Category Archives: Wayang Paintings

Larasati October 2019 auction report – Balinese art market analysis

Lot # 739 “Berjamur Pakian” 2001 Dewa Putu Mokoh (1934 – 2010 Pengosekan) Acrylic on Canvas, 80 x 60 cm.

The market for Balinese paintings, often labelled ‘traditional’, is a small niche sector in comparison to the broader Indonesian modern and contemporary art market. While Indonesian collectors dominate it there is an upward trend of foreign buyers entering the market that is currently showing signs of growth.

In 2006 Larasati Auctioneers of Jakarta opened up an international forum for the trade of high- quality Balinese art. They began by presenting two auctions per year in Ubud specializing in Balinese paintings and have and helped revived a declining market. Works by some of the masters of the famous Pita Maha Artists Association established in Ubud in 1936; Ida Bagus Made Poleng, Gusti Nyoman Lempad, Anak Agung Gede Sobrat, Ida Bagus Made Nadera and Gusti Ketut Kobot are especially popular with collectors.

Balinese painting has many genres, beginning with the ancient, sacred narrative Classical style displayed in the temples and the houses of the aristocracy. These works are also referred to as Wayang paintings, their iconography and narratives being derived from the Wayang Kulit shadow puppet theatre. They came to be known as Kamasan paintings, from the village in Klungkung, East Bali that was the epicentre of Balinese art, 16th – 20th century.

Other genres evolved in the period 1920 – 1980 from the Classical style. The Batuan paintings developed its distinct visual features and techniques outside of the modern western influences accredited to Walter Spies (1895 – 1942) and Rudolf Bonnet (1895 – 1978) who were instrumental in the birth of the renowned Ubud School of Painting in the late 1920s. Other village styles, or schools developed, Sanur, Pengosekan, Young Artists, and Keliki, along with the woodcarvings from the village of Mas. The golden years of Balinese painting were 1930 – 1945, pre-WWII during an era that witnessed technical and stylistic innovations along with the first tourism boom on Bali. The second wave of tourism began in the 1970s, and the popularity of Balinese painting increased, especially after 1980 aligned with the national government’s policy of cultural tourism.

The critical reasons leading to Balinese art being underappreciated and undervalued has been due to its perception. It is often maligned and referred to as ‘tourist’ and folk art – a craft without a rightful place within Indonesian art history. Yet, on the contrary, some of the finest practitioners of Balinese painting, past and present, are from the Balinese high castes.  Ida Bagus Made Poleng (1915 – 1999) for example, is considered the most influential artist from the 20th – century, and is from the Brahmin high caste. While the most cherished living painter is Anak Agung Gede Anom Sukawati (b. 1966) who is also from the upper caste. Therefore, it is not an art form exclusive to ordinary people.

Balinese art was collected by the Dutch during the colonial occupation (1840 – 1950) and exhibited in anthropological museums of the Netherlands. It was not presented in the renowned art museums of Europe that would have endorsed the relevance and value of Balinese painting within the context of world art. It was, however, displayed within the anthropological museums with demeaning colonial narratives, referred to as art made by the primitive people of Bali.

The above mentioned scenario, however, has recently undergone significant change, and two of institutions with the most important collections of Balinese art have been rebranded – renamed Museums of World Culture (the Volkenkunde Leiden Museum, Lieden, the Netherlands and the World Museum Vienna, Weltmuseum Wien, Austria).  The Volkenkunde Leiden Museum recently began repurchasing Balinese paintings, six works by emerging Batuan artists Wayan Aris Sarmanta and Wayan Budiarta, and exhibited them in a ground breaking exhibition of art and culture “Welcome to Paradise” open May 2019. Importantly, from now on these institutions will present Balinese art free from the old narratives giving special curatorial attention to its significance. These factors will impact positively upon its perception and appreciation internationally, and importantly within Indonesia.

