painter of the Pitamaha generation, he enjoys worldwide recognition. The work offered in this auction (lot 13) clearly shows the influence of Rudolf Bonnet, his teacher who considered him one of Bali's most talented artists.
Another name that should not be missing from an auction like this is that of Arifien Neif (lot 14-16). Due to his experience in interior design, the interior often plays an important role in his paintings, in combination with the many figures he adds to his scenes. Lot 16 is an early work by this artist, entitled 'Tragedy'. With its large dimensions of almost one square meter, this work is a sensitive eye-catcher for your interior.
Arriving at the modern masters of this auction, a striking work by Affandi catches the eye. Dated 1973, the painting (lot 21), the 'Perahu Kusamba', depicts in quickly rendered rags, drips and splashes showing the master's unsurpassed skill.
Three works by the artist Srihadi Soedarsono are on offer (lot 23, 51 – 52), all equally beautiful and intense. The most remarkable work is lot 52, 'Melasti – Praying for love and peace', which shows an exceptional use of colour. This large work represents an almost transcendent stage of peace and happiness and is much lighter than his other works.
Another impressive work is lot 24, a view of the road near Cipayung, by S. Sudjojono. This at first sight simple romantic landscape expresses a strong political message with a critical look at colonialism, typical of this nationalist thinker and painter.
Lot 25 and 26 are by the famous artist Le Pho. Born in North Vietnam and trained in France, Le Pho quickly became a valued artist in Asia and Europe, as well as in the US. His unique way of sketching with paint and imagining young women in flower gardens can be described as Chinese post-impressionist and shows recognizable influences from Pierre Bonnard and Odilon Redon.
Three works on paper by Rudolf Bonnet will be offered, all three showing his pronounced talent for portraiture. Although male models were usually preferred, lot 28 shows a beautiful young girl with a serene look. 
Like Bonnet, many other Dutch artists spent some time in Indonesia and Bali to capture the tropical scenes and the surreal colours. Some of the names represented in this auction are: HAL Wichers, Wilhelmus Imandt, Lucien Ohl, Carel Dake Jr., Leo Eland, Willem Dooyewaard, Gerard Adolfs and Willem van der Does.
The work of Gerard Pieter Adolfs (lot 46) is very rare as it is signed several times with 'Boempo'. Boempo was the nickname his mother gave him and Adolfs only worked under this 'pseudonym' for a short time. The subject, on the other hand, is one of his most popular: a sculptor at work. Adolfs' works have been distributed all over the world and this lot comes from a Swedish private collector.
Van der Does is represented with a painting of enormous dimensions. The work shows several women in a mountainous landscape carrying goods (lot 37). This has to be one of his best works, with its detailed rendering of the clothing, use of color and impressive perspective.
A local artist who worked during the same period is Basoeki Abdullah, known for his beautiful portraits. Lot 38 shows a view of a lively fruit market. Although painted in 1954, the loose brushstrokes show the multifaceted skill of an experienced painter.
In our auction last January, we achieved record prices for works by Antonio Blanco. In this auction we offer reasonably priced work by Blanco (lot 44), titled 'Balinese fantasy'. This watercolor shows two sketches of a naked young woman, as thrilling as any other work by his hand. With the excellent provenance of the Henry Ringer Estate, this work is a good choice to purchase.
We will offer two works by Auke Sonnega, also a record-breaking artist (lot 45 & 50) that both show the versatility of this painter. Lot 45 is characterized by its highly stylized, almost abstract way of painting, lot 50, on the other hand, is more decorative and charming.
Also on offer are two works by Adrien Jean Le Mayeur de Merpres and his father Adrien-Charles. The similarity between the two works is striking: the son's early works show the same use of light as an important part of the Impressionist composition as the father's works. Both are considered important Belgian artists, the father is best known for his seascapes, which is immediately apparent when one looks at lot 47. The son fell in love with Bali and his future wife Ni-Pollok in the early 1930s and since then made beautiful paintings and drawings of this Balinese life, as can be seen in lot 48. Despite this, the signatures of father and son are almost identical.
The auction closes with lot 53, a work by Sunaryo that has become one of Indonesia's most sought-after export products over the years. Although the work 'Behind the stage' shows the obvious signature of the artist, the refined material and subject of this work, dated 2012, makes this one of his best paintings ever!
The catalog of this auction can now be viewed online at: http://larasati.com/media.php?module=lots&ed=52
For more information, please contact the Larasati staff:
T: +65 6737 2130 / E: info@larasati.com /W: www.larasati.com

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