Category Archives: Larasati Auctioneers

Under the hammer: Previewing Larasati’s Traditional, Modern & Contemporary Art Auction, Bali, 21 January 2018

lot #579 Ida Bagus Made Poleng "Stone Mason" Image courtesy of Larasati                             Lot # 579 Stone Mason – Ida Bagus Made Poleng

 

Larasati Auctioneer’s continue to provide excellent support in the development of Indonesian art, especially Balinese traditional painting, to growing local and international markets with its upcoming 21 January 2018 Traditional, Modern and Contemporary Art auction to be held in Ubud, Bali.

Eighty lots of fine art will go under the hammer, including paintings, sketches, a woodcarving and one delightful poster, in an array of categories, and with price accessibility for new buyers, intermediate collectors, and the connoisseurs alike. For the third year running real time, Internet bidding is available through the Larasati website opening the auction to a global audience.

lot #533 Bagong Kussudiardjo "Wanita Wanita Bali" Image courtesy Larasati                      Lot # 533 Wanita Wanita Bali – Bagong Kussudiardjo

This is an exciting sale with some absolute gems featured, along with works by renowned Indonesian and foreign artists, including Balinese master Gusti Nyoman Lempad (1862-1978), Ida Bagus Made Nadera (1910-1998), Ida Bagus Made Togog (1913-1969), Wayan Taweng (1922-2004), Antonio Blanco (1911-1999), Dutchmen Rudolf Bonnet (1895-1978) and Arie Smit (1916-2016) and Australian artist Donald Friend (1914-1980). The auction is highlighted by a special selection of works from the collection of one of the most forward thinking private collectors of Balinese art in the United States, Peggy Williams.

For the new buyer, or novice wishing to add to their collections there are many paintings and drawings priced at lower than US $500 that are very good buys if purchased within their estimates. Two, especially glowing works by recognized female painter Ni Gusti Agung Galuh, lot # 545, Pulang Dari Sawah and lot #546 Sunset with Ducks, both have an estimated price of between Rp. 4 million – 5 million. Lot # 548, Sore Hari di Desa by Gusti Agung Wiranata also has the same estimated price, while lot #524, Ocean Village Scene, an early work by the renown Batuan painter Wayan Bendi has an estimated price of between Rp. 5 million – 7 million and is another excellent opportunity to purchase a strong work. All of these works represent buying value not possible when purchasing paintings direct from the artist’s studio or from a gallery.

lot #524 Wayan Bendi "Ocean Village Scene " Image courtesy of Larasati                       Lot #524 Ocean Village Scene – Wayan Bendi

There are two lots of special interest for collectors and those seeking to purchase something unusual. Charming & Beautiful lot # 539 is a 75cm x 48cm advertising poster by the reputed Dutchman Willem Gerard Hofker (1920-1981), which has an estimated price of between Rp. 10 million – 12 million. Lot # 519, Barong by influential Balinese wood carver Nyoman Tjokot (1888-1971) has an estimated price of between Rp. 30million – 40 million and is a rare find from an artist who was at the forefront after the turn of the 19th century of new sculptural interpretations of icons of the Balinese culture.

Works in the mid price range are many and some strong paintings include groups by twoartists Bagong Kussudiardjo (1928-2004) and Dewa Putu Mokoh (1934-2000). Well known as a choreographer Bagong learned to paint from Indonesian masters Hendra Gunawan and Affandi, among others, before studying painting formerly at ASRI Yogyakarta. Of his four works offered, lot #530 Ibu dan Anak has an estimated price of between Rp. 12 million – 15 million, and Wanita Wanita Bali, lot #533, has an estimated price of between Rp. 45 million – 55 million.

lot#564 Anak Agung Gde Anom Sukawati "Suasana Pasar" Image coutesy Larasati             Lot #564 Suasana Pasar – Anak Agung Gde Anom Sukawati

Four works are on offer by Mokoh, noted for breaking with convention and producing compositions that were quirky, lurid, even intimate and highly unusual. The present owner purchased the paintings directly from the artist, and lot #553, Tajen, a delightful scene of an audience watching a cock fight, has an estimated price of between Rp. 22 million – 32 million.