For the first time in its thirteen-year history, Larasati conducted their third auction in Ubud within the year. The recent Modern, Traditional and Contemporary Art Auction was held 12 October at the Larasati Art Space, Tebesaya Gallery, Ubud, Bali.  The painting featured on the cover of the Larasati catalogue incited the most enthusiastic bidding of the day. Lot 792, “Pandwa dalam Pengasingan” (Pandawa in Exile) 1969, by Ida Bagus Rai (1933 – 2007) realised IDR 160 million (hammer prices are quoted without buyers premium) dramatically increasing more than 500% from its estimated price of between IDR 25 – 30 million.  Another strong result was Lot 717 by Wayan Djudjul (1942 – 2008), “Suasana Pasar” (Market Atmosphere) with an estimated price of between IDR 28 – 38 million that sold for IDR 76 million, an increase of around 100%. A work by of one of the distinct innovators within the Ubud School, Dewa Putu Mokoh (1934 – 2010), Lot 739 “Jemur Pakian” (Drying Clothes) 2001 that had an estimated price of between IDR 15 – 18 million sold for IDR 22 million.

The sale, despite 30% of the lots being unsold, revealed the continuing demand for the signature works by the established masters of the Ubud School of Painting, with all significant works selling during the auction.  For example there were four paintings, Lot # 780 – 783 by Anak Agung Gede Raka Puja (1936 – 2016) in the sale. The two works in his older style of daily life village scenarios did not sell, while Lot # 782 & 783, “Mendirikan Menara Bade” (Erecting the Cremation Tower), highlighted on the back cover of the Larasati catalogue, and “Melasti Ke Sakenan”(Melasti Precession to Sakenen) both were sold at just under their estimated values of IDR 130 million and IDR 75 million, respectively.

Two paintings by Wayan Kayun (b. 1954) were offered, yet only Lot # 777, in the artist’s signature culturally themed style “Persiapan Ngaben” (Preparation for a Cremation) was purchased, hammered down at IDR 110 million. Works by the recently deceased master of the Batuan miniature style Ketut Murtika (1952 – 2019) Lot # 785 “Perang Tanding Arjuna Melawan Karna”( Arjuna’s Fight Against Karna) and Lot # 786 “Ramayana Scene”, both mythological narratives, were purchased within their estimated values, for IDR 15 million and IDR 18 million respectively.

Noteworthy factors are impacting on the recent development of Balinese art, a new foundation, and art collectives. TiTian Bali Art Foundation opened in Ubud in 2016 and is an artist incubator specializing in identifying, and nurturing emerging talent and introducing the best artists to the market. Exciting young talent is appearing in the village of Batuan, such as the fore mentioned Sarmanta and Budiarta, along with Pande I Made Dwi Artha and Gede Widyantara, and from Keliki village artists such as Putu Kusuma and Putu Adi. These genres are in exciting new eras of development, driven by well-organized art collectives, Baturlangun in Batuan and the Werdi Jana Kerti Artists Association in Keliki.

The Larasati auctions offer opportunities to purchase Balinese paintings much cheaper than from artist’s studios and galleries, along with many entry points into the market for first-time buyers and those beginners developing their collection on smaller budgets with as little as IDR 1 million. Larasati’s website provides sale data from past auctions, information, and access to online live bidding. The Balinese market is undervalued with strong potential and opportunities available to collectors with a long term view willing to buy and hold for at least 10 -15 years to wait for the market to mature for profit-making.

This article was previous published on Art&Market.Net

https://www.artandmarket.net/analysis/2019/12/28/bali-art-infrastructure-2019

Words: Richard Horstman

Images Courtesy of Larasati Auctioneers

Previewing Larasati’s Upcoming 12 October 2019 Bali Sale

Lot # 791 "Bayu Satu Duta" Tjokorda Oka Gambir (1902 - 1975 Peliatan) Natural pigments on cloth, 162.5 x 150 cm. Image courtesy of Larasati AuctioneersLot # 791 ‘Bayu Satu Duta’ – Tjokorda Oka Gambir (1902 – 1975 Peliatan) Natural pigments on cloth, 162.5 x 150 cm

 

For the first time in its thirteen-year history, Larasati Auctioneers will conduct their third art auction in Ubud within the year. This is a positive sign indicating a growing market for Balinese art. “After being stagnant for some time, the market for Balinese art is beginning to show real signs of buoyancy. As a result, we have managed to secure a couple of significant properties from various art collectors. By holding this additional sale in Bali, we hope to amplify the current upward thrust for Balinese art,” said Daniel Komala, CEO of Larasati Auctioneers.

