Lot 017

b. Indonesia, 1968


Signed and dated 'Galuh 96'
Inscribed 'UBUD - KELOD BALI' (lower right)
Acrylic on paper
37.5cm x 53cm

Private Collection, Indonesia.

ESTIMATE  RM 2,000 - 4,000

Ubud has been the centre of art in Bali for centuries with the surrounding royal houses and temples as the main patrons. Agus Dermawan, author of Bali Bravo — A Lexicon of 200-years Balinese Traditional Painters wrote that the pre-War modernisation of Balinese art derived from three villages: Ubud, where Walter Spies settled, Sanur on the southern coast, and Batuan, a traditional hub of carvers, painters, musicians and dancers. The works often featured “repetitive clusters of stylised foliage or waves that conveyed a sense of texture, even perspective”. Ubud artists tend to employ “open spaces and emphasised human figures”, Sanur paintings featured erotic scenes and animals as subject matter and Batuan artists applied fewer colours in complex structures. Mexican artist and anthropologist Miguel Covarrubias described Balinese art in 1937 as “a highly developed, although informal Baroque folk art that combines the peasant liveliness with the refinement of classicism of Hinduistic Java, but free of the conservative prejudice and with a new vitality fired by the exuberance of the demonic spirit of the tropical primitive”.

Bali born artist Ni Gusti Agung Galuh’s work is heavily inspired by Walter Spies, a Russian-born German primitivist artist who settled in Bali in 1927. Here, she illustrates the Ubud style landscape delicately with fine brushes accentuating the lushness of the foliage and the serenity of basic living. A figure is seen walking his geese out of a village onto a pathway that leads to a majestic paddy field and another figure ahead leading an ox towards the village gate. Such meticulous attention is given to every leaf on the trees and the sunlight that shines through the gaps of the gates and cloudless sky. She has participated in an artist residency programme in Germany and group shows in Jakarta and Bali.