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Kusuma Affandi

Indonesia (1907 -  1990 )
AFFANDI Kusuma Perahu Dan Karang

Christie's /May 29, 2016
79,058.46 - 101,646.59
84,675.00

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Sindutomo Sudjojono, Sudarsono Trubus, Saiman Dullah, Roland Strasser, Fernando Cueto Amorsolo, Carlos Francisco, Jerry Elizalde Navarro
Artworks in Arcadja
545

Some works of Kusuma Affandi

Extracted between 545 works in the catalog of Arcadja
Kusuma Affandi - Boar

Kusuma Affandi - Boar

Original 1973
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Lot number: 67
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Description: Boar' signed and dated 1973 upper right oil on canvas, 98x151 cm Provenance: acquired directly from the artist in the Yogyakarta in 1973 and since that time in the same private collection in the Netherlands. Statement of the present owner: 'The painting was bought by my husband, when he was living and working in Indonesia in the early 1970\’s. My husband was a great lover of modern art and he was very impressed by Affandi\’s style and the energy and vigour in his paintings. On a visit to Yogyakarta, he paid a visit, almost a pilgrimage, to Affandi\’s house. He watched him actually painting this painting. Affandi seemed to be almost attacking the canvas; he drew the outlines of the animals first, with his fingers and then squeezed and squirted the paint straight onto the canvas, grabbing one tube after another in a frenzy of energy. My husband had very little money at the time, but he just had to have the painting and put every last penny together to pay the price, after heated negotiations in Bahasa'. Affandi is probably Indonesia\’s best known painter. Mostly self-taught, he won international acclaim from the 1950s onwards. The influential English art critic John Berger for example called him \‘a genius\’. He was born Boerhanoedin Affandi Koesoema in Jatitujuh, Indramayu (part of Cirebon), West Java in 1907 as a son of Raden Koesoema, surveyor of a sugarfactory. After his father died when he was still at school, he stayed with an artistic family in Jakarta where he was introduced to oil painting by the painter Sudjojono. In 1929 he met his future wife Maryati who definitely stimulated Affandi\’s painting career. Their daughter Kartika became an artist too. Affandi\’s work has an undeniably characteristic style that can be described as dynamic expressionism. His social involvement resounds in his subject matter. The technique he uses in his paintings is a personal form of action painting in which he squeezes the paint directly from the tube on the canvas and subsequently uses his hands to draw the accents. The story goes that he came across this technique by accident. Unable to find a pencil one day, he squeezed the paint on the canvas and found out that the result was very lively. The swirling movement in his painting and the gripping subject matter resulted in an utterly personal style that is unrivalled. Affandi sought to portray life as he saw it. His representation of reality is raw, unadorned, even ugly sometimes. He also encouraged fellow Indonesian artists to strive for authenticity rather than to depict an idealized, imaginary Indonesia as the Mooi Indië-painters and members of Pita-Maha did. \‘I don\’t base my paintings on beauty. My life is based on humanity. With my works, I attempt to stir people\’s sense of humanity\’, he once told an art critic.1 This commitment to honest expression and authenticity for Affandi implies painting nudes and erotic themes. His nudes are not so much meant to please the eye as to draw attention to human suffering or social abuse. The same applies to the painting of a wild boar at auction. As Eddy Soetriyono states in his essay \‘Affandi, the nude, and the erotic\’ referring to a similar boar-painting: \‘… to convey the idea that raging lust can be deeply spiteful, Affandi effectively features in one of his paintings a male boar going frantic with the urge to copulate - its red organ ready to charge anything at the first opportunity.\’2 He continues quoting Affandi himself: \‘Don\’t take what\’s there on the surface only. Behind all this is just me with my gloom. Don\’t find out just the meaning of what is depicted, try to interpret what the images allude to.\’3 As a renowned artist, Affandi had numerous exhibitions all over the world. He worked in India, went to Europe where his paintings were on show in Paris, London, Brussels and Rome and visited the United States three times. He represented the independent Republic of Indonesia at the Biennale in Sao Paulo (1953) and Venice (1954). In later life he received various important prizes and recognitions for his art work and effort for human rights. From 1965 onwards he established the Affandi Museum in Yogyakarta. The architectural design was by the artist himself. He died in Yogyakarta on May 23 1990 and was buried on the museum premises. 1. Eddy Soetriyono , \‘Affandi, the nude, and the erotic\’ in: Sardjana Sumichan (ed.), Affandi, Vol I, Jakarta/Singapore 2007, p.154 2. Ibid. p.155 3. Ibid. p.156 Lot: 67: Kusama Affandi (1907-1990)
Kusuma Affandi - Colosseum, Roma (colosseum, Rome)

