alt alt

Lot 074

b. Garut, West Java, 1927 – 2000


Signed and dated 'popo 89' upper left
Oil on canvas
30cm x 40cm

Private collection, Indonesia.

Accompanied with certificate from Griya Seni Popo Iskandar.

ESTIMATE  RM 10,000 - 15,000

“I don’t just look at cats with my eyes, but also with my mind’s eye (feelings). It is the complete cat which I understand in the totality of its existence. What I want to achieve in painting is the expression of what I comprehend through an object.”

Popo Iskandar’s interpretation of a cat is that it “can appear wild and mean, besides being lazy, spoiled, magical and mysterious”. This lonesome cat bears the same gentle gaze as the leopard in a mysterious setting discernible in the dark background. Popo Iskandar is a celebrated figurative painter famous for his works of cats, roosters, tigers and leopards. His interest in cats is not merely in its form, but rather in the spiritual and condition circumstances that stimulate his imaginations to explore deeper. Popo expresses the subject’s physical attributes in a way that demands the understanding of his surroundings. The characteristics of each cat appear alive in his paintings. Besides analytically observing the nature of the cat, Popo integrates his fondness for traditional Sundanese music and poetry through the gestures of his brushstrokes as well as his choice of colour.

Popo Iskandar’s interest in the arts grew when he undertook a painting course at Keimin Bunka Shidoso, Bandung under the guidance of Barli Sasmitawinata and Hendra Gunawan in 1943. His artistic career began as a poster painter for the Information Service of Indonesian Students Armed Force (TRIP) in 1945. He was then enrolled at the Bandung Institute of Technology, Department of Fine Arts and graduated in 1958. Aside from his role as a lecturer at the State Teachers Training College in Bandung, Popo was also a highly regarded scholar and art critic. His bold, graphic works usually feature stylised animal forms with vivid colors. In the 1960s, he created his signature collection of artworks on topic of cats that reflect on not only the physical attributes but the spiritual understanding of the animal. Popo received numerous accolades during his lifetime and was awarded life membership by the Jakarta Academy for his contributions in arts. He had participated in various group shows held outside of Indonesia too namely in China, Japan, Holland, England, and USA.

55 Tahun Seni Lukis Popo Iskandar, Mamannoor – Bandung: Yayasan Matra Media, 1998.