Lots #517, 521, 577 & 580 are by Made Sukada (1945-1982). An artist held in very high esteem, his attention to compositional details and skin tones, set him apart from most and have led to him being a highly sought after painter, especially due to his short career. The idol of Indonesian international contemporary art superstar Nyoman Masriadi, lot #521 by Sukada, Dialog Arjuna dan Kresna has an estimated price of between Rp. 90 million – 110 million. Another beautiful work by Nyoman Kayun, lot #548 Pusupati has an estimated price of between Rp. 40 million – 80 million.

Lot#553 Dewa Putu Mokoh "Tajen" Image courtesy Larasati                             Lot# 553 Tajen – Dewa Putu Mokoh

An early work dated 1989, by Ubud’s most celebrated living painter, Anak Agung Anom Gde Sukawati, lot # 564 Suasana Pasar was painted when he was only 23 years old. While the influence of his father, A.A Gde Meregeg (1912-2000) is obvious, some five years later his work evolved and made a clear departure from his father’s style. With an estimated price of between Rp. 90 million – 110 million, this is an extraordinary piece to collect.

An extremely rare and early masterpiece by, arguably the most talented Balinese painter of the 20th century, Ida Bagus Made Poleng (1915-1999), will receive the attention from connoisseurs. Lot # 579, Stone Mason is offered as the top lot in this auction, with an estimated price between Rp.350 million – 450 million. Probably produced in the early 1940’s as it is painted on Masonite board, the work, which has excellent provenance, reveals his mastery of composition and the strong influence of Rudolf Bonnet is clearly shown in the way he has depicted figures working in the field.

lot #521 Made Sukada "Dialog Arjuna dan Kresna" Image courtesy Larasati                     Lot #521 Dialog Arjuna dan Kresna- Made Sukada

The final lot during the afternoon, lot # 580 by Made Sukada, Bali Life, has an estimated price between Rp. 40 million – 80 million and also comes with excellence provenance. An early work of remarkable beauty, its layered composition reveals fascinating central background features and is another step in Sukada’s journey in the master of anatomy, influenced by Rudolf Bonnet’s signature style of elongated human proportion.

Potential buyers bidding over the phone, or via real-time Internet bidding who are unable to attend the previews days or auction are advised to contact Larasati and enquire about the colour reproduction accuracy of the images contained within the online catalogue to ensure that what they wish to purchase can be realistically appraised. The absence of reference to the condition of a lot in the catalogue description does not imply that the lot is free from faults or imperfections, therefore condition reports of the works, outlining the paintings current state and whether it has repairs or over painting, are available upon request.

lot # 580 Made Sukada "Bali Life" Image courtesy Larasati                            Lot #580 Bali Life – Made Sukada

Provenance, the historical data of the works previous owner/s is also important and is provided. An information guide including before the auction, during the auction and after the auction details, including conditions of business, the bidding process, payment, storage and insurance, and shipping of the work is also available. A buyer’s premium is payable by the buyer of each lot at rate of 22% of the hammer price of the lot.

Open to the public at the Larasati Art Space in the Tebesaya Gallery the auction starts at 2:30 pm Sunday 21 January, while viewing begins from 11am Friday. The online catalogue, complete with a guide for prospective buyers is available at: www.larasati.com

577                               Lot# 577 Tri Murti – Made Sukada

Viewing:

Friday,         19 January   11am – 7.30pm

Saturday,   20 January     11am – 7.30pm

Sunday,     21 January     11am – 1pm

Auction: Sunday 21 October, from 2:30 pm

 

Larasati Bali Art Space at Tebesaya Gallery

Jalan Jatayu, Banjar Tebesaya, Peliatan,

Ubud, Gianyar Bali, Indonesia

 

Words: Richard Horstman

Images Courtesy: Larasati Auctioneer’s

 

 

 

 

 

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Previewing Larasati’s Traditional, Modern & Contemporary Art Auction, Bali, 8 October 2017

Lot 549 Nyoman Meja "Subali & Sugriwa" 1997 Image courtesy of Larasati                               Lot 549: Subali & Sugriwa – Nyoman Meja

 

Art auctions are an exciting and accessible way to grow your collection. For the curious observer and new buyers auctions are fascinating processes that give insight into the art world that is often perceived to be opaque, mysterious, and even intimidating. Auctions allow opportunities for new buyers to enter the market often at amounts well below gallery prices and cheaper than purchasing directly from the artist’s studio.

