b. Kelantan, 1934
Signed and dated ‘Khalil Ibrahim 92’ (lower right)
Acrylic on canvas
101cm x 123cm
Private collection, Penang;
acquired through Art Point Gallery, Penang.
ESTIMATE RM 20,000 - 30,000
PRICE REALISED RM 71,500
|In flat, toned brush work, Khalil paints a scene of fishermen in a flurry of activity. Dressed in short sarong and head gear to protect themselves from the sun, they gathered to sort through the nets and set sail for fishing in the early hours of dawn as suggested by the use of cool blues. These silhouettes in the foreground are painted in a Cubist style and pastel palette, no doubt influenced by his study at Central St. Martin’s School of Art in London during the 60s. Instead of a realistic depiction, the artist gives us a sense or a feel of a long forged bond between these fishermen folk as they work in tandem. He conveys their enthusiasm, eagerness and urgency in that moment when things must come together. The fragmented abstract background evokes energy and momentum while the colours create an atmosphere of wind, water and sand.
Khalil has also painted a series of flat, pop-coloured silhouettes of rural women-folk in the 70s which compliment this all male figure illustration. The artist is famous for his East Coast series; of his life-long interest in the spectacle of the ordinary and in particular the coastal villages of Malaysia’s East Coast which simply describe the route of his own local heritage.
Khalil graduated from the prestigious St. Martin’s School of Art and Design in London in 1964. His career spans four decades with many solo and group exhibitions held in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Switzerland. His works are held in the collection of National Visual Arts Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, National Museum of Art, Singapore, Fukuoka Museum of Art, Japan, New South Wales Museum of Art, Sydney and Royal National Art Gallery of Jordan.