Lot 015

Peter Harris
b. England, 1923 - d. 2009

Untitled; Ramlee, 1954; 1966

signed and dated ‘54’ (lower right);
signed and dated ‘66’ (lower right) and inscribed ‘Ramlee’
pastel on paper
35 x 23cm; 36 x 23cm

Private collection, Kuala Lumpur

ESTIMATE RM 4,500 – 8,000
In this set of 2 portraits, one of the works depict an elderly man, with his serious and contemplative expression. The other portrait wonderfully captures a handsome youth, rendered with a confident gaze that engages the viewer. Both faces are modelled with soft, flowing strokes, overlaid with one colour on another. The subtle blend of light and dark shades create a luminous effect which add to the delicacy of the execution.

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. 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.