Lot 107

b. Negeri Sembilan, 1941


Signed and dated 'Latiff 92' (lower right)
Mixed media on paper
17cm x 25.5cm

Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur;
acquired directly from the artist.

ESTIMATE  RM 15,000 - 20,000

The perceptive architect and art commentator-collector Dato’ Seri Lim Chong Keat cautioned against seeing Abdul Latiff Mohidin’s Gelombang series literally as “waves” but more as (emotive) “surges and excitations – of artistic impulses.”

This piece on offer was derived from Latiff’s gestural period Gelombang - a series that depicts powerful notions of pure expressions and explosions of movements painted in nature’s palette. The manner in which this piece was executed owes to Latiff’s exposure to Abstract Expressionism during his years of art education in Berlin as well as a brief stint later in New York. The Gelombang series was conceived after the carefully composed Mindscape, offering an invigorating pulse. The series greeted the Malaysian art scene by surprise with the artist’s broad brushwork, swathes of earthy colour and layer upon layer of paint, which was absent in the immaculate and hard outline of the earlier series.

Tinges of earthy ochre, green and blue interweave in Latiff’s instantly recognisable brushstrokes, dominate and play out against each other. The gestural frenzy combines the scrapingly dry and the lathers of wet in a forward thrust and rigorously so. These intentional gestures aim to exude a surge of excitation, and the urgent and rapid brushstrokes suggest the artist’s sense of euphoria.

Abdul Latiff Mohidin is a national treasure, much admired for his oeuvre in painting, printmaking and sculptures as well as his poetry and books on aesthetics. Interest in Latiff has risen greatly in recent years, as he is the only survivor of the Big Three of Malaysian Abstractions – the two others being Datuk Ibrahim Hussein and Datuk Syed Ahmad Jamal. Further to his graduation from the German academy, DAAD (Deutscher Akademescher AustGuschdientst), he explored printmaking at the Atelier La Courrier in Paris and the Pratt Institute in New York in 1969. His first major art prize was the Second Prize (Graphic) in the 1968 Salon Malaysia. As a writer, he won the Malaysian Literary Awards consecutively from 1972 to 1976, the coveted Southeast Asian Writers Award in Bangkok in 1984, and the National Literary Award in 1984 and 1986. He was a Creative Fellow at Universiti Sains Malaysia in 1977 and a Guest Writer of the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka in 1988.

Gelombang ’88, Balai Seni Menara Maybank, Kuala Lumpur, 1988.
Gelombang: Latiff Mohidin in Penang 1990,
Muzium & Seni Lukis, Pulau Pinang, 1990.
Pago-Pago to Gelombang: 40 Years of Latiff Mohidin,
Singapore Art Museum, 1994.
L.I.N.E. Latiff Mohidin: From Point To Point, D
ewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, Kuala Lumpur, 1993 (translated by Adibah Amin).