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JUMALDI ALFI (b. Indonesia 1973)
JUMALDI ALFI (b. Indonesia 1973)

Night letter

JUMALDI ALFI (b. Indonesia 1973)
Night letter
signed 'ALFI' (lower left) and dated 'IV/2007' (lower right)
acrylic on canvas
77½ x 98 3/8 in. (197 x 250 cm.)

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Lot Essay

From the critically well received Colour Guide series, Alfi Jumaldi's Night letter teases and furthers expectations related to the notion of painting as expression. Appearing initially as a wholly abstract painting, this initial understanding is however upturned upon closer examination of the work. In fact, Alfi paints a frame of empty space around the painting, applied over with duct tape, thereby rendering an impression of a wholly realist work.

The representational framework however does not detract from the fact that Alfi's oeuvre is essentially a expressionistic one, one that treats the act of painting as a gesture, and the finished work as evidence and articulation of a certain psychological state.
The predominant colours of teal blue, lilac, grey and white lend a sense of cool detachment, doubtlessly a reflection of the state of mind of the painter who explains that "[p]ainting is for me a therapy. It serves to channel, recognize and cope with all the restlessness, anguish and loneliness I often feel very intensely depressing"

In the words of noted Indonesian literary figure, Nirwan Dewanto, Alfi Jumaldi's paintings bears "a disposition toward quiet, solemnity and emptiness, as if tired of the disharmony and uproar he himself pursues" Night letter bears inscrutable surface scratches and numerous forceful, gestural brushstrokes, akin to forceful utterances of a passionate and unbridled individual. The act of painting is a mode of articulation, a particular form of visual utterance. The scribbles capture mood and evoke a visual sensation that attempts to communicate the painter's feelings to his viewers.


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