In 1949, Affandi was granted a scholarship from the Indian government to travel through the country to paint and exhibit his artworks. This was the beginning of a pivotal five year journey that continued on to Europe, granting Affandi an opportunity to advance his painting technique and establish himself as an artist of growing international renown. Affandi’s travels were greatly beneficial to his imagination and creative maturation which reached their culmination in him being the first Indonesian artist to exhibit at the Venice Biennale in 1954.
This present lot depicts a mountain landscape. Affandi’s highly charged and lively impasto recalls the paintings of the great post-impressionist painter Van Gogh. However, as Newton affirms, the act of ‘reminding’ itself should not be viewed as problematic as it does not necessarily mean that Affandi was influenced by Van Gogh or was trying to emulate him. Rather, it suggests that both artists embarked from the same point of humanity and vitality.
Affandi and Van Gogh both seem to be enraptured by and share a sensibility towards the inherent spirituality that dwells in nature. In this painting, Affandi employs thick, visceral paint to depict the swirling contours of the landscape. The lines appear to possess their own dilating rhythm, causing the entire painting to visibly pulse with energy in a choreography of writhing forms and bold flourishes of colour. There is a great expressiveness and intensity communicated through the artist’s painting achieved by his highly distinctive technique of squeezing oil paint directly from the tubes onto raw canvas and proceeding to disperse the pigments with his bare hands. Such a technique eradicated the need for a paintbrush, hence opening the floodgates to the entranced artist’s emotions and giving them the most direct and immediate visual expression on the canvas as they surface. Furthermore, Affandi’s squeezing technique allowed his work to be conceived primarily of line, rendering his subject matter with a vigour and dynamism that was to become one of his greatest hallmarks. The coinage of the term ‘new expressionism’ that was applied exclusively to Affandi attests to his status as an extraordinary artistic genius.
 Sardjana Sumichan, Affandi Volume III, Bina Lestari Budaya Foundation Jakarta and Singapore Art Museum, 2007, p 139
 Ibid p 10
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