Vladimir Griegorovich Tretchikoff (South African, 1913-2006) 'Wajang Dancer, Java'
Lot 41*
Vladimir Griegorovich Tretchikoff
(South African, 1913-2006)
'Wajang Dancer, Java'
Sold for £18,750 (US$ 29,404) inc. premium

Lot Details
Vladimir Griegorovich Tretchikoff (South African, 1913-2006)
'Wajang Dancer, Java'
oil on canvas
signed 'V. TRETCHIKOFF/ JAVA' (upper right); bears inscription 'WAJANG DANCER' (to stretcher verso)
78.7 x 73.7cm (31 x 29in).

Footnotes

  • Tretchikoff did not typically date the work he produced in Java. The present lot is no exception. However, it is likely that the picture was painted in late 1942 or early 1943. The artist had been arrested on arrival in Java, and was only released in June 1942. He then settled in Jakarta where he found work painting sets for wayang wong performances, a type of classical dance theatre indigenous to the region.

    The present lot depicts a male dancer participating in one of these performances. Originally derived from the Wayang Kulit or shadow puppet theater, the costumes worn by Wayang dancers are designed to cast distinctive silhouettes. The elaborate headdress of Tretchikoff's sitter exemplifies this.

    The Wajang Dancer paintings were first exhibited in South Africa in 1948-9. Although not popular with critics, the exoticism of these works held a great appeal for the general public.

    Bibliography
    B. Gorelik, Incredible Tretchikoff: Life of an Artist and Adventurer, (London, 2013), pp.83-90.
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Contacts
  1. Elizabeth Callinicos
    Specialist - South African Art
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, United Kingdom W1S 1SR
    Work +44 20 7468 8216
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