Lot 87 | Auction XXXIV


LOT 87


B. Kedah, 1936 – 2009

Figures in Landscape, 1974

Signed and dated “ibrahim hussein 74” on lower right

Acrylic on canvas

51 x 62 cm

Provenance Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur

Illustrated on page 95 of the “Ibrahim Hussein”, a retrospective exhibition book for the show held on April 10, 1986 at the National Art Gallery Kuala Lumpur

Illustrated in the soon to be published “777, Celebrating 7 Illustrious Years at KLAS” coffee table book published by KLAS in November 2018

RM150,000 – RM200,000


Ibrahim Hussein was a Malaysian artist best known for inventing a medium called printage where he combined printmaking and collage in his colourful and layered paintings. Born on March 13, 1936 in Sungai Limau, Kedah, Ibrahim, fondly called Ib, attended the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore, in 1956. Then, he obtained a scholarship to study at Byam Shaw School of Drawing and Painting and the Royal Academy in London where he graduated in 1963 and 1966 respectively.

In 1970, he was offered a position as an artist in residence at the University of Malaya and became the first Malaysian artist to participate in the prestigious Venice Biennale (a cultural institution which organises exhibitions on contemporary arts to promote new artistic trends). The artist was the subject of retrospectives at the National Art Gallery Malaysia and the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Santiago, Chile. In 1991, he founded the Ibrahim Hussein Museum and Cultural Foundation in the Langkawi rainforest, which functions as a non-profit and museum dedicated to developing culture and art in Malaysia. He died on February 19, 2009 in Kuala Lumpur.

Ibrahim had won many illustrious international awards, including at the Monte Carlo 18th International Exhibition of Contemporary Art (1984), the Japan Foundation Cultural Award (1988), the Order of Andres Bello of Venezuela (1993), the Order of Bernardo O’ Higgins of Chile (1996), the World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award in Davos, Switzerland (1997) and the Anugerah Tokoh Melayu Terbilang (2007). Ib was honoured with a retrospective exhibition by the National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, in 1986.

This widely-recognised and international artist described his abstract works as futuristic and it was through a distinctive ordering of lines that he expressed differing complexities of form and dimensions. Ib created an extraordinary legacy of paintings over a half century revolving around his life and humanity, events and personalities.

Seen here in Ib’s ‘Figures in Landscapes’, (1974), one can discern that most of his works often have a semi-figurative or figurative element poised within a flattened and ambiguous space, reverberating complexity and swirls of colours. This particular work emanates a calmness by the soft hues of green. He often emitted lines, colours and shapes onto canvas in direct response to the world around him, imploring all who viewed his art to be as moved as he was by the struggles and pleasures in the world.