Lot 62

b. England, 1923 - d. 2009


Signed and dated 'P'58' (lower right)
Pastel and ink on paper
34cm x 24cm

Private Collection, Selangor.

ESTIMATE  RM 4,000 - 6,000


Sabah Ethnicity illustrates a group of Sabah women - as the title suggests – in a remarkable composition, an elderly woman adorning a chilli red fabric headdress and lemon yellow blouse stares at the viewer while three ladies are spotted in the background. Peter Harris’ swift ink strokes create a balanced intensity in applying shadow and contrast. The employment of pastel softens the crudeness of lines producing an immaculate picture.

Peter Harris laid the foundation of early art education in the then Malaya, first as Art superintendent of the Federation of Malaya (1951 - 1960) and then at Gaya College in Sabah (1962 - 1967). He was accorded the National Art Gallery’s first retrospective in 1960. He was perhaps better known as founder of the Wednesday Art Group in Kuala Lumpur in 1952 and was awarded the MBE (Member, Order of the British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth II of England in 1963. He was largely forgotten until Galeri Wan mounted a retrospective for him in 1997 with the help of artist Yeoh Jin Leng and this was followed by another exhibition at The Art Gallery, Penang in 2001.


Peter Harris - Founder of Wednesday Art Group , The Art Gallery, Penang, 2001.

Peter Harris Memorial Exhibition , Art Salon@SENI and The Art Gallery, Penang, 2009.