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paintings 27 May, 2022
Jackfruits Seller by the Beach, by Hendra Gunawan (1918 – 1983)
Note: I can not upload the PDF file regarding with documents and photos of Certificate of Authenticity and Provenance. ============= 1. RESEARCH & ESSAY In 1957, Hendra was a lecturer at the Indonesian Fine Art Academy (ASRI) in Yogyakarta. At the same time, the artist also involved in the establishment of LEKRA (Lembaga Kebudayaan Rakyat) or People’s Institution of Culture. LEKRA was immensely associated to ideology of PKI (Partai Komunis Indonesia) or Indonesian Communist Party. After only eight years of his activity in LEKRA, the bloody massacre of 10th September 1965 movement imploded upon his country – Indonesia inflicting he was imprisoned in 1965 in Kebun Waru – Bandung – West Java after the banned PKI party was accused to be a party on coup attempt against Soekarno’s government. Incarcerated from 1965–1978, Hendra Gunawan kept painting and creating his works by using the rough canvases with subjects reflecting the lower-class society’s struggle, patience for a harmonized family, and other social life’s activities, such as fish mongers, merchants, and family’s or villager’s activities. His oeuvres executed in behind the prison were mostly signed with his typical name’s signature, date of creation with a mark “KW” as an acronym of Kebun Waru, the name of the prison house where the artist passed his life during 1965 - 1978. =============== Entitled ‘Jackfruits Seller by the Beach’, the present work was painted by Hendra Gunawan in 1974 in behind the jail. With his underlying passion and talent for painting, the present painting evoked a unique sense of style on its own. The present work is a unique aesthetic associated with form of expression or application of Hendra's creative skill and imagination. Thickly execution and spontaneous brushstrokes with contrasting and vivid colors spark the contoured elegance on the current painting. Although his expressionistic artwork was fairly simplistic in first sight, Hendra still put his attention towards the color composition’s balance between the main figure of the painting as a focal point and its surroundings, so that the viewers could develop their focus on what the messages the artist was trying to convey. Since his career, Hendra Gunawan has not dramatically changed his choice of themes in his works. Hendra executed his works revealing people in contexts of work activity and play, life struggle, in celebration events, and wars. The women figures depicted on Hendra's works are various types, which are not clearly distinguishable individuals and there is ample substance for a fascinating discussion of their many roles and meanings. =============== The present artwork is brightly painted in bold and free brushstrokes applying the earthy vibrant colors, predominantly in blue, beige, green, black with tranquil blue and sea green with boat bustle activity around the mountainous scene in the background. She is depicted in sitting on a large rock and selling the soursop fruits and, from a distance, several people are seemed to be unloading fishes near two sailboats that were ported in the bay. The woman figure is created and stylized in unique facial, expressive body movement, big hips, and graceful long thin arms with big feet calves. The figure enraptures representing a mothering beauty, voluptuous busty, her undulating body wrapped in bright-colored batik cloth. Her body is related to that of Wayang or shadow puppet performance from Javanese culture, the handcrafted characters made out of buffalo or cow leather. The viewers may see her body that is famously known for the characters of Ramayana and Mahabharata in shadow puppet performance. Hendra made the present woman’s body as a source of inspiration that is never exhausted. This unique woman body is often interpreted by admirers with a variety of interpretations, which not only interpret their aspects of sensuality. =============== The amazing aspect of this visual art is her kebaya and jarik that are painted in intricate execution resembling Javanese batik style, a fabric that uses the wax-resist dyeing technique celebrated for its vibrancy of colors and patterning. It is undoubtedly that the present painting elucidates the influences of wayang and batik style and the viewers can perceive an audacious simplification of forms. The contrasting areas of brilliantly lit colors are also used for a marvelously decorative effect representing batik style, and a strong rhythmical surface design that also illustrates a quality of the cloth. The present work illuminates a consistent theme, which is inexhaustible commemoration about woman and annunciates the mysterious poetic meaning in everyday life of woman in ‘Jackfruits Seller by the Beach'. =============== Hendra Gunawan’s paintings are frequently depicted with coastal indigenous people living in close relationship with their environments, ocean and beach. ‘Jackfruits Seller by the Beach' subject on current painting is unique and remarkable example of Hendra Gunawan oeuvre, bearing all the hallmarks of the artist’s characteristic style. Soursop fruits (Annona muricata) are dark green, ovoid and have a whitish and aromatic flesh that are usually peddled by women in the artist’s country. The women from the lower-class society frequently support their husbands earning a living for his family. Hendra Gunawan’s artworks with in the market keep on being very strong and on growth with stellar results in the art markets such as Christie’s Hong Kong and Sotheby’s Hong Kong. Compare with his work, entitled ‘Girl with Jacfruit’, (133 x 87 cm.), sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 25th November 2007, lot. 100, for HKD 1,087,500, initially estimated between HKD 400,000 – HKD 550,000 (see fig. 1).