Larasati Auctioneer’s upcoming 8 October 2017 Traditional, Modern and Contemporary Art auction to be held in Ubud, Bali offers eighty lots of fine art for sale in varying categories including Indonesian and Balinese art, and catering to the budgets of new buyers, intermediate collectors, and the connoisseurs.

Lot 532 Arifein Neif "Balinese Temple" 1992 Image courtesy of Larasati                                Lot 532: Balinese Temple – Arifein Neif

Since February 2016 real-time Internet bidding has been available through the Larasati website opening the auction to a global audience. Real-time Internet accessibility allows prospective buyers to follow along observing hammer prices to assess the situation of the market and level of interest of a certain class or individual lot, while also allowing for bidding strategies to be revised.

A feature of the twice-yearly Larrasati auction is always the fascinating array of Balinese modern traditional paintings available for sale; the genre that evolved through the influence of the Pitamaha Artist’s Association established in 1936 in Ubud to oversee the growth of this art style catering for new burgeoning markets that quickly developed during the first wave of tourism to embrace Bali.

Lot 546 Nyoman Kayun "Suasana di Desa" 2008, Image courtesy of Larasati                              Lot 546: Suasana di Desa – Nyoman Kayun

Two works of interest by masters of the Pitamaha are Lot 565, Perebutan Tirta Kamandalu by Anak Agung Gde Meregeg (1912-2000) with an estimated price between Rp.60,000,000 – 80,000,000, and Lot 575, Sang Hyang Jaran by Tjokorda Oka Gambir (1902-1975) with an estimated price between Rp.20,000,000 – Rp. 25,000,000. These paintings offer excellent buying opportunities if purchased within the undervalued estimated prices. Both artists have had enormous influence on the development of Balinese art, Gambir one of the founders of the Ubud School of painting, while Meregeg, one of the first students of Walter Spies (1895-1942) is the grandfather of the celebrated Ubud painter A.A. Anom Sukawati.

New buyers have excellent opportunities to enter the market with Lot 505, Broken Triangle, 1990 by Made Wianta, which has an estimated price between Rp.5,000,000 – 7,000,000, Lot 510, Dua Wanita Jawa, 1988 by Bagong Kussudiardjo (1928-2004) with an estimated price of between Rp.6,000,000 – 8,000,000, and Lot 511, Figur Wayang, 1990 by Pande Gde Supada which has an estimated price of between Rp. 6,000,000 – 8,000,000. Both Wianta and Supada played formative roles in the shaping Balinese modern and contemporary art in the 1970’s.

Lot 561 Dewa Ketut Rungan "Burung-Burung Surgawi" Image courtesy of Larasati                  Lot 561: Burung-burung di Surgawi – Dewa Ketut Rungan

For buyers prepared to hold works for a 10 – 20 period some good long-term investments are available here; Lot 564, Calonarang is an ink on paper work by the respected Sanur painter Ida Bagus Nyoman Rai (1915-2000) and has an estimated price between Rp.10,000,000 – 12,000,000. Lot 566, Mythological Scene is a stunning work by Dewa Nyoman Leper (1917-1984) with an estimated price between Rp.15,000,000 – 18,000,000. Nineteen-year-old Pande I Made Dwi Artha typifies the talented new generation of Batuan painters that promise an exciting future for the most loved and critically acclaimed genre of Balinese art. His dynamic and fascinating take on the culture of corruption, Lot 534, People Are My Toys has an estimated price of between Rp.7,000,000 – 9,000,000.