Ninety-two lots of fine art, works by renowned Balinese and foreign artists, including some of the masters of the historical Ubud School of Painting, will go under the hammer in the Modern, Traditional and Contemporary Art Auction 12 October from 2:30 pm, at the Larasati Art Space, Tebesaya Gallery, Ubud.

Lot #792 "Pandawa dalam Pengasian" Ida Bagus Rai (1933 - 2007 Padang Tegal, Ubud) Acrylic on Canvas, 165 x 110 cm. Image Courtesy of Larasati AuctioneersLot #792 ‘Pandawa dalam Pengasian’  – Ida Bagus Rai (1933 – 2007 Padang Tegal, Ubud) Acrylic on Canvas, 165 x 110 cm

 

Some of the art genres for sale include Balinese contemporary paintings, modern Indonesian paintings, works from the Batuan School of Painting, the colourful Young Artist style, photographs and one woodcarving. Larasati has secured works from prominent private collectors, one group of paintings will capture the attention of connoisseurs of Balinese art. The Ubud sale has artworks that will interest beginners buying for the first time, with limited budgets, intermediate collectors and the aficionados. There are groupings of paintings offered inspired by the influential foreigners on Bali, Walter Spies (1895 – 1942) Rudolf Bonnet (1895 – 1978) and Arie Smit (1916 – 2016).

German amateur photographer Gregor Krauser (1883-1960), a physician and anthropologist released the groundbreaking book Bali to European audiences in 1920. His photographs had a massive impact upon intellectuals disillusioned by the direction of western culture post WWI. Lot 715 & 716, both titled Bali Nude 1920, by Krauser, sized 17 x 25 cm and printed on sheetfed gravure have estimated prices of between Rp 2 – 3 million which offer excellent opportunities for buyers wishing to enter the market.

Lot 720 "Iringan Melasti" Made Sukadana. Image coutesy of Larasati AuctioneersLot # 720 ‘Iringan Melasti’  – Made Sukadana, Acrylic on Canvas 120 x 120 cm

 

Other works that offer good value if purchased within, or under their estimated prices for beginners are Lot 702 Lotus Pond a watercolour on paper by Paul Nagano, a long-time visitor to Bali, with an estimated price of between Rp. 5 – 7 million. Two works in the Young Artist style, Lot 768 Upacara Ngaben by Wayan Pugur which has an estimated worth of between Rp. 7 – 9million, Lot 772, by Nyoman Takja, Kehidupan Bali has an estimated price of between Rp. 5 – 7 million, and Lot 749, Bali Life by Ketut Kicen which comes an estimated price of between Rp. 6 – 11 million.

Good purchases for intermediate buyers wishing to grow their collection and with larger budgets include Lot 739, Jemur Pakian by Dewa Putu Mokoh (1934 – 2010) with an estimated value of between Rp. 15 – 17 million, a rare woodcarving by Wayan Gerudug (1905 – 1989), Lot 743 Ni Kesuna di Hutan (Dari cerita Ni Bawang dan Ni Kesuna) which comes with an estimated price of between Rp. 20 – 30 million, a distinct composition of glowing red sunset hues, Nelayan di Pantai, Lot 747 by Made Rasna which has an estimated price of between Rp. 20 – 30 million and Lot 767 Pura Dewi Sri by the founder of the Young Artists style Arie Smit, that comes with an estimated price of between Rp. 30 – 40 million.

Lot # 717 "Suasana Pasar" Wayan Djudjul (1942 - 2008 Ubud) Acrylic on Canvas, 85 x 55cm. Image Courtesy of Larasati Auctioneers.Lot # 717 ‘Suasana Pasar’ –  Wayan Djudjul (1942 – 2008 Ubud) Acrylic on Canvas, 85 x 55cm

 

The recent passing of Batuan painter Ketut Murtika (1952-2019) brings to the close the life and career of an extraordinary talent of the Batuan miniature format of painting and his two mythological themed works offer excellent buying for intermediate collectors. Lot 785 Perang Tanding Arjuna Melawan Kama has an estimated price of between Rp.15 – 18 million, and Lot 786 Ramayana Scene comes with an estimated value of between Rp.18 – 22 million.