Estimate: $180,000 - $250,000
paintings 27 May, 2022
A Flock of Seven Peace Doves, by Lee Man Fong (1913 – 1988)
Note: I can not upload the PDF file regarding with documents and photos of Certificate of Authenticity and Provenance. ============= 1. RESEARCH & ESSAY: Born in Guangzhou on November, 13 1913, Lee Man Fong perpetuated ‘A Flock of Seven Peace Doves’ on this artistic painting art. He was one of the famous court painters in the era of President Soekarno, and highly talented in creating paintings on animals such as these doves. The present work is painted in vibrant and colorful imagery that shows the blended traditional Chinese ink format and western art style. The artist was a force in the modern art world beyond his peers of his period in the middle 20th century. The portrait of seven doves depicted on this piece is executed in exquisitely and perfectly composition, and the pigment layers are applied densely thereby it stands out from a surface glaring a great sense of verisimilitude. =============== The subject is depicted colorfully alive, vividly realistic and capable of evoking intense emotions despite some parts of an ancient tree with its twigs and mountainside rocks, trunk and root tree elements depicted in the background in slightly simple narrative. The artist developed this aesthetic work by successfully integrating the Chinese and Western styles that was influenced by European artists. While the doves and mountainous rocks are painted in realistic images in European style, but the gnarled trunks of the trees and foliage around the charming group of doves are set in the Chinese expressionistic style or ‘xieyi’ style. ‘Xieyi’ style frequently resembles Chinese ink and brush technique in oil. It is painted in featuring the bold strokes and freehand style commonly dedicated to the Chinese classical literati's painting style belonging to the Chinese Ink Wash. Lee brings the audiences to the nuances of landscape beauty by featuring a dove flying far away over the blue sky while six doves perch atop a steep cliff and rocks in frolic representing a peace and love symbol. As a universally recognized symbol of peace and love, the dove is the precise antithetical symbol to war, violence and sorrow. Further, the number of eight doves on his work of art represents a great sacred message of abundant wealth in pursuing the economic life and external benefits within a peaceful life. =============== In 1946, Lee was commissioned by Dutch viceroy, Hubertus van Mook, to paint a portrait of van Mook’s wife. Amazed by the portrait he painted, van Mook personally recommended Lee for a Malino scholarship in studying European art to Holland in 1946 for several years. When spending the scholarship from the Dutch government, he also traveled around the Europe countries to delve in a new technique of painting art in Holland, and experienced at firsthand Western art museums1). It is obvious that Dutch artists such as Rembrandt (1606 – 1669 AD) played the important role in his work, notably with the analysis of light and shadows, as well as staged scenes to accentuate the visual narrative painted oil on board. Lee’s study of the original works of European masters such as Rembrandt van Rijn and Vincent van Gogh were reflected in his works of the period, such as Man with a Pipe (1949) and The Ballerina (1950), which featured dramatically spot-lit subjects, vigorous brushwork and rich colors2). =============== In 1952, Lee Man Fong returned to Jakarta – Indonesia and his artistic technique development had reached a level of maturity hitherto unseen3). In 1964 he was appointed by first President of Republic of Indonesia, Soekarno, as a palace painter. It shows that his brushworks are applied with a particular aim in his mind, connected with the suggestion of texture, light and shape. Thus, his brushstroke varies in accordance with that aim. By capturing the Europe painting technique, through on the current work of art, Lee successfully blended Western art technique with Chinese painting art format and expressed a tendency to create the atmospheric effect prevalently in traditional Chinese art style painted ink on paper. =============== Lee Man Fong’s works with “Doves” subjects appear regularly at auction and command high prices in specialist sales of 20th century in Hong Kong and Singapore. Lee’s works with “doves” subjects are predominantly painted on panel or boards. For example, the larger piece (size 85.50 x 121 cm) with “Peace Conference” subject (size: 85.50 x 121 cm) signed with ‘M.F. Lee” and painted oil on canvas, was sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong, 4th April 2011, lot. 349. The piece was then sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, HKCEC Grand Hall, 26 May 2013, lot. 3358, sold HK$3,390,000 or equivalent to US$ 438,798, initially estimated between HK$1,400,000 - HK$1,800,000 or equivalent to US$ 190,000 - US$230,000 (see fig. 1). Lee’s work entitled to “Peace Doves” depicting eight doves signed “M.F. Lee” at lower right (size 70 x 100 cm), and painted oil on panel was sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 28th May 2017, lot. 331 (see fig. 2). See the similar subject and composition but with smaller size, entitled to “Peace and Prosperity” (61 x 91 cm) that is painted oil on Masonite, was sold at Borobudur Singapore, 21st November 2010, lot. 250, for S$109,800, initially estimated between $S 61,538 – 92,308 (see fig. 3). =============== Citation: 1. Lim, R. (1981, July 15). An artist's life. The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG. =============== 2. Lim, R. (1981, July 15). An artist's life. The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Ministry of Community Development and the National Museum, Singapore. (1987). Lee Man Fong 1987. Singapore: The Ministry. (Call no.: RART 759.95957 LEE). =============== 3. Sabapathy, T. K. (1988, April 11). Painter gave new life to old forms. The Straits Times, p. 27. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
