The Modernist Series #3: Nadi
: Art Agenda, JKT


Rusli (1916-2005) is one of the most distinctive Indonesian artists of his generation. His linework twirls, pulses and courses like a web of arteries and sets him apart from his contemporaries. Nadi describes the essential character of his linework across different mediums, be it oil, watercolour or ink.

The aim of The Modernist Series is to present new angles to appreciate the works of modern Indonesian artists, and this exhibition presents an opportunity to apprehend Rusli. He was the first amongst Indonesian artists to study in the exceptional nationalist educational movement in Santiniketan founded by Rabindranath Tagore. Between 1932 and 1938, he studied fine arts, sculpture and Eastern art philosophy in India. Back in Indonesia during the revolutionary period, he led the art scene as the head of Seniman Indonesia Muda (SIM) and a teacher at the Akademi Seni Rupa Indonesia (ASRI) in Yogyakarta.

Rusli was adept in both mediums of oil and watercolour. His especial
way of using deft brushstrokes to apply near-translucent layers of colours own a debt to watercolour. Consequently, his paintings exude gentleness while the rich vibrant colours imbue the canvas with life.

Installation Views