"The formal structure of Srihadi's work is very simple; the composition of most of his paintings is organised either by a horizontal or a vertical axis. The horizon refers to nature and the cosmos, and the vertical to man. Paintings in the Horizon series are almost perfectly linear, save for their colour detailing or the minute irregularities in layering. Similarly, the figures of most of the dancers are upright, except for the hair, arms, and clothes that subtly divert the eye from the perfect axis. Within the core of these two simple axes, however, emerges a complex micro-versus-macro dialectic of repetition and symmetry, this time formally produced as vertical and horizontal waves. This is the visual equivalent of the iconographic dialectic outlined above: at the macro level, between the lines of the sea, sky, and land, or between the dancers; at the micro level, between their components, such as arms and headdresses; and finally between the macro and micro elements, in an intersection of all these - a small flower contrasted against a large white corset, or flowers scattered on the ground. This is achieved in a manner that is neither stiff nor repetitive. A small detail - a rock, a tuft of grass, foam - always break the regularity of the symmetry and brings a subtle modulation of form and colour to the whole. In short, Srihadi's paintings are constructed with a well-coordinated, multidimensional modulation of elements within a strong framework." (Jean Couteau, Srihadi Soedarsono: The Path of the Soul, Lontar Foundation, Jakarta, 2003, p. 105).
Horizon is a consummate example of Srihadi at his most expressive, rendering the simple composition as a powerful metaphor for the personal reading of the artist of the external world. The scale of the work which conveys a monumentality of expression makes it ideal as the representational piece from the artist's Horizon series which constituted an important part in his career. The strikingly simplistic composition allows the reign of colours which is an extremely important element for the artist as he had explained in a few occasions.
"Colours is used to convey the emotional intensity of a person's feelings and temperament. One's ability to perceive the expressive power of colour is not only innate and personal, it is also determined by one's culture. One may use colour freely or endow it with a cultural message. In my works, I blend the two approaches. I am strongly inspired by the colours from my Indonesian background, but I re-interpretate them through a subliminal process that belongs to me and me alone." (Ibid, p. 106)
Viewing the present work in the light of such declaration, it immediately acquired, in essence, a quality of a metaphor as one is conscious of the artist's interpretation: a depicted landscape by the artist is an interpreted one. Unlike Hendra who as a colourist mastered the art of juxtaposing myriad and contrasting colours on the canvas, Srihadi impressed his onlooker with his selective approach but nevertheless, achieved an effect of richness not dissimilar to Hendra's.
"Srihadi's use of colours achieves its maximum emotional effect when it is closely and tightly controlled. Srihadi knows that too much colour kills colour: so in his work, it is not the quantity of colour that counts, but the particular selection. Hue and value, depth and breadth of surface are all defined intuitively, and precisely in accordance with the sensation and meaning that he wants to convey. It is by carefully choosing and emphasizing the difference in colour - the most harmonious, as well as the most contrasted - that he expresses the subtle intensity of his emotions." (Ibid, p. 106)