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(Indonesian, 1914-1986)
The Artist in His Studio
signed with artist's monogram, dated and inscribed 'S.S, JAK, 1979' (lower left)
oil on canvas
70 x 50 cm. (27 1/2 x 19 3/4 in.)
Painted in 1979
Anon. sale; Christie's Singapore, 30 September 2001, Lot 343
Acquired at the above by the present owner
Private Collection, USA

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Lot Essay

This season, Christie's commemorates the centennial year of the birth of Indonesian modern painter S. Sudjojono who is widely acknowledged as the founding father of modern Indonesian art. Objecting to the idealisation and romanticism of the Mooi IndiThe Artist in His Studio (Lot 330) is a classic 1970s work of Sudjojono, ever conscious of his career and personality as an artist. In his later years, Sudjojono turned to Christianity and became a more spiritual man. During this time, his self-portraits, a rich enduring part of his oeuvre, often portrayed the artist as a hermit, or a spiritual man, at one with his creative spirit.

Extremely nostalgic and demonstrative of Sudjojono as family man and artist, Anak-anak Bermain Dibawah Pohon (Lot 332) shows the artist's children running around at play underneath a tree, watched over by the seated figure on the extreme right of the painting, the wife of the artist, Rose Sudjojono. Sudjojono often painted his children at rest or at play or in a more formal context as portrait sitters and the present lot reveals yet another pictorial interest of his deriving from his family.

Potret dengan Bunga Mawar (Lot 331) is one of the most personally relevant of his symbol paintings. Painting a self-portrait, one hand with a brush, the one with a stalk of rose, the painter recalls an unmistakable pair of symbols. The brush stands for the artist and his career and the stalk of rose refers to his wife, Rose Sudjojono. An extremely moving and honest portrait of the artist, the work is one amongst a few that Sudjojono returned to at various points in his career to paint.

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