The connoisseur’s attention will be upon the later part of the auction, especially the final two lots by Ida Bagus Made Poleng (1915-1999). Lot 579, Kawan Rusa has an estimated price between Rp. 140,000,000 – Rp. 170,000,000, and Lot 580 Tari Baris is estimated between Rp. 150,000,000 – Rp. 200,000,000. Poleng is arguably the most talented Balinese painter of the 20th century. Lot 578, Panen Raya is a rare work by Dewa Putu Bedil (1921-1999) with an estimated price between Rp. 70,000,000 – Rp.90,000,000, and Lot 576, by Ida Bagus Made Nadera (1910-1998) Kehidupan Nelayan has an estimated price of between Rp.65,000,000 – 80,000,000.

Lot 559 Nyoman Gunarsa "Subali & Surgawi" Image courtesy of Larasati                          Lot 559: Subali & Surgawi – Nyoman Gunarsa

The recent passing of pioneering modernist Nyoman Gunarsa in early September was an enormous loss to the Balinese art world. Born in 1944 in East Bali, Gunarsa was instrumental in helping forge new paths in Balinese aesthetics with his own dynamic interpretation of the wayang figures of Classical Balinese painting. His legacy as an artist, art lecturer and art community leader – one of the icons of the island’s cultural landscape – however, will continue on through the generations of artists he has inspired. Lot 559, Subali & Sugriwa is an excellent work by Gunarsa that will attract attention and has an estimated price of between Rp.45,000,000 – 55,000,000.

Other works of note are Lot 532, by Arifein Neif, Lot 546, Suasana di Desa by Nyoman Kayun, Lots 549 & 550, by Nyoman Meja and Lot 561, Burung-Burung Surgawi by Dewa Ketut Rungan. Lot 558, by Arie Smit, Lot 574, Potret Wanita Bali by A.A Gde Sobrat and Lot 572, The Birth of Ganesha, by Gusti Ketut Kobot (1917-1999) with an estimated price between 65,000,000 – 75,000,000. Good works for mid level collectors include Lot 518, by Made Suarsa, Lot 526, by Gusti Agung Wiranata, Lot 540, by Ketut Tagen and Lot 568, by Dewa Ketut Ding.

Lot 579 Ida Bagus Made Poleng "Kawanan Rusa" Image courtesy of Larasati                           Lot 579: Kawan Rusa – Ida Bagus Made Poleng

Prospective buyers bidding over the phone, or via real-time Internet bidding who are unable to attend the previews days or auction are advised to contact Larasati and enquire about the colour reproduction accuracy of the images contained within the online catalogue to ensure that what they wish to purchase can be realistically appraised. The absence of reference to the condition of a lot in the catalogue description does not imply that the lot is free from faults or imperfections, therefore condition reports of the works, outlining the paintings current state and whether it has repairs or over painting, are available upon request.

Provenance, the historical data of the works previous owner/s is also important and is provided. An information guide including before the auction, during the auction and after the auction details, including conditions of business, the bidding process, payment, storage and insurance, and shipping of the work is also available. A buyer’s premium is payable by the buyer of each lot at rate of 22% of the hammer price of the lot.

Lot 576 Ida Bagus Made Nadera "Kehidupan Nelayan" 1950 Image courtesy of Larasati                          Lot 576: Kehidupan Nelayan – Ida Bagus Made Nadera

Open to the public at the Larasati Art Space in the Tebesaya Gallery the auction starts at 2:30 pm Sunday 8 October, while viewing begins from 11am 6 Friday.

The online catalogue is available at: www.larasati.com

 

Viewing:

Friday,           6 October   11am – 7.30pm

Saturday,   7 October     11am – 7.30pm

Sunday,     8 October     11am – 1pm

Auction: Sunday 8 October, from 2:30 pm

Larasati Bali Art Space at Tebesaya Gallery

Jalan Jatayu, Banjar Tebesaya, Peliatan,

Ubud, Gianyar Bali, Indonesia

 

Words: Richard Horstman

Images Courtesy: Larasati Auctioneer’s

 

 

Previewing Larasati’s Traditional, Modern & Contemporary Art Auction, Bali, 11 February 2017

