Painting : Cross (Bagong Kussudiardjo - 1974)

Title : "Cross"

Artist : Bagong Kussudiardjo

Year : 1974

Oil on canvas.

Dimension : 100 x 140 cms.

Bagong’s painting entitled “Salib” (1974) depicts two figures being crucified in a deformative manner. With an expressionist style, the gestures of the crucified bodies are built through the spontaneity of lines and heavy colours. As the background, a contrasting white and orange appears to represent light and space. This painting as a whole shows a dynamic movement, at the same time exudes a heavy tone. The visual marker reveals a sensitivity of the heart of the painter in appreciating the theme.

Bagong Kussudiardjo is a Yogyakarta painter who was at the avant garde of the personal lyrical expression. This idiom is an antithesis to the populist aesthetic paradigm that so strongly prevailed among many Yogyakaryta artists of those times, solidifying even in an ideology of revolution. Starting off with geometric objects, then abstraction and expressionism, he culminates his artistic journey in the style of pure abstraction. It is in this context of artistic development that Bagong was able to arrive at his identity, among others, in Christian religious idioms.

This painting will immediately take one’s imagination to the event of Christ’s crucifixion. The message communicated here is the virtue of suffering in such sacred dimension. Even though Bagong expresses a deep symbollic value, the emphasis is his personal appreciation and sensibility through the language of his visual abstraction. This sensibility is expected to invoke the impulse of viewers in appreciating the symbollism of suffering.