Artivist, observes and reports on developments in the Bali and Indonesian art scenes
Sixty-two items of fine art will go under the hammer starting at 2:30 p.m. on May 12 during the “Pictures of Indonesia” auction conducted by Larasati auctioneers at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Tanah Abang, Central Jakarta.
The sale offers good buying opportunities for beginner and mid-level collectors, as well as seasoned connoisseurs, with lots available in a vast array of media, including works in ink on paper, an etching, a charcoal sketch on paper, pastels on paper, watercolors on paper, oil pastel on canvas, oil and acrylic paint paintings on canvas and sculptures. Genres of art to be auctioned comprise Indonesian modern paintings, contemporary paintings and sculptures and Balinese modern traditional paintings, including works from the renowned Batuan School of painting -- some are pre-war works.
Some of the well-known artists whose work will appear in the sale are the Indonesian modern master Affandi (1907-1990), Ida Bagus Made Togog (1913-1989) from the Balinese village of Batuan, the famed Dutch colorist of Bali Arie Smit (1919-2016), talented Dutchman Willem Gerard Hofker (1902-1981), Balinese modern master Nyoman Gunarsa (1944-2017), Nashar (1928-1994), the overlooked painter of abstract and abstraction compositions, and the Balinese painter of the unconventional Dewa Putu Mokoh (1935-2010).
For those new to collecting fine art, committed research along with getting advice is essential, while internet databases are a good source of information, especially on prices of recently auctioned works.
Auctions are transparent, providing benchmark prices that serve as a guide to how much collectors should be paying.
Themed sections of work define the sale, beginning with Indo European featuring lots by noted Dutch artists, and an Indonesian artist, who painted pre-1960’s in the archipelago.
While four compositions depict Indonesian coastal, village and city living, Lot 61 Geiderse Kade Amsterdam by Willem Gerard Hofker is a small etching of a canal scenario in Amsterdam that has an estimated price of between Rp 4 million (US$280) and Rp 6 million.
For new buyers wishing to build their collection, the following works, if purchased within their estimated prices, are good buys. Lot 607 Balinese Woman, 1995, is an oil canvas painting by the overlooked American artist and long-term Bali expatriate Symon that has an estimated price of Rp 5-7 million. Lot 650 Village Life in Bali is a colorful acrylic on paper scenario of village activity by noted Batuan painter Ida Bagus Putu Padma that has an estimated value of Rp 6-8 million.
Two works are from the Pre War Balinese Art & Batuan Style section in the original Batuan ‘Black & White’ style achieved with ink on paper and reflecting some of the philosophies of the critically acclaimed genre. It must be noted that the years 1930-1945 are considered the golden years of Balinese painting.
Lot 647 A Fight in a Village by Dewa Made Koendel, is a sketch in grey and black ink on paper, 34 by 31cm with an estimated price of Rp 13-18 million, and Lot 649 A God and many animals in a Forest, circa 1936, by I Griem comes with good provenance and has an estimated value of Rp 13-18 million.
The following lots offer good buying as potential investments if you are prepared to buy and hold the works for at least 10-15 years. Lot 630 Setan Mbesan, 2000-2001 by an icon of Indonesian art Nasirun, is a dramatic and colorful 92 by 147cm work with an estimated price of between Rp 30-40 million. Lot 637 Dilarang Melintas #1, 2010 is oil paint and pastel depiction of a child from the economically marginalized Balinese village of Songan by Bali’s most important painter Gusti Agung Mangu Putra. The work, which comes with an estimated price of between Rp 70-100 million, was exhibited in his landmark 2010 exhibition “Teater Rakyat” (People Theatre), at Galeri Nasional Indonesia, Jakarta.
Lot 656 Baruna Hotel Garden and New Queen Bali Restaurant, 2009 is by Dutch painter Paul Husner and comes with an estimated value of between Rp 70-90 million, Lot 662 Mengintip, 2002 with an estimated price of between Rp 20-30 million is by Indonesia’s most significant female artist I Gusti Kadek Murniashi (1966-2006), from Bali, whose work was highly unconventional, erotic and violent, while emphasizing an array of women’s issues.
Highlights of the sale, and of special interest to the connoisseurs are these following three paintings. A beautiful and incredibly detailed composition of the drama and activity of a Balinese Barong dance, Lot 620 Pementasan Barong, 1999 by Nyoman Meja has an estimated price of between Rp 300-350 million. Surprise and delight fill the faces of the children in the foreground, while the background reveals a vibrant wind swept scenario.
Pulsating with energy in Affandi’s signature expressionistic style, Lot 627 Boats at Kusamba, 1980, is a 98 by 128cm oil on canvas composition of fishing boats on the beach in East Bali that has an estimated price of between Rp 1-1.3 billion. This is a rare work revealing the rigor of Affandi’s power late in his career.
Having previously studied modern art in New York, Ahmad Sadali (1924-1987) became a leading avant-garde artist in the Indonesian post-war art and developed a distinctive style of his art in abstract patterns that are blended with the themes of spirituality and mysticism of Islam. Lot 644 Bidang dengan Bongkah Emas, 1986 has an estimated price of between Rp 650 and 850 million, and was purchased by the current owner directly from Sadali.
Lots 638 – 642 are oil on canvas works by the Javanese painter, classical dancer and contemporary dance choreographer from Yogyakarta, Bagong Kussudiardjo (1928-2004). Lot 639 Semar, 1995 by Kussudiardjo has an estimated price of between Rp 35-45 million. Other interesting Balinese paintings in the sale are Lot 615 Aktifitas di Sawah, by Ketut Gelgel, Lot 614 Di Ladang, by Ketut Kebut, Lot 619 Pementasan Calonarang, by Wayan Djudjul (1942-2008) estimated price between Rp 35-45 million. Other popular Indonesian artists included in the sale are Kijono, Rusli, Widyat, Jehan and Yudi Sulistyo.
Potential buyers bidding over the phone, absentee bidders or real-time internet bidders who are unable to attend the previews 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 catalogue description does not imply that the lot is free from faults or imperfections, therefore condition reports of the works, outlining the paintings current state and whether it has repairs or overpainting, are available upon request.
Provenance, the historical data of the works previous owner/s is also important and is provided. An informational 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 rate of 22 percent of the hammer price of the lot.
Open to the public at CSIS Jakarta in Tanah Abang, viewing begins at 10:30 a.m. on May 11. The online catalogue, complete with a guide for prospective buyers, is available at larasati.com.
May 11, 10:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
May 12 , 10:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.
May 12, starting at 2:30 p.m.
CSIS Indonesia, Pakarti Center Building, Jl. Tanah Abang 3 No. 23, Tanah Abang, Central Jakarta
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.