 

lot-304-djedeng             Devotion – a unique modernist wood craving by Ketut Djedeng

Upcoming this weekend, Saturday 11 February Larasati Auctioneers present an excellent array of predominantly Balinese traditional art for sale. Lot #335 Dewi Tidur, is a poetic depiction of a sleeping goddess being watched over by nature spirits, by 36-year-old Made Griyawan, a rising star of the renown Batuan school. This is just one of the seventy items of fine art going under the hammer from 3pm at Traditional, Modern & Contemporary Art auction to be held in Ubud, Bali.

lot-339-nadera-ida-bagus-made                   Pertunjukan Arja 1991 – Ida Bagus Made Nadera

From sketches on paper in ink and pastel, to lithographs, woodcarvings, and paintings from various genres of Balinese traditional art, along with some rare gems on offer. The quality of works, along with the price ranges make Saturday’s auction attractive to both the connoisseur, and the new buyer wishing to enter the market at affordable rates. The following is a few recommendations.

lot-325-kayun-i-nyoman              Sacred Sang Hyang Dedari Dance – Nyoman Kayun

Auction highlights for the connoisseurs include works by deceased masters of the 1930’s Pita Maha artists collective, Lot# 363 Sita Satya, by Gusti Ketut Kobot (Pengosekan1917-199) with an estimated price between Rp. 90,000,000 – 130,000,000. Pementasan Calonarang, Lot# 362, by Ida Bagus Made Togog (Batuan 1913-1980) has an estimated price between Rp. 100,000,000 – 125,000,000, and Upacara Potong Gigi, Lot# 352, by Ida Bagus Made Widja (Batuan 1912-1992), with an estimated price between Rp.20,000,000 – 25,000,000, are all strong compositions of balance and harmony.

lot-343-jan-portenaar-javanese-dancer-ooc-91x60                            Javanese Dancer 1958 – Jan Christiaan Poortenaar

Two founding fathers of the Pita Maha are also featured; Bali’s iconic modernist Gusti Nyoman Lempad (1862-1978), Lot #360, Erotic Scene, has excellent provenance with an estimated price between Rp. 35,000,000 – 45,000,000, and influential Dutch artist Rudolf Bonnet (1895-1978), his pastel on paper depiction, Portrait of a Balinese Boy 1956, Lot# 323, has an estimated price between Rp.100,000,000 – 125,000,000.

rudolf-bonnet-portrait-of-balinese-boy               Portrait of a Balinese Boy 1956 – Rudolf Bonnet

Much attention will be focused upon the following lots, Upacara di Pura, 1979, Lot # 314 by popular Sumatran painter Rusli (1922-2005), with an estimated price between Rp. 30,000,000 – 40,000,000. Noted woman Balinese painter Ni Gusti Agung Galuh’s Beautiful Scenery, Lot# 317, with an estimate between Rp. 38,000,000 – 48,000,000, depicts sunlit rice terraces within a mountainous landscape. Lot# 325, Sacred Sang Hyang Dedari Dance, by Nyoman Kayun (b. 1954,Peliatan, Ubud) with an estimated price between Rp. 180,000,000 – 230,000,000, for its size is a rare find. Upacar Melasti, Lot# 353 by Wayan Matra has an estimate price between Rp. 75,000,000 – 95,000,000, the setting sun glows red upon the focal point of a Balinese religious ceremony.

lot-363-kobot-i-gusti-ketut                     Sita Satya ca, 1950’s – Gusti Ketut Kobot

Buyers with an eye for a bargain take note, if purchased within their estimate prices the following lots, including the fore mentioned Lot #335 Dewi Tidur, all represent good buying. Hanoman Membangan Jembatan Rama Setu, Lot # 361, ink on paper by Gusti Made Deblog (1906-1986 Denpasar), has an estimated price between Rp. 20,000,000 – 25,000,000. Kegiatan di Sawah 1963, Lot# 319, by master of the Pitamaha, Ida Bagus Made Nadera, estimated between Rp. 15,000,000 – 20,000,000, and Devotion, a modernist wood carving by Ketut Djedeng, Lot #304, has an estimate price between Rp. 1,500,000 – 2,500,000.

