• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2702

    Southeast Asian Modern and Contemporary Art

    24 May 2009, Hong Kong

  • Lot 99

    AFFANDI (Indonesia 1907-1990)

    Village in Bali

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    AFFANDI (Indonesia 1907-1990)
    Village in Bali
    signed and dated 'AF1966' (lower centre)
    oil on canvas
    38½ x 49¼ in. (98 x 125 cm.)
    A certificate of authenticity from Museum Affandi, dated 27 June 1973, accompanies this painting.


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    "Affandi would spend a long time looking for painting subjects, and then a long time studying the subject, probing into its being, until he felt he had become part of it. Only then would he start squeezing and smearing paint from the tubes on to the canvas, working it with his fingers, palms, wrists, and the back of his hands. Painting for Affandi was a process of fixing into colour and form the storm of energy from his emotions which had arisen through concentrating on something which had initially inspired him." (Astri Wright, Soul, Spirit, and Mountain: Preoccupations of Contemporary Indonesian Painters, Oxford University Press, Kuala Lumpur, 1994, 112).

    Astri Wright described the process after the interview with the artist when the writer saw a work of the artist, of which the creating process related to him. "Against the wall near us, up on a ledge, the canvas he had painted that very morning sat drying. It depicted a man selling balloons, a playful cloud of coloured spheres above his head. Affandi had seen him at the Sekaten night fair and had become so enamoured with the sight that he had asked this man to come to the gallery the next day. After spending a couple of hours painting him, he had bought all his balloons as recompense for the trouble" (Ibid, p. 111-112)

    It is no doubt that Affandi painted from life. The familiarity he has with his subjects endowed his works with a sense of intimacy and passion that overwhelms the viewers. This composition which offers a glimpse of a village in Bali amidst the lush tropical vegetation demonstrates yet again the artist at his spontaneous best.

    A great sense of rhythm is created with this present canvas that is in spite of the reclusive nature of the subject - a quiet house. The artist decided to restrict his palette to green, black and an occasional yellow. In the busy masses of swirling movement as created by the thick impasto technique of Affandi, a sense of spontaneity is infused as Affandi suggests, with the freely applied paint, the movement of wind and the ruffling of the foliages, thus creating a vivid scene that is with a sense of intimacy and involvement that is equivalent to an effect of a snapshot.