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Lot 068

b. Zaandam, Netherlands, 1916


Signed and dated 'arie smit '92' lower right
Acrylic on canvas
30cm x 43cm

Private collection, Indonesia.

ESTIMATE  RM 12,500 - 15,000

Adrianus Wilhelmus Smit, better known as Arie Smit, is one of the most important figures in shaping modern art in Indonesia. Smit’s works are influenced by the brilliant colours of the Impressionists combined with the wild brushstrokes of Fauvism. His unique style is developed in Bali with representations of the everyday life on the island, her people and places painted in vibrant colours. In recognition of his effort, the government of Bali granted Smit with the Dharma Kusuma Award in 1992. In 1994, the Neka Art Museum opened the Arie Smit. The beautiful Pohon-Pohon depicts a lush landscape painted with a palette that radiates calmness. The luminous highlights of yellow and orange demonstrate his mastery in colour that projects the illumination of light.

Arie Smit studied design at the Academy of Arts in Rotterdam and was later required by the Dutch government to serve in the military. He was sent to the Netherlands East Indies in 1938 and was assigned to the Topographical Service in Batavia (now Jakarta) as a lithographer to produce maps for the archipelago. During the arrival of the Japanese forces in 1942, Arie was held captive as a prisoner of war and spent more than three years in forced labour camps in Singapore, Thailand and Burma to build road and bridges. When the Japanese was defeated in 1945, Arie returned to the Republic of Indonesia and received his citizenship in 1951. He taught lithograph and print at the Universitas Indonesia Bandung (now Institut Teknologi Bandung) or the Bandung Institute of Technology. He visited Bali in 1956 and was inspired by the rich culture and beauty of the ‘Island of the Gods’. He decided to remain in Bali to pursue his artistic career. In 1960, Arie encountered two youths, I Nyoman Cakra and I Ketut Soki, at the Penestanan village in Ubud drawing pictures on the sand. He invited them to his studio and gave them art supplies and taught the basic of painting. With the encouragement given by Smit, they created brightly coloured naïve painting that was known as the Young Artists style.

Arie Smit, Koes Artbooks, 1995.