lot-364-sutama-i-made                  World of Dreams, 2016 – Made Sutama

Lots # 364-368 represent special long-term investment buying opportunities, being five works of the nine finalists of the first TiTian Prize. Honoured for innovation in Balinese art, the awards were presented during the one-year anniversary of the TiTian Bali Foundation, 29 January 2017. Lot# 364, World of Dreams in the Keliki style by Made Sutama has an estimated price between by Rp. 50,000,000 – 60,000,000. Nature Teasing, Lot# 368 by an exciting new talent of Batuan, twenty-two-year-old Wayan Aris Sarmanta has an estimated price between Rp. 20,000,000 – 25,000,000. Sarmanta, along with Gede Suryawan, Lot# 367, Living in Nature, are emerging artists with promising futures.   A set of three woodcarvings, Emotion II, Lot# 366, by Made Supena also offer good buying at prices estimated between Rp. 15,000,000 -20,000,000.

lot-353-matra-i-wayan                              Upacar Melasti 2013 – Wayan Matra

Other noted artists include influential Dutchman Arie Smit (1916-2016), with four works on offer, Joko Pekik, Wayan Bendi, and Dewa Putu Mokoh, while Jan Christiaan Poortenaar’s (1886-1958), Javanese Dancer, Lot # 343 is a beautiful composition featuring exquisite negative spaces. The proceeds of Lot # 369 The Bible by Korean artist Lee Ji Hyun, and Lot# 370 Portrait of a Gentleman, by Gerard Pieter Adolfs (1889-1968) will benefit non-commercial art programs on Balinese traditional art.

As an alternative to conventional investments buying art and holding for the long- term, 10-20 years can prove to be sound financial planning, often appreciating ten fold. The market for Balinese traditional art is considered by experts as still being undervalued.

lot-314-rusli                                          Upacara di Pura, 1979 – Rusli

Buyers bidding over the phone, or live online who are unable to attend the previews days or auction are advised to contact Larasati and inquire about the color reproduction accuracy of the images contained within the online catalogue to ensure that what they wish to purchase can be realistically gaged. Condition reports of the works, outlining the paintings current state and whether it has repairs or over painting are available upon request. Provenance, the historical data of the works previous owner/s is also important.

lot-342-rudin-i-ketut                                              Tari Baris – Ketut Rudin

Viewing:

Thursday, 9 February   11am – 7.30pm

Friday, 10 February     11am – 7.30pm

Saturday 11 February   11am – 1pm

Auction: Saturday 11 February, from 3 pm

Larasati Bali Art Space

Jalan Jatayu, Tebesaya, Peliatan, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

 

Words: Richard Horstman

Images Courtesy: Larasati Auctioneers

 

 

 

Review – Larasati 10th Anniversary Balinese Modern Traditional & Contemporary Art Auction

"Patih Lahwel" Ida Bagus Made Togog.Sold for Rp. 40,000,000. Image courtesy of Larasati                                              “Patih Lahwel”  –  Ida Bagus Made Togog

Results of the special 10th anniversary Larasati Balinese Modern Traditional & Contemporary Art auction at Ubud’s ARMA museum 28 February confirm that the market for Balinese traditional art is growing steadily while providing excellent value through the low to medium and high price ranges.

For sale amongst the 81 lots were wood cravings, one contemporary sculpture, sets of lithographs, watercolours, pastels and ink sketches on paper, and paintings on canvas in natural colours, oils and acrylics at prices beginning at a low Rp. 1.5 million (all sold works incur a buyers premium added on top of the hammer price).

An exciting feature of the sale was Larasati Auctioneers providing for the first ever real time data over the internet allowing easy, direct access to buying opportunities for a global audience. With 90% of the works sold (including 3 over the internet), along with the enormous response by bidders on the phone, (more 25% of the works sold), and all the major lots of “Young & Old Masters” selling, the auction was a huge success.