Kusuma Affandi - Colosseum, Roma (colosseum, Rome)

Original 1972
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Lot number: 1047
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Affandi COLOSSEUM, ROMA (COLOSSEUM, ROME) 1907 - 1990 Signed and dated 72 Acrylic on canvas 99.5 by 130 cm; 39 1/4 by 51 1/4 in. Provenance Private Asian Collection Literature Raka Sumichan and Umar Kayam, Affandi, Yayasan Bina Lestari Budaya, Jakarta, p. 165, colour illustration. Sardjana Sumichan, Affandi Volume III, Bina Lestari Budaya Foundation,Jakarta and Singapore Art Museum, Singapore, p. 86, colour illustration. Catalogue Note As the winter sun hovered over the horizons of Rome, Affandi (1907-1990) beheld one of the mightiest sights known to man — the Colosseum. The enormous amphitheater is an architectural marvel epitomizing a magnitude of human accomplishment few can rival. Swept by a surge of emotions, the Indonesian artist took his paint tubes and turned to this very canvas, rendering a powerful image of a stunning edifice. Unaccustomed to the chilly conditions, Affandi reportedly stood by a nearby pizza parlor in a desperate attempt to keep warm—rushing to complete the painting, spreading fresh paint with his bare hands and fingers. The end product rises to form Colosseum, Roma, a visually riveting translation of Affandi’’’’’’’’s overwhelming encounter with this ancient, yet monstrous ruin. A master of expression, with a penchant for drama, Affandi is undeniably one of the most important artists in the canon of Southeast Asian art history. Founder of the influential Lembaga Pelukis Rakyat (The People’’’’’’’’s Painters’’’’’’’’ Association), Affandi encouraged Indonesian artists to strive to represent candid, everyday human life. Colosseum, Roma, marks a breakthrough in the artist’’’’’’’’ opus, embodying all the hallmarks of an iconic masterpiece while reveling in the freshness of the artist’’’’’’’’s personal discoveries abroad. The present lot is one of only three known works of the subject and sets Affandi apart as a foremost modernist Indonesian artist of his generation. A seminal achievement in the artist’’’’’’’’s “traveling series”, Colosseum, Roma signifies a pivotal part of the artist’’’’’’’’s career—a stage of unrestrained self-discovery that would hone Affandi’’’’’’’’s idiosyncratic approach. Such rare depictions of foreign countries and their dauntingly huge structures are captivating chapters of the artist’’’’’’’’s enterprise overseas. They are accounts not only of what Affandi saw, but acts of visceral encounters; not only impressions of his surroundings, but gripping testaments of a world vision widened by this odyssey. While other Western artists might have trained in classical architectural history, Affandi was a stranger in a faraway land. Despite this unfamiliarity, the self-taught genius was prepared to take on any subject that would thrill his senses, including the daunting endeavor of painting the Roman Colosseum. At the time very few Indonesian artists were awarded the privilege of venturing overseas. In 1949, the Indian government sent Affandi to study at the renowned Santiniketan Academy — a launch-pad for many of the India’’’’’’’’s leading artisans. Notably, Affandi’’’’’’’’s scholarship was made possible with diplomatic sponsorship, spurring his role as an unofficial cultural ambassador for Indonesia. A nationalist by nature, the artist further extended this role in the West by moving to Europe in 1951 when the continent saw the proliferation of avant-garde movements at its height. However Affandi remained very much rooted in his native sensibilities, advancing an attitude emerging from a post-colonial Asia pushing against imported European standards. The maestro travelled through France, Belgium, Italy, Holland and Great Britain in the early 1950s, feeding his ravenous desire for the rush of human experience that inspired great painting. Affandi’’’’’’’’s travels rounded up in the classical center of ancient European culture—Rome—the home of the Flavian amphitheater more commonly known as the Colosseum. It is clear that Affandi’’’’’’’’s relationship with Italy was a particularly amicable one since he met with great success amongst the country’’’’’’’’s critics, diplomats and connoisseurs. After his first visit in 1953, the Italian government invited the painter to stay for a year. During this period, the enthusiasm for Affandi’’’’’’’’s work was virtually infectious, launching the artist onto international platforms that would showcase the new aesthetic movement emerging from newly independent Indonesia. Under the invitation of art historian Rodolfo Pallucchini (1908-1989), Affandi became the first Indonesian artist to exhibit at the Venice Biennale in 1954 – an arena for the leading artistic minds around the world. It was his affinity for Italy’’’’’’’’s beauty and the connoisseurs who championed Affandi’’’’’’’’s patently courageous style that led him to return to Italy in 1971 and in 1972. He set course to Rome to see once more in his lifetime its magnificent cultural sites. Commissioned around A.D. 70-72, the immense Colosseum now stands as a sacred symbol of eternity for Rome although damaged after falling victim to pillaging and earthquakes. Importantly, Affandi does not attempt to recreate a historical arena but illustrates the monument as a ruin of present times. His painting depicts a destination drawing tour buses and hordes of tourists, very much alive in its all-consuming magnetism. It is known that Affandi painted the Roman Colosseum twice during the day and once at night. The present lot, perhaps capturing the later end of the day, is truly a paragon in the artist’’’’’’’’s illustrious career. Visually, Affandi’’’’’’’’s