In a career spanning over seventy years, Indonesian artist, Srihadi Soedarsono (b. 1931) has built a reputation for his expressionist style of figurative and abstract paintings, for which he received many awards. He is perhaps best known for his series of dancing girls and soulful meditations on the Javanese landscapes. Among his landscape works, my personal favorite is the following depiction of Mount Merapi erupting at night.
Although highly abstract (Soedarsono uses just three colors in the painting), you can almost feel the mountain’s rage, deftly conveyed by a few strokes of lava red set against the hulking black of the volcano. If anyone ever needed proof that abstract art can evoke powerful emotions, this is it.
More on Srihadi Soedarsono
Born in 1931 in Solo, Java into a family of traditional batik makers, traditional Javanese culture and the works of leading Indonesian artists such as S. Soedjojono and Affandi, have been a central influence in Srihadi Soedarsono’s art from a young age. These influences, combined a love for abstract expressionism, show up in Soedarsono’s paintings, which to him, are a quest for spirituality. His series of paintings depicting dancing girls in a dizzy swirl of costumes and colors and his expressionistic interpretations of Java’s rural landscapes and glorious horizons established him as one of Southeast Asia’s most accomplished artists.
Soedarsono has been recipient of numerous prestigious national and international awards and honors, with his work presented in many significant exhibitions, a fitting tribute to this quiet and gentle artist.
More works by Srihadi Soedarsono
“Angkor Wat: Journey of the Soul”, 2012, oil on canvas, 130 x 240.