Wayan Sudana, "Tari Arja", 120x150cm, Acrylic on canvas. sold for Rp. 65,000,000                                                         “Tari Arja”  –  Wayan Sudana

“When we started our Bali auctions 10 years ago the buyers were 95% Indonesians,” said Daniel Komala CEO of Larasati Auctioneers, who was very happy with the auction’s results. “In attendance at the auction was a great mix of people, the majority non-Indonesians, and even though the Balinese traditional market is a small niche market, it is truly an international market. Our first experience with real time online platform functioned excellently and we are excited about the future prospects for the growing pool international collectors.”

Paintings by A.A Gede Anom Sukawati (b.1966 Ubud) are rarely available to either the primary or secondary markets (new works and pre-owned). Renowned as one of the finest “Young Masters” Lot #40 “Tari Joged Bumbung”, 2008, with a low estimate price between Rp. 80,000,000 – 120,000,000 sold for Rp. 180,000,000, being one of the most highly prized works of the day. Lot # 39 “Pementasan Calon Arang” by Ida Bagus Putu Sena (b.1966 Ubud) is also a work of extraordinary quality by an artists whose works are difficult to find and sold at the top end of the estimate price at Rp. 200,000,000.

Another highly sought after painting by bidders on the floor and the phone, pushing the price well above the estimated price was Lot #38 “Arja Dance” by Wayan Sudana (1966 Peliatan). This vibrant 120 x 150 cm acrylic on canvas composition sold for Rp. 65,000,000. Considered a ritual specialist from a high caste Brahmin priest family Ida Bagus Made Poleng (1915-1999 Tebesaya) had a special relationship with his paintings, calling them “his children” and rarely sold his works. The most prized of all Balinese painters, Lot #80 his “Legong Dance”, received much attention from phone bidders and sold for Rp. 750,000,000.

Gusti Nyoman Lempad, "The Witch and the Servant" Ink on paper. sold for Rp. 120,000,000 Image courtesy of Larasati                        “The Witch and the Servant”  –  Gusti Nyoman Lempad

Good buys were definitely available at the top end of the auction and Lot # 79,“The Witch and the Servant”, an ink sketch on paper by Gusti Nyoman Lempad (1862-1978 Ubud), considered ‘the’ modern master of Balinese art, sold for Rp. 120,000,000 just under the estimated price. As too was Lot # 66 “Playing Domino’s” by Ida bagus Made Nadera (1915-1989) “Playing Dominos”, estimated by between Rp.10,000,000 -15,000,000 and selling at Rp.10,000,000, Lot # 76 “Upcara Potong Gigi” Ida Bagus Made Widja (1912-1992 Batuan) selling at 18,000,000, and a glowing flora and fauna composition in the Pengosekan style Lot #65 “Harmoni Kehidupan” by Ketut Gelgel, which sold at Rp. 65,000,000. Each of these works are museum quality.

Three of the most highly coveted works in the auction all sold within their estimated prices, Lot # 77, “Blissfully Sleeping” by the maestro of wood carving from Mas village, Ida Bagus Nyana (1912-1985) at Rp.280,000,000, Lot #81 “Boy With Bamboo Stick”, by Made Sukada (1945-1982) hammered down at Rp. 105,000,000 and Lot #78 “Triwikrama” by Gusti Ketut Kobot (1917-1999) which sold for Rp. 80,000,000. Lot #75, however, by Ida Bagus Made Togog (1913-1989 Batuan) an extraordinary black and grey ink sketch on paper “Patih Lahwel” was a hot item selling at more than twice its estimate, at Rp. 40,000,0000 – a rare and special work.

“Harmoni Kehidupan”  Ketut Gelgel, sold for Rp. 65,000,000. Image courtesy Larasati                                         “Harmoni Kehidupan”  –  Ketut Gelgel

For new collectors to the market there were good works by favoured artists available at low prices and it must be noted that works are obtainable via auction cheaper than buying directly from artist’s studios. A 10 year future projection of current prices would confirm that buying now is a sound investment, while researching prices from the Larasati auctions 10 years ago confirm this to be true.

