Lot 17

b. Kedah, 1962

UNTITLED, c.1980s

Mixed media on canvas
142cm x 178cm

Private Collection, Selangor.

ESTIMATE  RM 8,000 - 12,000


Known for his cutting-edge installations and visually stimulating and provocative paintings, Zulkifli Yusoff’s works have been described as socio-political in nature with strong references to Malay folklore and myths. This hand-drawn work on canvas showcases fragments of chess pieces that perhaps derived from his Siri Catur (Chess Series). Using charcoal and graphite, the artist sketches forceful grids and lines as demonstrated by the intensity of the medium creating compartments of what would be the basis of a refined masterpiece. A circular shape in the middle of the canvas draws the attention away from the concentrated drawing on the left. In an article titled An Unfinished Quality: Fairfield’s Porter’s Creative Process by Klaus Ottman, he wrote about instances when Great Renaissance Old Masters leave their works incomplete – in a similar quality such as this piece:

“Some of the world's greatest works of art were never finished by the artist: Michelangelo's Pietà Rondanini, Ingres's Odalisque in Grisaille, Balzac's Comédie humaine, and Mozart's Requiem, among many others. Usually, a work of art remains incomplete when its creator dies. Occasionally, works are abandoned, and more rarely, they are meant to remain in an "unfinished" state. James Ensor's painting The Oyster Eater, today considered one of his most accomplished works, was rejected from the Antwerp Salon of 1882 and dismissed by critics as unfinished because of its sketchlike bottom right-hand corner. The Renaissance sculptor Donatello carved works in which the figure appears to be stuck within the block of marble. He called this technique "non finito" -- a method also adopted by Michelangelo.”

Zulkifli Yusoff is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Art in Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Tanjung Malim, Perak. He was conferred the National Academic Award (Visual Arts) in 2007. He pursued his Masters at Manchester Polytechnic, England in 1991, after his Diploma at the Mara Institute of Technology in 1989. He became a local art superstar when he won the coveted Grand Minister’s Prize and the Major Award for Sculpture at the Third Salon Malaysia in 1992. In 1988 and 1989, he won the Major Award in the Young Contemporary Artists competition. He was selected for the First Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art exhibition in Brisbane, Australia in 1993 and exhibited at the Venice Biennale fringe in 1997. He also took part in the Seychelles Biennale in 1992 and was in the Malaysian team that won Second Prize in the Sand Sculpture Hong Kong competition in 1988. He has represented Malaysia at Art Stage Singapore in 2013 with his compelling installation pieces Rukunegara 2 “The Voice 1” and Rukunegara 2 “The Voice 4” . Another installation piece entitled Pendita was displayed at the Singapore Art Museum’s The Collectors Show – Weight of History in 2013. He has also participated in Singapore Biennale 2013 themed If the World Changed with a suite of six-piece installation titled Rukunegara 1 Belief in God occupying a space on the ground floor of the Singapore Art Museum.