LUCIEN FRITS OHL
b. Indonesia 1904 – d. Hague 1976
PLOUGHING THE RICE FIELD, Undated
Signed and dated 'L Frits Ohl ' lower right
Oil on canvas
49cm x 69cm
Private collection, Indonesia.
ESTIMATE RM 12,000 - 16,000
PRICE REALISED RM 22,000
|An important pioneer artist in the Dutch East Indies, Lucien Frits Ohl eloquently illustrated a farmer ploughing the rice field – a scene omnipresent in the traditional villages of Southeast Asian countries, though many have been replaced by advanced machinery today. Rendered in his hallmark brushwork, the masterful colourist had applied minimal chromatic colours but successfully captured the atmospheric essence of the kampung scene. His portrayal of tranquility in an idyllic setting is translated through the use of soothing pastoral hues. Greens and blues are loosely juxtaposed on the focal point - the ox - accentuating its physique and strength while the figures are subtly depicted in hues of yellow, orange and white. Frits Ohl had also employed texture to suggest coarseness of the paddy field, while economical and expressionistic use of strokes project mountains and the horizon into distance.
A self-taught artist, Lucien Frits Ohl lived and worked in Palembang, Jakarta and Yogyakarta, Java until 1954. He then left Indonesia and settled in Hague. He painted in the style of Gerard Pieter Adolfs’ late period. He produced illustrations of Indonesia for JC Hamel’s Soldatendominee (Hague 1948). Among his solo exhibitions were held at Hotel’t Gooo, Jakarta in October 1947, Galerie Loujetzky and Loujelzky Gallery, Hague in 1955 and Galerie Loujetzky, Hague in October 1956. Most of his works are in the collection of the Volkenkundig Nusantara Museum, Delft in Netherlands.