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4 Precious Works by Indonesian Abstract Art Pioneer: Ahmad Sadali

  • Jun 05, 2023

These four beautiful works offered for sale are precious works by the father of Indonesian abstract art, Ahmad Sadali. Known for its abstract expressionism style of works, Sadali’s works have been exhibited alongside the works the great Modern Masters of the world such as Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse and Vassily Kandinsky, in the exhibition by the National Gallery in Singapore and the Centre Pompidou in Paris in 2016.

As the pioneering graduate of the Institut Teknologi Bandung (Bandung Institute of Technology, ITB), Sadali received a scholarship from the Rockefeller Foundation to study art at multiple schools, including the prestigious Art Student League in New York. Sadali’s works are very limited in number, making each of his works highly desired by many collectors from around the world. Global Auction is proud to present four works by Ahmad Sadali to be offered in our 15th June 2023 sale.

The first work in this sale is titled ‘Vertical blocks of Gold’ (Batang-batang emas vertikal). Executed in 1969, this work spans exactly 1 meter tall and 1 meter wide, and is a mixed media on canvas. Looking at this work, Sadali immediately captured our attention with his signature textures and abstraction. By mixing paint with sand, and applying it directly to the canvas, Sadali created a textural picture that looks spontaneous, as if the work is a work of nature.

From the strokes of vertical gold blocks, the tint of electric light blue paint, to the earthy brown and red paint, Sadali blended everything together so well in creating this masterpiece, creating a harmonious yet mysterious composition to this work. Sadali’s work on canvas at this size is incredibly difficult to find, making this work a must have in your collection. Additionally, this work was acquired directly from the close family of Ahmad Sadali. This painting was one of the two paintings displayed for many decades in a colonial mansion belonging to Sadali’s family, located in Ulujami, South Jakarta.

This work was almost included in the sale of the mansion together with all the furniture inside. Fortunately, the family later realized how valuable this painting is, and decided not to include them with the sale of the mansion. This decision led to this work being offered individually in this sale, to be enjoyed by Sadali’s collectors.

The next work that we have here is a mixed media on canvas, with a dimension of 70 by 70 centimetere. Titled ‘Brown Planes’, it was made by Sadali in 1985. This work immediately captured our attention to the center blocks of earthy colors such as maroon, red, pink, brown, and tan color paints that work so well together. Sadali mixed his paints with sand to form his distinctive textures in his paintings.

We can also see his spontaneous strokes using the palette knife, and his signature gold and electric light blue that further elevate this work. Sadali brilliantly contrasted tan and woody colors in the background to create a masterful composition.

The next work that we’re offering is titled ‘Brown Chunks on Top of Yellow Plane’ (Bongkahan coklat Di Atas Bidang Kuning). This work is 35 by 35 centimeteres, and is a mixed media on paper. Executed in 1983, this work catches our attention with the bright and energetic orange paint in the backgrounds. When we look closer, we can see thick textures of purplish-brown paint with vertical, horizontal and diagonal lines.

Sadali finished this work with a touch of his signature gold remnants and electric blue to create this wonderful piece. This work’s provenance was from the private collection of Professor Hariadi Paminto Soepangkat, who served as Rector for Institut Teknologi Bandung (Bandung Institute of Technology) during 1980-1988, and who acquired it directly from the artist.

Last but not least, we have this work here titled ‘Abstract’. With its size of 50 by 35 centimeteres, and executed with mixed media on paper,  this work was exhibited for UNESCO in Tokyo,1954, and was the private collection of Professor Hariadi Paminto Soepangkat (ITB Rector, Period 1980-1988), whom acquired this work directly from the artist. Sadali used an interesting choice of red, brown and green to capture our attention. 

Looking closely, we can see his signature naturalistic textures, and this time, Sadali drew the lines as a texture, forming geometrical symbols such as triangles, rectangles, vertical and horizontal lines, further adding depths into his creation.

Each of Sadali’s works are filled with depths, mystery, emotions, spirituality, artistic beauty, and is a visual expression of a lifelong devotion to his craft. That is why these four distinctive Sadali’s works that we have on sale here are a great selection to add to your collection.