KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysian art aficionados now only need to travel as far as the Petronas Gallery in KLCC to view the work of renowned contemporary artists like Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso.
The gallery is now showcasing the work of 76 prolific contemporary artists from the 19th century in an exhibition named “MAESTRO-World’s Modern and Contemporary Art Masters”.
Featured in the exhibition is a collection of 200 key graphical works from the Arte 10 collection. These works were done by art maestros who were not only noted for their contribution as graphical artists, but also for their widespread role as painters and sculptors as well.
The Petronas Vice-President of Group Operational Excellence Datuk Ir Kamarudin Zakaria said that the collection featured priceless works of art that were desired by galleries and museums around the world.
“These are limited edition contemporary artworks that are unrivalled in its uniqueness. More importantly, it provides the opportunity for art lovers to delve deeper into these rare works that have never before been showcased in Malaysia,” he said.
In the repertoire are American post-war artists such as Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol, Latin-American artists such Roberto Matta and Wifredo Lam as well as Spanish artists such as Joan Miro and Eduardo Chilida.
MAESTRO features 200 artworks using various printing techniques as well as 22 objects by the artists.
The exhibition exposes a glimpse of the art world from the period of symbolism and impressionism, up until the modern era.
All artworks are signed and numbered by the respective artists. Artworks prior to 1900 are excluded from the exhibition as the practice of signing was not yet well established then. However, many of the artworks were sealed by the highly respectable French graphical editor and dealer, Henri M. Petiet.
Kamarudin said the exhibition was an initiative to foster international cultural exchange, art appreciation and intercultural relationship between Malaysia and Spain.
CONTINUALLY RELEVANT ARTWORKS
Among Picasso’s works that are on display are ‘The Dance’, ‘The Water Bowl’ and ‘Saltimbanque At Rest’. The latter was produced using the drypoint technique in black and white.
Among his works in colour on display that showcased the lifestyle of the people during the era of its creation is ‘The Man With the Vine Arbor’.
Another attention grabbing artwork is ‘The Long Walk’ by Julio Le Parc. The serigraph was produced in 1975.
Francisco Masson’s artworks ‘Riders’ and ‘Greyhound’ produced using etching and aquatint techniques are also on display.
“Good art is still relevant,” opined Azad Daniel Haris, the owner of the art gallery Project Room Fine Arts Sdn Bhd.
He said an opportunity to view the masterpieces of such renowned artists, locally, was rare.
In addition to being able to view the works live, the prints on display enabled visitors to better understand the community, culture and era during which the artworks were produced.
“It can also be a benchmark for local artists,” said Azad Daniel, whose gallery is in the Great Eastern Mall at Jalan Ampang.
A culinary expert and jury member for MasterChef Malaysia, Chef Adu Amran Hassan also visited the exhibition and was duly impressed by the artworks on display.
He dismissed the idea that an exhibition as such was only for art elitists and believed it would appeal to a broad range of age.
“There is a number of ways to enjoy the artwork. Some look at the work in itself, some look at the techniques used. I, myself, like to imagine what the artist was going through while producing the artwork,” he said.
In addition to cooking and decorating, Adu Amran’s other passion is painting, and that prompted his visit to the gallery.
He said he found titled artworks easier to understand and appealing, and viewed the untitled ones as those created without an objective in sight.
“To me, it is like a dish without a name. You could call it anything you liked,” he joked.
The exhibition is on from Jan 13 to March 22. The gallery is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10.00am to 8.00pm. Entrance is free. – Bernama