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Lot 001

b. Kelantan, 1934


Signed and dated ‘Khalil 88’ lower right
Oil on board
19cm x 16.5cm

Private collection, Kuala Lumpur.

ESTIMATE  RM 5,000 - 7,000
When it comes to single portraiture, Khalil Ibrahim shows a soft spot for painting women – those with soft feminine features or more tradition-bound with rustic innocence but quiet inner strength. What is interesting about this portrait is her dreamy pool of limpid blue eyes, suggesting a Caucasian woman or someone of mixed parentage. She radiates with a fresh yellowish-orange glow on her face, exuding a certain character from the heavier accentuations of forms. Her thin V-shaped blouse of slightly darker orange sits gently on her shoulders. Her hair is slightly tousled, indicating someone more naturally disposed. It is a face of anticipation with her gaze slightly looking left, maybe half-expecting a reply or something to happen.

Khalil graduated with a National Diploma of Design in Fine Arts at the prestigious St. Martin’s School of Art and Design in London in 1964 (post-graduate in 1965). He turned into a full-time artist in 1966 – a career now spanning 47 years. Khalil was a co-founder of the Malaysian Watercolour Society and had his first double solo of London works and Malaysian batiks at Samat Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur in 1970. That year, he also had a solo exhibition in Indonesia, the first Malaysian to have done so. He has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Switzerland and his works has been collected by the National Museum in Singapore, Fukuoka Museum of Art in Japan, New South Wales Museum of Art in Sydney and the Royal National Art Gallery of Jordan.