Estimate: $35,000 - $70,000
paintings 27 May, 2022
A Rustic Lakeside Village, by Affandi Koesoema (1907 – 1990)
Note: I can not upload the PDF file regarding with documents and photos of Certificate of Authenticity and Provenance. ============= 1. RESEARCH & ESSAY ========== As the most renowned artist born in Cirebon – West Java in Indonesia, Affandi Koesoema (Cirebon, Jawa Barat, 1907 - 23 Mei 1990) was accustomed to painting by using his own decorative composition and technique. Like on the current piece, Affandi used oil paint to execute images of rustic lakeside village subjects in vividly colored expressionist impasto. The artist employed thick pigment by directly squeezing the pigments out of its tube on the canvas. The present work exemplifies the abstract expressionism style painted in Affandi’s newfound style that is known as “squeezing the tube." As Affandi never painted by using a palette and disliked brushes, the present painting was executed by squeezing with pigments, and then the pigments on the canvas surface was smeared directly by his powerful and dexterously fingers rendering its ribbon-like brushtrokes shape to form the rustic lakeside village scenery in dramatically energy and movement. The present piece also exhibits delicious dense pigments and rich with vibrations representing the enthusiasm and encouragement of Affandi’s works trademark. The artist truly executed it by using his energic involvement to attain a splendid abstract painting style with exotic composition, and he applied the colors in strong hue exploring more dynamic mood on the vibrant rustic lakeside identity in his country. ========== Entitled to “The Rustic Lakeside Village," the present work shows a pleasantly cool nuance, where the village is depicted as a unique abstract composition. The artist’s talented hands and fingers imbued the row of houses while the horse’s chart (Andong) is shown crossing over the street. The village was placed on the edge of the lake adorned with the lush trees, including palm trees and weeds. Whatever our interpretation on the abstract painting, the present work requires us to have an open mind and enter this painting then see where this subject takes us. Thus, the subject on the current work gives us the freedom to explore it and assign our own meaning to this valuable abstract expressionism artwork style. ========== Like the technique applied on the present work, Affandi strongly believed in the moving and bursting energy that flowed during the process of painting. Therefore, applying paint directly from the tube using strokes of fingers and hands directly on the canvas became his preference in order that he could express that burst of energy on canvas.1) Affandi is one of the small group of painters who from 1950 to 1980s succeeded in exhibition his works on regular basis and in gaining critical recognition from connoisseurs and artists around the world. The artist often painted the rural and landscape subjects like the present work, and the subjects have been sought-after in the market. For example, compare with Affandi’s work entitled to “Landscape with Rice Field” (120 x 146 cm) painted in 1982, sold at Borobudur Fine Art Auction, Singapore, 22nd May 2016, lot. 60, with a hammer price US$50,680 (SGD70,000), excluding the buyer’s premium (see fig. 1). Compare with the artist’s work entitled to “Kebun Cengkeh” (size 95 x 140 cm) painted in 1987 was sold at Masterpiece Auction House, the Royale Chulan Hotel Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia, 8th March 2015, lot. 82 with a hammer price US$ 73,332 (MYR 270,000), excluding buyer’s premium (see fig. 2). The village subject of Affandi’s work was more sought-after and gaining the more price record. For example, compare with his oeuvre entitled to “Pagi di Kampung (Morning Day in Village)” (size 100 x 130 cm) painted in 1986 was sold at 33 Auction Singapore, 11th October 2014, lot. 3011 fetching a hammer price US$141,462 (SGD 180,000), excluding buyer’s premium (see fig. 3). However, the present work is different nuance and hue colors from the pieces sold in auction houses. The current piece entitled to “The Rustic Lakeside Village” was painted in 1971 and it artfully plays on elemental joys with a pleasantly villager and dynamic activity that is as original rustic lakeside village in his country, Indonesia. ========== Citation: 1. The Journey of Indonesian Painting: The Bentara Budaya Collection, Efix Mulyadi (Editor), Bentara Budaya, Jakarta (Organization), 2008, p. 277.
