Rudi Mantofani (b. 1973)
RUDI MANTOFANI (Indonesian, B. 1973)

Nusantara Pagi (Dawn of the Archipelago)

RUDI MANTOFANI (Indonesian, B. 1973)
Nusantara Pagi (Dawn of the Archipelago)
signed and dated Rudi Mantofani 2005 (lower left); signed, dated and inscribed (on the reverse)
acrylic on canvas
200 x 150 cm. (78 3/4 x 59 in.)
Painted in 2005

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Lot Essay

Born in 1973 in Padang, West Sumatra, Rudi Mantofani studied sculpture at the Indonesian Institute of Arts (ISI) in Yogyakarta from 1993 to 1996. In Indonesian contemporary art presently, the early to mid-90s generation artists from ISI have risen and consolidated their places as leading figures. During a time when art-making was strongly influenced by socio-political exigencies, the group marked their emergence in Yogyakarta presenting artworks which bore no apparent conceptual or visual linkages with the turbulent realities of 1990s Indonesian political and social life. Instead of flashpoints and conflicts, the artists of the Jendea Group explore aspects of the transcendental, the overlooked and the banal. The imageries employed in Rudi Mantofani's visual world reveal such an orientation. His works alternated between surrealism and abstraction, frequently conjoining the two disparate modes into a perspective entirely unique to the artist.

Nusantara Pagi (Dawn of the Archipelago) (Lot 539) is a minimalist painting of the Indonesian archipelago with clearly delineated national boundaries. Islands of light grey float serenely above an off-white background, blurring out the differences of religion, culture, political systems, language and social make-up of a very diverse Indonesia. Plurality is alluded to by the thin spectrum of colours at the top edge of the painting - a reminder of how Indonesia, as a nation, is in fact an amalgamation of different peoples and regions over time, united by a single language.

Like the poet who recasts words fixed in meaning and context and presses them in the service of new strands of reality, Mantofani's visual elements retain their elemental form and are only finely tweaked to render and reveal new vistas of meaning in his pictorial world.

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