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Affandi (1907–1990) By Sambrani, Chaitanya

DOI: 10.4324/9781135000356-REM2089-1
Published: 22/10/2019
Retrieved: 23 April 2024, from


Affandi was an Indonesian modernist artist best known for his expressive paintings depicting scenes of everyday life and his own emotional states, as well as for his portraits of family members. He is known as the first Indonesian modernist to gain international recognition. Affandi was largely self-taught, and while his work reflects strong affiliations with post-impressionist and expressionist tendencies in European art, there is no evidence to show that he studied these systematically. Affandi is best known for his technique of applying paint on to canvas directly from the tube and for working with his fingers instead of brushes, resulting in thick impasto and energetic gestural work that was well-suited to realising his goals of conveying emotionally charged images. During the period of revolutionary resistance against the Dutch (1945–9) Affandi was active in painting posters encouraging armed rebellion. He was a founding member of several Indonesian artists’ organisations including Gabungan Pelukis Indonesia [Union of Indonesian Painters], Jakarta, 1948. Throughout a career that spanned the late Colonial and Postcolonial periods in Indonesian history, Affandi was officially recognised and celebrated on several occasions by state and academic agencies in Indonesia, India, the USA, Singapore and Japan. His final home and studio in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, is now the Museum Affandi, and features a display of his works as well as several eccentric architectural, design and landscape aspects.

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Sambrani, Chaitanya. Affandi (1907–1990). Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism, Taylor and Francis,

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