B Kelantan, 1934 – 2018
East Coast Ladies, 1973
Signed and dated “Khalil Ibrahim 73” on lower right
84 x 71 cm
Provenance Private Collection, Switzerland
From tin mines to landscapes to his series of study in rural themes of Malay girls and children, the late Khalil Ibrahim had a knack of producing batik masterpieces, which proved notable and successful. Khalil was already an established artist before venturing into the batik art medium. By then, he already had a full grasp of batik painting and was searching for new themes. It seemed to Khalil that any subject matter suitable for oil painting was adaptable to batik painting.
In a 1970’s article written by Frank Sullivan for the New Straits Times, Sullivan elaborated that Khalil’s study series of Malay girls and children in batik had an appealing grace and charm to it. The execution of these works focused on bringing the subjects to the foreground, by using a relatively plain background. Without realising it, Khalil became the first Malaysian artist to produce a batik portrait directly from the model, which proved to be an impressive feat.