Connoisseurs will be interested on the following Lot 791 Bayu Satu Duta by Tjokorda Oka Gambira (1902-1975) who was the senior teacher from the sangging (collective of skilled artists who made sacred traditional artworks and objects) of the Peliatan royal palace. The wayang style painting has an estimated value of between Rp. 48 – 58 million, and offers a rare opportunity to collect a picture by the influential princely artist.

Lot # 739 "Berjamur Pakian" 2001 Dewa Putu Mokoh (1934 - 2010 Pengosekan) Acrylic on Canvas, 80 x 60 cm. Image Courtesy of Larasati AuctioneersLot # 739 ‘Berjamur Pakian’ – 2001 Dewa Putu Mokoh (1934 – 2010 Pengosekan) Acrylic on Canvas, 80 x 60 cm

 

Ketut Budiana (b. 1959 Padang Tegal, Ubud) is recognized as one of the maestros of Balinese painting; the multi-talented creative is responsible for inventing his signature style within the conventions of the Ubud School of Painting. His visual language depicts the universe consistently in a state of transition featuring an array of characters from the divine to the demonic. Lot 784 Mythical Scene has an estimated price of between Rp. 80 – 110 million.

Two rare and delightful paintings are Lot 720 Iringan Melasti by Made Sukadana (1962-2004) that comes with an estimated price of between Rp. 55 – 65 million, and the beautiful colour composition of a mythological scene, Lot 792 Pandawa Dalam Pengasingan by Ida Bagus Rai (1933-2007 Ubud) that has an estimated value of between Rp. 25 – 35 million.

Lot # 782 "Mendirikan Menara Bade" 1983 Anak Agung Gede Raka Pudja (1932 - 2016, Padang Tegal, Ubud), Acrylic on Canvas, 114 - 79 cm. Image Courtesy of Larasati AuctioneersLot # 782 ‘Mendirikan Menara Bade’ 1983 –  Anak Agung Gede Raka Pudja (1932 – 2016, Padang Tegal, Ubud), Acrylic on Canvas, 114 – 79 cm

 

Four paintings on offer by Anak Agung Gede Raka Pudja (1932 – 2016 Padang Tegal, Ubud) from the Ubud School of Painting will also attract the attention of the connoisseurs. Lot 782 Mendirikan Menara Bade 1983, a detailed and visually potent description of the erection of Balinese traditional cremation tower comes with an estimated price of between Rp.150 – 200 million, and Lot 783 Melasti ke Sakenan,  a dynamic composition depicting an ocean side religious procession comes with an estimated value of between Rp. 90 – 120 million. Lot 780 & 781 paintings of subdued colour schemes both have estimated prices of between Rp. 50 – 70 million. Lot 776, Cerita dari Hutan highlights the technical abilities of Nyoman Kayun (b. 1954 Peliatan) and has an estimated price of between Rp. 50 – 70 million.

Other well known artists in the sale include Willem Gerard Hofker (1902 – 1981), Ida Bagus Nadera (1915 – 1998), Ketut Regig (1919 – 2002), Ketut Gelgel, Awiki, Dullah (1919 – 1996 and Soedibio (1912 – 1981).

Lot 786 "Ramayana Scene" Ketut Murtika. Image courtesy of Larasati AuctioneersLot # 786 ‘Ramayana Scene’ –  Ketut Murtika, Acrylic on Canvas, 60 x 80 cm

 

Potential buyers bidding over the phone, absentee bidders or real-time Internet bidders 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 784 "Mythical Scene" Ketut Budiana. Image coutesy of Larasati Auctioneers    Lot # 784 ‘Mythical Scene’ –  Ketut Budiana, Acrylic on Canvas, 50 x 80 cm

 

Open to the public at the Larasati Art Space in the Tebesaya Gallery the auction starts at 2:30 pm Saturday 12 October, while viewing begins from 11am Thursday. The online catalogue, complete with a guide for prospective buyers is available at: www.larasati.com

 

Viewing:

Thursday         10 October   11am – 7.30pm

Friday              11 October     11am – 7.30pm

Saturday         12 October     11am – 1pm

 

Auction: Saturday 12 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 Auctioneers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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