The White Chrysanthemums is full of the deep resonances that make Sudjojono a true expressionist artist and not the least romantic. The present work which depicts a lush bouquet of white chrysanthemums in a simple, earthy toned truncated vase gives an unequivocal importance to the flowers. Sudjojono's interest in floral composition parallels his interest in nature and very often, one finds each floral composition commemorative of a special occasion of the artist's life such as Memory of wedding day, dated 1976 (Christie's, Singapore 2 April 2000, lot 94) and also the celebrative Gladiolas after the concert (c.f. lot 119), that was painted as a congratulatory note to Rose Sudjojono, the artist's wife, who had won a prize in a singing competition. This present painting, however is not commemorative of any event but a delightful observation of floral blooms by the artist.
In White Chrysanthemums, Sudjojono's volumetric treatment of the lush blooms allowed each softly hued petal to be magnified before the onlooker, who would inevitably be bewitched by its elegance and grace. Rendered in an expressionist style, the flowers are poetically rather than realistically painted. The poetic fragments of the composition succeed in achieving the synthesis of natural elements but the artist has omitted the fine details of nature. Hence, the petals are a deliberation of raw colours rather than the well-mixed, graduating shades of tonality in academic still life.