Balinese traditional art offers enormous scope for the astute investor to capitalize. The prices for the old masters of Balinese art remain strong and the market is expanding in a healthy way. The fact that the market is growing slowly, yet solidly is a fine achievement for Larasati Auctioneers.

A.A Gede Anom Sukawati-"Tari Joged Bumbung". Image courtesy of Larasati                               “Tari Joged Bumbung”  –  A.A. Gede Anom Sukawati

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the Value of Balinese Wayang Paintings

"Hanoman and Surya". Ketut Madra. 1972, acrylic on canvas - Photo David irons.             Hanoman & Surya – Ketut Madra 1972  Photo: David Irons

 

Results of September 2013 Larasati auction of Balinese modern traditional paintings at the Agung Rai Museum of Art in Ubud revealed growing demand for work by the best known Balinese painters.  Notably three masterpieces by renowned deceased artists reached new record prices for their work ranging from IDR 270 – 550 million (USD$ 30 – 61,000). Beginning last year, auctions results indicate a new trend, yet despite the recent record prices art experts believe these Balinese works are still heavily undervalued.

The market for the best Balinese traditional paintings is much smaller than that for the Contemporary Indonesian art and the collectors of Balinese work are generally of a different character. They tend to be art lovers who honor the work’s beauty, cultural significance and the extraordinary workmanship.

The larger Indonesian market for modern and contemporary art has over recent years experienced new lows, mainly due to price manipulation. As buyers’ confidence has sunk, so has the market. During an important 2012 exhibition in Central Java the authenticity of works by modern Indonesian masters came under scrutiny, and as a result, an unprecedented uproar continues in the Indonesian art world. Unsurprisingly, this has had a negative impact on the market, and cast a considerable shadow on the Indonesian fine arts scene.

'Dharmaswami' Ida Bagus Gelgel, 1935, natural pigments on paper, Photo - David irons                                        Darmawangsa –  I.B. Gelgel, 1935

Lets now reflect on the international auction house Sotheby’s and their 40th anniversary, 5-day auction in Hong Kong in early October. “The Last Supper” (2001) by Chinese painter Zeng Fanzhi, estimated at USD $10.3 million plus, set a new record for a Chinese contemporary artist at auction, selling for USD $23.3 million. The work is based on Leonardo da Vinci’s iconic painting with contemporary Chinese sociopolitical references. Spirited bidding by Chinese and Asian collectors at this auction enabled Sotheby’s to realize USD $540 million, a record for the Hong Kong branch, in now arguably the most important contemporary Asian art center in the world.

However for these “art enthusiasts” at the Hong Kong auction it’s not about enjoying and collecting, it’s about being number one. It’s also about their nations artists being recognized, like England’s with its art superstar Damien Hirst and Germany’s Gerhad Ricther, as a kind of proxy symbol of national strength on a global stage.

Balinese modern traditional art – especially wayang painting – has been much maligned. Over the years, it has often been dismissed as commercial or folk art made by the common people. Wayang painting began as Balinese temple art, at its best today, it is still devotional art dedicated to the gods and serves the community with moral teachings for those who know the stories it tells. It is very different from the genre art of markets, rice fields, temple festivals and other scenes depicting idealized social reality. The finest practitioners have often been those with the deepest understanding of the stories of Bali’s shadow theater.

"Hanoman and Surya". Gusti Ketut Kobot, circa 1960;s acrylic on canvas. Photo David Irons                       Hanoman & Surya – Gusti Ketut Kobot, circa 1960

While Christian religious art often depicts scenes of heaven or hell, and rarely both in the same composition, the best of Balinese wayang art, almost always has a more dualistic and universal philosophy. Bali’s Hindu-Buddhist paintings often emphasize a cosmic balance: there can be no good without an equal and opposing force. In Balinese wayang art the forces of good and evil often confront each other without resolution.

This is an art with high moral standards that deeply reflects the values of the best of Balinese traditional culture. I think it is also an art that reflects modern culture’s struggle for integrity. And I find myself wondering if Balinese wayang art – at its best – is one of the most underappreciated and undervalued art forms in the world?

 

Words: Richard Horstman