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Lot 065

b. Kelantan, 1934


Signed and dated ‘Khalil Ibrahim 69’ lower left
Oil on canvas
123cm x 90cm

Private collection, Kota Bahru; acquired directly from the
Private collection, Kota Bahru.

ESTIMATE  RM 28,000 - 40,000
This rare and early abstract done upon Khalil Ibrahim’s return from studies in Britain reveals partly how he developed his organic Abstract Expressionism into his later more piecemeal and tear away of cloth-rag matrix, switching from oil to acrylic. Using a centrifugal spin with a tubular network linking all the uncharacteristic shaped elements, he plays with the tension of the tangle and the flux like a puppet meister. Amidst the penchant for azure blue, the whitish spreads nullify the heavy overlay of colours elsewhere. One may find that this painting resembles works by Datuk Ibrahim Hussein from the 1960s. The palpable similarities are possibly because they were both roommates at university. Khalil has opted for a more curvilinear approach in his newer abstract paintings. He has now stopped painting due to ill health.

Khalil graduated with a National Diploma of Design in Fine Arts at the prestigious St. Martin’s School of Art and Design in London in 1964 (post-graduate in 1965). He turned into a full-time artist in 1966 – a career now spanning 47 years. Khalil was a co-founder of the Malaysian Watercolour Society and had his first double solo of London works and Malaysian batiks at Samat Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur in 1970. That year, he also had a solo exhibition in Indonesia, the first Malaysian to have done so. He has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Switzerland and his works has been collected by the National Museum in Singapore, Fukuoka Museum of Art in Japan, New South Wales Museum of Art in Sydney and the Royal National Art Gallery of Jordan.