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Balinese traditional, modern arts go under hammer this month

Richard Horstman
Richard Horstman

Artivist, observes and reports on developments in the Bali and Indonesian art scenes

Bali  /  Mon, January 15, 2018  /  01:38 pm
  • Lot #524 'Ocean Village Scene' by Wayan Bendi.

    Lot #524 'Ocean Village Scene' by Wayan Bendi. OF Larasati Auctioneers/File

    Lot #524 'Ocean Village Scene' by Wayan Bendi.

  • Lot #564 'Suasana Pasar' by Anak Agung Gde Anom Sukawati.

    Lot #564 'Suasana Pasar' by Anak Agung Gde Anom Sukawati. OF Larasati Auctioneers/File

    Lot #564 'Suasana Pasar' by Anak Agung Gde Anom Sukawati.

  • Lot #553 'Tajen' by Dewa Putu Mokoh.

    Lot #553 'Tajen' by Dewa Putu Mokoh. OF Larasati Auctioneers/File

    Lot #553 'Tajen' by Dewa Putu Mokoh.

  • Lot #579 'Stone Mason' by Ida Bagus Made Poleng.

    Lot #579 'Stone Mason' by Ida Bagus Made Poleng. OF Larasati Auctioneers/File

    Lot #579 'Stone Mason' by Ida Bagus Made Poleng.

  • Lot # 580 'Bali Life' by Made Sukada.

    Lot # 580 'Bali Life' by Made Sukada. OF Larasati Auctioneers/File

    Lot # 580 'Bali Life' by Made Sukada.

  • Lot #533 'Wanita Wanita Bali' by Bagong Kussudiardjo.

    Lot #533 'Wanita Wanita Bali' by Bagong Kussudiardjo. OF Larasati Auctioneers/File

    Lot #533 'Wanita Wanita Bali' by Bagong Kussudiardjo.

  • Lot #521 'Dialog Arjuna dan Kresna' by Made Sukada.

    Lot #521 'Dialog Arjuna dan Kresna' by Made Sukada. OF Larasati Auctioneers/File

    Lot #521 'Dialog Arjuna dan Kresna' by Made Sukada.


Larasati auctioneers continue to provide excellent support in moving forward Indonesian art, especially Balinese traditional painting, to growing local and international markets with its upcoming Jan. 21 "Traditional, Modern and Contemporary Art" auction to be held in Ubud, Bali.

Eighty lots of fine art will go under the hammer, including paintings, sketches, a woodcarving and one delightful poster, in an array of categories, and with prices accessible to new buyers, intermediate collectors and connoisseurs alike.

For the third year running, real-time internet bidding is available through the Larasati website, opening the auction to a global audience. 

This is an exciting sale featuring some absolute gems, along with works by renowned Indonesian and foreign artists, including Balinese master Gusti Nyoman Lempad (1862-1978), Ida Bagus Made Nadera (1910-1998), Ida Bagus Made Togog (1913-1989), Wayan Taweng (1922-2004), Antonio Blanco (1912-1999), Dutchmen Rudolf Bonnet (1895-1978) and Arie Smit (1916-2016) and Australian artist Donald Friend (1914-1989).

The auction is highlighted by an special selection of works from the collection of one of the most forward-thinking private collectors of Balinese art in the United States, Peggy Williams.

For the new buyer, or even just a novice wishing to add to their collections, there are many paintings and drawings appraised at under US$500 that are considered very good buys if purchased within their estimates. Two especially glowing works by recognized female painter Ni Gusti Agung Galuh Pulang dari Sawah (lot #545) and Sunset with Ducks (lot #546) both have an estimated value of between Rp 4 million (US$320) to Rp 5 million.  Sore Hari di Desa by Gusti Agung Wiranata (lot #548) has the same estimated value, while lot #524 Ocean Village Scene, an early work by reknown Batuan painter Wayan Bendi, has an estimated value of between Rp 5 million and Rp 7 million and is another excellent opportunity to purchase a strong piece. All of these works represent buying value not possible when purchasing paintings direct from the artist’s studio or from a gallery.

Read also: Exhibition highlights art by Bali prison inmates

There are two lots of special interest for collectors and those seeking to purchase something unusual. Lot #539, Charming & Beautiful, is a 75 centimeter x 48cm advertising poster by reputed Dutchman Willem Gerard Hofker (1920-1981), which has an estimated value of between Rp 10 million and Rp 12 million. Lot #519, Barong, by influential Balinese woodcarver Nyoman Tjokot (1888-1971), has an estimated value of between Rp 30 million and Rp 40 million and is a rare find from an artist who was at the forefront of new sculptural interpretations of icons of the Balinese culture after the turn of the 19th century.