Estimate: $40,000 - $80,000
paintings 26 May, 2022
Riding a Water Buffalo, by Lee Man Fong (1913 – 1988)
1. RESEARCH & ESSAY: The piece is exquisitely painted with a boy and a girl riding a Water Buffalo. The buffalo is a tapering-horned animal like a bull walking gracefully, painted in black layered with brownish green on its leather parts. Wearing a wide hat and short-sleeve shirt with a towel hanging around his neck and pants folded on his leg, the boy is depicted guiding the Water Buffalo. His right hand holds the leash while his left hand holds a piece of rice straw. The girl greatly enjoys hitchhiking on the back as well with her left hand holding onto his shoulder. All these scenes are decorated with a large and old dried tree and rocks with weeds growing around the ground. Two lines of black vertical Chinese poems calligraphy and a red round seal mark are written on the upper right, and a red square seal mark is on the lower left. ===== As a painter born in Guangzhou, China, Lee Man Fong was inspired from the Chinese painting technique and subject. Decorated in slightly abstract in quality and skillfully painted with rendering technique through brushstroke, Lee is highly respect depicting this subject with Chinese traditional painting techniques through well-executed brushstrokes in the xieyi (寫意) or freehand style in trailing the traditional Chinese painting art. The freehand style, like on this painting, is also called Southern or Literary style that means “wrote ideas”, and the brushstrokes are closer to the strokes in calligraphy. From early twentieth century, especially with establishment of the Republic of China and lustrous painting art development in Indonesia, the technique was developed and widely influenced by Europe techniques. On the present work, Lee executed and integrated the technique and ideas of Western painting into Chinese painting tradition. Hence, this artwork tends to be simple, bold, and flowing: somewhat impressionistic, paying little attention to detail. ===== Lee Man Fong grasped the philosophy of the meaning of a water buffalo expressed into this work. The nature of the Buffalo tends to be very methodical and slow, but people who have this zodiac are able to approach projects or assignments slowly though surely to the best for them. Water Buffalo (Bubalus arnee) is a type of animal indicated as Chinese native buffalo living in swamp and wild. This animal is believed to be a tame animal for 4000 years ago in Chinese empires. Water Buffalo is symbolized as perseverance and patience because its nature and behavior are slow yet tenacious and continues to step forward for sure. Lee Man Fong highly fathoms the taste of traditional Chinese art combined with Western painting technique. He is able to put the philosophy notions and the symbol of wild Water Buffalo (Bubalus arnee) into the art of beauty to be able to be experienced by each level of enthusiasts of the Southeast Asian arts beauty. ===== The interest in Southeast Asian artworks market indicates the strong demand. Like the current piece, the theme “Riding a water buffalo” painted by Lee Man Fong have been become prestigious choice and appetite among the prudent collectors. For example, a similar subject and style to the current piece is a “Riding a water buffalo”, sold at Larasati Singapore, dated 9th April 2005, lot. 20, sold for S$117,000 (see fig. 1). Compare with the Lee’s smaller painting (105 x 50.5 cm) depicted with the similar theme dated 1977, included in Oil Painting, Lee Man Fong, Vol. 2, Siont Teja, Art Retreat, Singapore, 2005, illustrated in color, p. 204. The piece was then sold at Borobudur – Singapore, dated 9th June 2012, lot. 165, estimated between S$100,000 to S$150,000 (SGD) and sold for S$292,800 or equivalent to US$227,564 (see fig. 2). ===== Citation: 1. Oil Painting, Lee Man Fong, Vol. 2, Siont Teja, Art Retreat, Singapore, 2005, p. 204.
Estimate: $90,000 - $150,000