Lot 56

b. Thailand, 1970


Inscribed, signed and dated on reverse
Oil, wood stain and enamel on canvas
60cm x 40cm

Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur.

ESTIMATE  RM 18,000 - 25,000



Natee Utarit continually investigates and experiments with painting in its traditionally purest forms and in contemporary permutations. As such, he is one of the very few Thai artists of his generation whose works exhibit technical expertise as well as intellectual curiosity. Portrait of David II explores the concept of beauty using Greek busts as the central motif, giving a strange new life to these appropriated classical compositions. By visually quoting the great masters of the Western artistic tradition in his paintings, the artist forces the viewer to question the very nature of artistic creation and originality, especially when his creativity takes the form of apparent destruction through deliberate application of enamel and wood stains.

As one of the leading contemporary artists in Southeast Asia, Natee Utarit places great emphasis in his understanding of painting, particularly Western classical art as his interest lies in assimilating his cultural roots into his works that covers a myriad of themes. He makes no apology for unabashedly using European art as entry points into his investigations and comparisons, with a sense of irony and depth. He investigates “the truth of painting and explore some hypothesis of western aesthetics in a Thai cultural context” in most of his works from 1999 to 2006. An accomplished painter, Natee Utarit graduated with a BFA from Silpakorn University in 1992 majoring in painting, sculpture and graphic art. He has exhibited extensively around the world holding regular solo exhibitions in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Natee has participated in the Third Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art in Queensland Art Gallery, Australia in 1999 and ARS 01 in Helsinki, Finland (2001). The Singapore Art Museum hosted a major mid-career survey exhibition for Natee called Natee Utarit: After Painting in October 2010. His work was also included in the fringe component of the 2011 Venice Biennale called Future Pass-From Asia to the World. Natee’s work is in public collections namely Queensland Art Gallery Australia, Singapore Art Museum, La Salle SIA College of the Arts Singapore, Fine Art Museum of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and Canvas Foundation in Amsterdam. He has recently participated in Art Stage Singapore 2015. He has also worked on public commissions such as the Metropolitan Hotel in Bangkok.


Natee Utarit: Dreams, Hope and Perfection, Interview with Natee Utarit by Beverly Yong , Valentine Willie Fine Art, Kuala Lumpur, 2008.