Works in the mid-price range are many and some strong paintings include groups by two artists Bagong Kussudiardjo (1928-2004) and Dewa Putu Mokoh (1934-2000). Well-known as a choreographer, Bagong learned to paint from Indonesian masters Hendra Gunawan and Affandi, among others, before studying painting formerly at Indonesian Fine Arts Academy (ASRI) Yogyakarta. Of his four works offered, lot #530, Ibu dan Anak, has an estimated value of between Rp 12 million and Rp 15 million, and lot #533, Wanita Wanita, Bali, has an estimated value of between Rp 45 million and Rp 55 million. 

Four works are on offer by Mokoh, noted for breaking with convention and producing compositions that were quirky, lurid, and even intimate and highly unusual. The present owner purchased the paintings directly from the artist, and Tajen (lot #553), a delightful scene of an audience watching a cockfight, has an estimated value of between Rp 22 million and Rp 32 million.

Lots #517, 521, 577 and 580 are by Made Sukada (1945-1982). An artist held in very high esteem, his attention to compositional details and skin tones set him apart from most and has led to him being a highly sought-after painter, especially due to his short career. Lot #521 Dialog Arjuna dan Kresn is a unique work, and has an estimated value of between Rp 90 million and 110 million. Another beautiful work by Nyoman Kayun, lot #548, Pusupati, has an estimated value of between Rp 40 million and Rp 80 million.

An early work dated 1989 by Ubud’s most-celebrated living painter, Anak Agung Anom Gde Sukawati, lot #564, Suasana Pasar was painted when he was only 23 years old. While the influence of his father, A.A. Gde Raka Puja (1932-2016) is obvious, some five years later his work evolved and had a clear departure from his father's style. With an estimated value of between Rp 90 million and Rp 110 million, this is an extraordinary piece to collect.

Read also: Adieu maestro: Bali bids farewell to influential visual artist

An extremely rare and early masterpiece by, arguably the most talented Balinese painter of the 20th century, Ida Bagus Made Poleng (1915-1999), will receive attention from connoisseurs. Lot #579, Stone Mason, is offered as the top lot in this auction, with an estimated value between Rp 350 million and Rp 450 million. Probably produced in the early 1940s as it is painted on Masonite board, the work, which has excellent provenance, reveals his mastery of composition, and the strong influence of Rudolf Bonnet is clearly shown in the way he has depicted figures working in the field.  

The final lot during the afternoon, lot #580 by Made Sukada, Bali Life, has an estimated value between Rp 40 million and Rp 80 million, and also comes with excellent provenance. An early work of remarkable beauty, its layered composition reveals fascinating central background features and is another step in Sukada’s journey in the master of anatomy, influenced by Rudolf Bonnet’s signature style of elongated human proportion.

Potential buyers bidding over the phone, or via real-time internet bidding who are unable to attend the preview days or auction, are advised to contact Larasati and inquire about the color reproduction accuracy of the images contained within the online catalog to ensure that what they wish to purchase can be realistically appraised. 

The absence of reference to the condition of a lot in the catalog description does not imply that the lot is free from faults or imperfections; therefore, condition reports of the works outlining the painting's current state and whether it has repairs or overpainting are available upon request. 

Provenance, the historical data of the work's previous owners, is also important and is provided. An information guide including before the auction, during the auction and after the auction details, including conditions of business, the bidding process, payment, storage and insurance, and shipping of the work is also available. A buyer's premium is payable by the buyer of each lot at a rate of 22 percent of the hammer price of the lot.

Open to the public at the Larasati Art Space in the Tebesaya Gallery, the auction starts at 2:30 p.m. Jan. 21, while viewing begins from 11 a.m. on Friday. The online catalog, complete with a guide for prospective buyers is available at (kes)


  • Friday, Jan. 19 - 11 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, Jan. 20 - 11 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, Jan. 21 - 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Auction: Sunday, Jan. 21 - from 2:30 p.m.

Place: Larasati Bali Art Space at Tebesaya Gallery, Jl. Jatayu, Banjar Tebesaya, Peliatan, Ubud, Gianyar, Bali


Richard Horstman, a cultural observer with over 25 years’ experience in Indonesia, has supported the Bali and Indonesian art scenes for more than nine years as a journalist, writer, art tourism presenter and advisor at Cata Odata Art Space in Ubud. A bridge between the art world and the public, he has been published in The Jakarta Post and various other newspapers.


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