Colosseum, Roma represents a stark contrast to the many capriicii or architectural paintings that were highly widespread in European culture. In fact the artist was less concerned about details or accuracy and more fixated with rendering his personal confrontation with the structure and its looming, brooding presence. Rising gloriously above the street activities, Colosseum, Roma is an immense spectacle unfurling before the viewer’’’’’’’’s eyes. The crowds visiting the arena are dwarfed into tiny figures as the sun engulfs the scene in a warm yellow. Here, the Colosseum stands not just a skeleton of the past but a proud marvel of humanity’’’’’’’’s downfalls and triumphs. This beautiful painting highlights Affandi’’’’’’’’s ability to portray the very soul of his subject, no matter how colossal or foreign, in his own naturalist style. In many ways he conveys a reality more honest than the detailed architectural drawings meant to mimic reality – it is a reflection of the Colosseum’’’’’’’’s essence and the visceral physicality that it impresses upon its visitors. Affandi’’’’’’’’s keen intuition and sharpened eye for the liveliness of the world before him, is manifest in his instinctive use of saturated colours and the confident strokes smeared across this massive surface. Here he demonstrates a grasp of scale, merging the rules of perspective and the spontaneity of expression with prowess. Ultimately Affandi creates a sprawling composition with swelling three-dimensionality. Bathed in a lustrous yellow hue, the scene exudes a royal quality and personifies the golden crown of Roman civilization. The sun, a fountain of energy and life, furrows in the darkening sky of spiraling clouds. This scene emulates the wintery gusts that were freezing Affandi to the bone while providing a tumultuous glimpse of the overcast cosmos. Often appearing as a dominating sphere of bright orange, the sun in Colosseum, Roma emanates yellow beams that recede into a grey web of indefinite energy. The artist hints at the astronomical, it is as if the Greek gods who dominated ancient mythology were still looking down from the heavens upon the Affandi’’’’’’’’s amphitheater. While the sun’’’’’’’’s radiance sets upon the city, it emblazons the surface of the colossal structure presented to us. Light rays illuminate the entire arena and dramatically demarcate the Colosseum in warm oranges and shadows of cool, ebbing hues. Although the building is made of white stone, Affandi employs a lively palette of vivid greens, yellows and reds, transforming the mass of rock into a spectacle of nature’’’’’’’’s forces. With a blackened emerald green, Affandi deepens each architectural feature, arch by arch, crevice upon crevice, forming a pattern of rhythmic curvatures belted across the Colosseum’’’’’’’’s facade. By squeezing the paint directly onto the canvas, Affandi could delineate his images in a highly instinctive fashion. His methods harness the artist’’’’’’’’s physical and psychological sensations to imbue the works with a pulsating vitality. Above all his professional pursuits, Affandi sought to find subjects that instilled in him a sense of passion, vigor and violence. His belief in the inherent dynamism of every being and object can be traced to a myriad of Indonesian traditions. The artist once said “When I paint, I always want to become one with the object I paint. I lose myself, and then there is a feeling as if I’’’’’’’’m going to fight against something." 1 This statement not only positions his practice as one that taps into a subconscious self, it also alludes to a mode of battle--Affandi approaches the canvas as an arena in which to act. It is thus only fitting that at its bloodiest prime, the Colosseum was a site of gladiator battles and grotesque spectacles meant to entertain huge audiences. True to the artist’’’’’’’’s aspirations to portray the candid realities and nature of his subject, Colosseum, Roma shows the potent aggression and empowerment of Affandi’’’’’’’’s gestures in a very tactile and lucid way. Famed for his distinct lines that are bold yet fluid, Affandi also used a strikingly potent red to highlight the rim and edges of the building’’’’’’’’s tiered construction. In the present painting we see an intense expression of emotion as the monument’’’’’’’’s solemn vitality is rebirthed in its rawest and truest of forms. Within Affandi’’’’’’’’s prolific career, the travelling series marks some of the most personal and heartfelt moments of the master’’’’’’’’s life as he ventured from the comforts of Indonesia to establish himself as a novel voice in his field. Sotheby’’’’’’’’s is honored to offer one of the artist’’’’’’’’s rarest and recognizably outstanding paintings from this album of adventures. Of the three known depictions of the Roman arena, the 1972 version is arguably the most radically experimental and colourful. The sheer power of Colosseum, Roma lies in Affandi’’’’’’’’s immaculate perception of the ultimate reality of his subject, inevitably permeated by how he felt in the very flash of inspiration. In this, Affandi succeeds in bringing to life Charles Dickens’’’’’’’’ description of the sacred monument: “full and running over with the lustiest of life.” Just as the Colosseum continues to awe generations, Affandi’’’’’’’’s audience remain enthralled by his sophisticated yet humanistic visual vocabulary. Colosseum, Roma proves how the artist’’’’’’’’s vision could cross land and sea, to capture the sublime and the divine in Affandi’’’’’’’’s powerful encounters. 1 Affandi cited in Sardjana Sumichan, ed., Affandi, Volume I, Bina Lestari Budaya Foundation, Singapore Art Museum, Jakarta, Singapore, 2007, p. 40
Kusuma Affandi - Borobudur And The Sun

