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The Lone Wolf The Art of Sudjana Kerton Catalogue, Honolulu Academy of Arts ©2006

The Lone Wolf
The Art of Sudjana Kerton
Catalogue, Honolulu Academy of Arts ©2006

The Lone Wolf

In 2006, Kerton held his first ever one-man show in the United States, at the Honolulu Academy of Arts (now Honolulu Museum of Art).  The Lone Wolf presents the art of Sudjana Kerton, one of modern Indonesia’s most famous painters. Kerton’s body of works includes drawings, graphic works, watercolours and oil paintings that represent the earliest form of postwar Indonesian art. He was an artist of a generation that was globally aware, politically active and intensely involved with aesthetic and formal questions. Today, Kerton is recognized as one of Indonesia’s most original and controversial artists.

Revolusi & Evolusi Sudjana Kerton The Revolution & Evolution of Sudjana Kerton Wright, Marianto, Soemantri ©1999

Revolusi & Evolusi Sudjana Kerton
The Revolution & Evolution of Sudjana Kerton
Wright, Marianto, Soemantri ©1999

The Revolution & Evolution of Sudjana Kerton

This book consists of the writings of Dr. Astri Wright, Ph.D., Dr. Dwi Marianto, and Dr. Hildawati Soemantri. These writers focused on the artistic character and the art world of Sudjana Kerton from different perspectives. Wright emphasized the formal and conceptual aspects of Kerton’s art work, Soemantri focused on Kerton’s position as an ‘almost forgotten’ artist in Bandung’s art world, and Marianto focused on Kerton as an artist who lived in two distinctly different worlds. It is Kerton’s historical documents and sketches, combined with the ‘living proof’ of his radiant paintings that tell stories of the past and offer a wealth of information for future writers of Indonesia’s art history. 

Nasionalisme dan Perubahannya: Refleksi Karya Sudjana Kerton Nationalism and its Transformation: Reflection on Works of Sudjana Kerton (Kerton family, multiple contributors) ©1996

Nasionalisme dan Perubahannya: Refleksi Karya Sudjana Kerton
Nationalism and its Transformation: Reflection on Works of Sudjana Kerton
(Kerton family, multiple contributors) ©1996

Nationalism and its Transformation: Reflection on Works of Sudjana Kerton

Sudjana Kerton was a Sundanese (West Java) painter who started his career during the Indonesian revolution (1945-1950) as a journalist-artist of the daily newspaper the ‘Patriot’. Kerton’s artistic talent and luck took him away from Indonesia and brought him to study and live overseas in the Netherlands and France and finally, for 25 years in the United States. Returning to Indonesia, Kerton brought a wealth of interesting artistic experiences sculpted from his life abroad. The recurring theme of nationalism and other social commentary in his works encourage the viewer to ask questions and create an ongoing dialogue about humanity’s future on a global level.

Tanah Airku My Country, Indonesia Paintings by S. Kerton, ©1990

Tanah Airku
My Country, Indonesia
Paintings by S. Kerton, ©1990

Tanah Airku
My Country, Indonesia

“In all my paintings, I show hard-working people who realize they don’t need to be rich to enjoy life…who still, in work or play, find joy in living, who have learned to live harmoniously with nature and their fellow man, to accept their daily life. As an Indonesian, I have tried to live my own life in tune with nature in order to achieve the peace and tranquility we call “Tentram” and I feel that this mystic communion with nature is the force in my artistic expression. To me, life and art are inseparable things. Basically, an artist should have a very strong imagination; if a painter doesn’t use one he might as well be a mechanic.”  

In the words of Sudjana Kerton, from Tanah Airku, My Country Indonesia.