Art from Bali and Indonesia
                   Skip Navigation Links

Skip Navigation Links
Browse all Art Deco artwork in our collection


The name 'art deco' was created from a French title of an exhibition in Paris in 1925; Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes. Art deco refers to an art movement in between the two World Wars, the Interbellum (1920-1940). This movement went against the existing art trends and habits. In architecture more geometry is used and art objects get a more stylized form. The colours change and obsessive ornaments are taken out. As a result the emphasis is more on form and thus on expression rather than a correct display of reality.
From the above it is understandable that the label 'art deco' has many interpretations. However not every prewar Bali carving is an art deco artwork.
All the carvings on this page have a number of art deco features and may be qualified as 'art deco'; all carvings have a stylized form where the artist was clearly looking for the ideal lines. The ornaments-decorations are taken out or restricted to certain parts of the carving, which enhances the overall form and display. On the other hand some parts are enlarged or extended, like the sleeping lady.
Typical for the Balinese art deco are the extended fingers and toes, and an enlarged body, anatomically incorrect but with more expression.



New
Click for more info about this High Quality Art Deco Artwork
Balinese high priest with container holy water
1930-1940
Nicely carved caving from the Pita Maha period(1928-1945). There are beautiful details, like the open container and much detail to the fingers and feet of the priest. On photo 9, 10 and 11 the art deco lines are clearly visible. Carved in the expensive satinwood, only used by the best carvers of the village. Finished with a beautiful dark brown patina. Pls click on the photo to get more info and photos.


New
Click for more info about this High Quality Art Deco Artwork
Phenomenal wooden sculpture of a sleeping woman in art deco style. Made on Bali in the 1930s.
1930-1940
The new wave of woodcarving during the Pita Maha period (1930-1942) reaches here a high. The artist, I Made Geremboeang, is able to come up with the right solutions for the most difficult parts of the carving; pay attention how the arms and hands, traditionally the most difficult in art, are handled. Also the legs and feet are carved brilliantly. By pulling up the legs the tension in the carving is increased without influencing the intimite and subdued character of the scene. The head is not bent to one side, but looking straight upwards, giving it a good contrast with the rest of the body. The hair is carved flat and stylish, and beautifully ignored to one side of the carving. Just be aware that a woodcarver must have this form in his mind before he does the first cut! Because this sleeper is the purest example of that new art wave on prewar Bali, which Bonnet describes in 1936 as I Geremboeang being the best master of this genre, there can be no doubt that Geremboeang was the maker of this magnificent piece of art. Please click on the photo for more photos and info.


New
Click for more info about this High Quality Art Deco Artwork
Woodcarving sleeping woman Pita Maha
1930-1940
Maginficent grotesque carving of a sleeping lady. This panel was made by a mastercarver in the 1930s The difference with the panel Tobo 612 is the rough big manner in which this artwork has been made. Clearly the carver was trying to make an impression by looking for the bigger lines instead of going into detail. The result is enhanced by the unusual dimensions (44 cm) and the very dense and heavy wood that he used. Pls click on the photo to get more info and photos.


New
Click for more info about this High Quality Art Deco Artwork
Sleeping lady in art deco style
1930-1940
Many of these panels are made over the years in Bali. Some like this one, others of mothers with their babies. Most of them don't have the refinement of a Pita Maha carving, but were just made for the tourist market. This one has a very high quality in both carving skill as well as lay out. The maker clearly was looking for the ideal line in his art work. Something we in the West refer to as 'art deco'. The face is subdued but also mysterious. Very few decorative ornaments in this carving, which enhances the overall expression of this impressive art work. Pls click on the photo to get more info and photos.



Click for more info about this High Quality Art Deco Artwork
Archer who tries to shoot the deer
1935-1940
Strong expressive rendering of the famous archer in the Hindu Ramayana story who tries to shoot the holy deer. Special attention for the enlarged bow, which increases the overall power of the carving. Pls click on the photo to get more info and photos.



Click for more info about this High Quality Art Deco Artwork
Magnificent bird sculpture, executed in the art deco style. By twisting the neck to the extreme the artist succeeds to display a maximum in expression.
1930-1940
Birds sculptures are popular on Bali. Birds represent the 'upper world' in the Hindu mythe. They are also the transport-animal for certain gods. Many birds-carvings were copied, like the well known bird with egg-bookends. But this one is a unigue artwork. Not many Bali carvers were able to copy such a masterpiece properly. Pls click on each photo to see two larger images.



Click for more info about this High Quality Art Deco Artwork
Sitting Balinese priest with mudra
1930-1940
Great example of the great woodcarving skills of the Balinese. This magnificent carving of a sitting Bali priest was probably made by a simple rice farmer, who learned the skill from his father. Not many carvings show these complicated handpostures, called "mudra's". Tyra Kleen studied these handpostures and made many drawings of the different mudras and published them in the book ; "Mudras auf Bali" 1923. This particular mudra is not in the book, but no doubt does it represent a certain meaning in the Hindu religion. Pls click on the photo to get more info and photos.



Click for more info about this High Quality Art Deco Artwork
Dying deer struck by an arrow
1930-1940
Animal carving with great expression. The golden deer Patih Maritja has been struck by the arrow of Rama in the famous hindu epic Ramayana.



Click for more info about this High Quality Art Deco Artwork
Bird with prey
1930-1940
Bird sculpture with strong art deco features. The twisted neck is very difficult to execute.



Click for more info about this High Quality Art Deco Artwork
Birdcarving with one wing upwards and twisted neck.
1930-1940
Good well-detailed carving. Probably made in the animal-woodcarving-village Njuh Kuhning near by Ubud. Their favourite animal must have been the bird when you consider the big number of bird-carvings all around the world. Striking is the somewhat odd lightbrown varnish and the rich ornamented wings.





Some of our Art Deco artwork presented here
was shown in 2005-2006 during the exhibition:

"ART DECO OP BALI"

in the Nusantara museum in Delft - Holland.
Click to enlarge Click to enlarge Click to enlarge Some of our Art Deco artwork was also published
in the book accompanying the exhibition:

"ART DECO BEELDEN VAN BALI 1930-1970"


written by Frans Leidelmeier.

 
2 0 1 7  ¬©  T O B O  A R T