Kusuma Affandi - Borobudur And The Sun

Original 1984
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Lot number: 1034
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Affandi BOROBUDUR AND THE SUN 1907 - 1990 signed and dated 84 oil on canvas 149.5 by 195 cm; 58 3/4 by 76 3/4 in. Literature Sardjana Sumichan, Affandi, Vol II, Bina Lestari Budaya Foundation, Jakarta, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore, 2007, p. 313, fig. 257 (color illustration) Agus Dermawan T., Mikke Susanto, Maestro - Seni Rupa Modern Indonesia, Kementerian Pariwisata & Ekonomi Kreatif, Jakarta, Indonesia, 2012, p. 56, colour illustration Catalogue Note A cradle of rich culture and bountiful art, Yogyakarta served as a sacred enclave for many artists affected by the socio-political problems nearing the 1950s. The city embraced a community of eclectic modern artists, one of whom was Affandi, the father of Modern Indonesian art who was widely celebrated for his flair in the expressionist style. A major proponent of a new vision of Indonesian art that encapsulated the true spirit of its people, Affandi produced works devoted to the authentic, Indonesian life. In an effort to shatter the rose tinted glasses of the Mooi Indie artists who created romanticized images of Indonesia, Affandi encouraged artists to paint the candid realities of life in his country. Along with various other progressive Indonesian artists, he stimulated the birth of an aesthetic movement, the Lembaga Pelukis Rakyat (the People’’’’’’’’s Painters Association). Though his style was expressive, he considered himself a realist who sought to portray the realities of the world around him. His paintings of Java, in particular, served as expressions of his nationalistic values and fresh ideals for the aesthetics of his newly independent nation. Situated in Yogyakarta, the Borobudur is the world’’’’’’’’s largest Buddhist temple, which has long been adulated by artists and pilgrims alike for its architectural and spiritual significance. Borobudur and the Sun reveals Affandi’’’’’’’’s aptitude for capturing the essence of a subject through his own expressive interpretation. The artist once said, “I too like beautiful things, but they do not necessarily provide inspiration for my work. My subjects are expressive rather than beautiful.”1 He seamlessly blends these aspects into the present lot, in which he presents the temple in its glorious entirety. Viewed from afar, the colossal sanctuary stretches horizontally across the picture plane, below a gargantuan sun. The sun, considered a vital ‘Life Force’’’’’’’’ for Affandi, expands dramatically as it spreads its yellow beams, permeating the work with vivacity. The true source of energy that perpetuates existence, the sun is a motif that resonated deeply within the artist, for it is ubiquitously included in his works. Affandi applied varying colors to constitute the sun, based on the level of heat it would have exuded on the day he painted it. Unlike the scorching orange suns that frequent his works, the sun in the present lot is delineated with a calm blue, perhaps suggesting that it was a cool afternoon in Yogyakarta. In the present lot, it is at once translucent and empowering, exuding rays of yellow that bounce off the crevices and protrusions of the magnificent temple, illuminating its finely sculpted walls. It hovers against a dramatic sky, enlivened by buoyant, blue clouds that appear to dance above the splendid structure. Comparable to the sinuous lines Van Gogh utilized to represent natural formations, the swirling brushstrokes of the clouds in the present lot infuse a distinct rhythm, vitality and soul to the scene, allowing the artist to express his feelings in a tactile manner. Nature appears to rejoice this sacred pyramid, which has basked under its watch since its erection in the 9th century. While the sunlit surface of the shrine and its gentle tonal gradation accentuate the textural qualities of its relief sculptures, the thick impasto and bold strokes capture the tall ridges of its