Soedarsono, Srihadi (1931–) By Clark, Christine
Srihadi Soedarsono is a celebrated painter and prominent figure in the development of Indonesian art, well known for his series of dancing girls and themed meditations on the Borobudur and seascapes. Born 1931 in Solo (Surakarta), into a family of batik makers, traditional Javanese culture was important to Srihadi and from an early age has remained a central influence in his art practice. In the 1940s he participated in the struggle for Indonesian independence and was an active member of Seniman Indonesia Muda (SIM – Young Indonesian artists), receiving at this time art instruction from local artists, most notably S. Soedjojono and Affandi. After graduating from the Bandung Institute of Technology in 1959, Srihadi obtained a Master’s degree at Ohio University in 1962 where he was influenced by Abstract Expressionist and action paintings. In the 1970s his work addressed socio-political themes before returning to earlier figurative and representative investigations. Srihadi is acclaimed for paintings that explore the ‘cosmic horizon’, rendered using minimal brushstrokes and pure color and concerned with finding natural balance and the primacy of line. Remaining an active lecturer at Indonesian institutions throughout his long career, Srihadi has been the recipient of numerous prestigious national and international awards and honors with his work presented in many significant exhibitions.