Art from Bali and Indonesia
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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.




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the golden deer struck by Rama's arrow, a scene from the Hindu epic Ramayana. Pls click on the photo for more info&photos.
1930-1940
The most attractive feature is the elongulated body of the deer. A way of practice in the woodcarving of the 1930s on Bali.


New
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Woodsculpture of an archer. Made on Bali before 1940.
1930-1935
Stylistic archer who points his arrow upwards, which enhances the expression of the statue. Solid and detailed carving technique from the 1930-1935 period. We selected this time frame because an almost identical Archer is part of the Helene Potjewijd collection in Wien. See the last photo. Helene Potjewijd was the manager of a souvenir shop in the Bali Hotel in the 1930s. In 1938 she returned to Austra bringing with her a collection of Balinese statues. Please click on the photo for more photos&info.



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Balinese high priest with container for holy water
1930-1940
Excellent carving from the Pita Maha period(1928-1945). There are beautiful details, like the open-carved container and much detail to the fingers and feet of the priest. The elegant 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.



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Wooden statue of a Balinese woman lookling in the mirror.
1930-1940
Sharp lines and great optical form choices are the features of this very small carving (19 cm!), resulting in a beautiful artwork. Pls click on the photo for more info&photos.



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Sitting woman with mirror. Woodcarving from Bali, prewar
1930-1940
Impressive tall statue from the Pita Maha period(1928-1942). Striking elements are the beautiful deco lines that run downwards, and the vegetation-leave-motif on her head scarf. Copying is a normal and accepted thing in Bali, but for a copy you need the orginal. For all the ladies with mirror-carvings, this is probably the preferred original. Each photo can be enlarged two times by clicking on the image.



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Mother and child. Wooden sculpture made on Bali.
1920-1930
Exceptional long carving (very rare!). Carved in Art Deco, a style that just became known on Bali at that time. A similar carving was exhibited during the exhibition "ART DECO ON BALI" in the Nusantara Museum in Delft (Holland) in 2005. It was published in a book accompanying the exhibition "Art Deco Sculptures From Bali 1930-1970" written by Frans Leidelmeier (page 69). Pls click on each photo to see two larger images.



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Balinese woman with 3 birds. Wooden sculpture made on Bali in the thirties
1920-1930
Extremely long sculpture (very rare!) in a time that it became popular for balinese artists to create longer sculptures. Later a broader base was made to make the sculpture more stable. This statue must have been one of the first in his kind. Later it has been copied many times in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Pls click on each photo to see two larger images.



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Woodcarving sleeping woman Pita Maha
1930-1940
Maginficent grotesque carving of a sleeping lady. This panel was made by a mastercarver in the 1930s Standing out 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.



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Bird with prey
1930-1940
Bird sculpture with strong art deco features. The twisted neck is very difficult to execute.





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.

 
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