Abdul Aziz: Beyond The Canvas

  • Mar 08, 2024

Abdul Aziz, a painter born in Purwokerto in 1928, was recognized as one of the finest artists in Indonesia during the 20th century. From 1957 to 1959, Aziz pursued studies at ASRI (Indonesian Fine Arts Academy). In 1959, Aziz furthered his art education by securing a scholarship to attend the Accademia delle Belle Arti in Italy, located in Rome. It was during his time there that he honed his skills and developed the unique style that distinguished his paintings, giving them a sense of depth and dimension; his three-dimensional paintings. 

By 1965, Aziz had made the decision to settle in Bali, where he shared his knowledge and expertise with aspiring artists, imparting the painting techniques he had mastered in Italy. The primary inspiration for his work stems from his life in Bali, his affection for children and women, evident in his creations. Additionally, Aziz is renowned for his expertise in blending anatomy, light-dark contrasts (chiaroscuro), and emotion to craft lifelike illusions. Recognized as an individual who dislikes fame, Aziz finds pleasure in crafting and playing the violin at home.

Aziz’s Trial & Error

Source: The book Abdul Aziz: The Artist and His Art

In 1974, Aziz captured several self-portraits through his kitchen window to achieve the desired effect in his three-dimensional paintings, where the subject or figure appears to extend beyond the frame. He put in a great deal of effort, experimenting and learning through trial and error. 

Source: The book Abdul Aziz: The Artist and His Art

Aziz attempted to create a painting with a 3D effect, which required 12 years of trial and error to achieve his desired outcome. He diligently practiced sketching repeatedly to master the art of creating 3D sketches and to discover the ideal proportions.

The book Abdul Aziz: The Artist and His Art, written by his wife Mary Northmore-Aziz

Knitting (Merajut)

Global Auction 23rd March 2024 Sale 
Lot 018| ABDUL AZIZ| Knitting (Merajut), 1980 | Oil on canvas: 50 x 40 cm
Est. SGD7,100 - 8,500

His distinctive way of depicting objects is showcased in this painting titled "Knitting (Merajut)." It depicts a woman knitting, with a scarf elegantly tied around her hair, complemented by a gentle smile. The Balinese-style frame adds to its charm. Wraping a scarf around the head with a traditional sleeveless top is a familiar sight in Indonesia during that era. Many Indonesians, particularly women, usually put a basket on their heads, making the scarf a practical accessory.

Madonna and Child

Global Auction 23rd March 2024 Sale 
Lot 023 | ABDUL AZIZ| Madonna and Child, 1973 | Oil on canvas: 70 x 50 cm
Est. SGD 4,500 - 6,300

One of the outcomes is a stunning piece titled "Madonna & Child," showcasing Aziz's unique style in this artwork. Despite the subject of this piece being based in Europe, Aziz drew inspiration from the techniques he acquired in Bali during the creation process. In the book titled “Abdul Aziz: The Artist and His Art,” Aziz created this painting for a woman he knew in Italy who was waiting for her children at Christmas, but they never arrived. He made the painting as a gesture of sympathy, feeling sorry for her situation. Additionally, he played a Christmas song on his violin, which deeply moved the woman.

A heartwarming tale accompanies this captivating artwork, doesn't it? We are delighted to present this piece in our upcoming online auction on Saturday, March 23rd at 7.00 PM (JKT). You can get the chance to preview this curated piece by visiting our art preview from March 4th to 23rd and feel free to discover other remarkable pieces, showcasing both established masters and emerging artists. Don’t hesitate to click here for more information and visit our social media for updates! 

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