Painter Laureate

The artistic journey of Indonesia's great painter, Sindoutomo Sudjojono (1913-1986), was as complex as his favorite subject — Indonesia's independence and development. During his early career, Sudjojono eschewed the prevailing style of painting because its naturalistic, European conventions smacked to him of colonialism. Instead, he took up socialist realism, and put his brush at the service of the country's communist party. By the 1960s, he had switched from propaganda to Pop Art. Toward the end of his life — disenchanted by Suharto's right-wing regime and shunned by leftist artists who felt he had betrayed them — Sudjojono turned inward,...

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