stupas. The artist juxtaposes bright hues of yellow, green, and blue against the earthy, dark colours of andesite rock, which comprises the structure, emphasizing its arresting silhouette. Such ornate detailing contributes to the divine nature of Borobudur, as the pyramidal monument appears to rise towards the heavens. The artist conveys a peaceful harmony between the ancient, man-made structure and its natural surroundings, creating a sense of permanence and stability. Affandi would meticulously study his subjects before painting, waiting patiently for a moment of inspiration, when his emotions would reach its pinnacle. As manifest in this sprawling work, Affandi’’’’’’’’s archetypal modus delivered his works with a viscous, textural impasto and three-dimensional quality, which affected his employment of color, shape and line. As an autodidact artist, Affandi mastered academic painting with verisimilitude after having garnered the fundamentals of anatomy and perspective from merely observing an Italian artist in Bandung. By merging these scrupulous rules with expressions of his own, simmering emotions, Affandi essentially invented his own form of naturalism: one pulled from the reality he witnessed before him, filtered through sentiments he felt. The end result is a powerful work that showcases a chaotic mix of colours and vivid lines. Described by British art critic Eric Newton as a “perfect example of the Expressionist,” Affandi was “wilder than Kokoschka, as human and passionate as Van Gogh.”2 Amongst the plethora of themes Affandi depicted within his opus, the Borobudur stands as one of the rarest subjects. There are only a few known works of this hallowed temple produced within his oeuvre, and Sotheby’’’’’’’’s is privileged to offer one of the largest and most extraordinary works that capture this sanctified subject. Upon viewing this work, which was painted just six years prior to his death, it is evident that Affandi’’’’’’’’s highly instinctive manner of painting allowed his oeuvre to grow steadily beyond reality, ultimately metamorphosing into a visual reflection of the cosmic nature of things. Borobudur and the Sun truly a provides a “unity with the cosmological forces through art3”, with the temple itself seemingly ascending into the sky, attempting to commune with the divine. 1 Sardjana Sumichan, ed., Affandi: Volume III, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore, 2007, p.22 2 Refer to 1, p.10 3 Sardjana Sumichan, ed., Affandi: Volume II, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore, 2007, p.43
Kusuma Affandi - Perahu Dan Karang

Kusuma Affandi - Perahu Dan Karang

Original 1964
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Lot number: 513
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Lot Description AFFANDI (Indonesian, 1907-1990) Perahu dan Karang signed with artist's monogram and dated '1964' (lower right); dated '1964' (on the reverse) oil on canvas 100 x 129.5 cm. (39 3/8 x 51 in.) Painted in 1964 Literature Sardjana Sumichan, Affandi – Volume II, Bina Listari Budaya Foundation, Jakarta; Singapore Art Museum, Singapore, 2007 (illustrated, fig 76, p. 129).
Kusuma Affandi - Borobudur

Kusuma Affandi - Borobudur

Original 1983
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Lot number: 34
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Lot Description AFFANDI (Indonesian, 1907-1990) Borobudur signed with artist's monogram and dated '1983' (lower right) oil on canvas 125 x 150 cm. (49 ¼ x 59 in.) Painted in 1983 Provenance Private Collection, Indonesia Pre-Lot Text PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT INDONESIAN PRIVATE COLLECTION Literature Sardjana Sumichan, Affandi – Vol II, Bina Listari Budaya Foundation, Jakarta; Singapore Art Museum, Singapore, 2007 (illustrated, fig 249, p. 305). Helena Spanjaard, Indonesian Odyssey: A Private Journey Through Indonesia's Most Renowned Fine Arts Collections, Equinox Publishing, Singapore, 2008 (illustrated, p. 40). View Lot Notes >
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