Painting : Limitedness (Lucia Hartini - 1984)

Title : "Limitedness"

Artist : Lucia Hartini

Year : 1984

Poster colour on glass.

Dimension : 130 x 160 cm.

In the painting “Keterbatasan” (1984), Lucia Hartini expresses an odd visual phenomenon in her surrealist style. The whirlpool in the sea, and the waves spilling over the rocks are treated with such detail in this work. An array of dark clouds hanging low near the horizon are dramatised by streaks of orange. In her paintings Lucia often juxtaposes odd figures beyond the logic of time and space. This visual phenomenon elicits a sense of the absurd of the realm presented.

Surrealism was the prevailing style among many Yogyakarta painters in 1980’s, including Lucia. Such works usually contain ironies of personal and social life with an expression of personal symbols originating from Javanese and other idioms.

In this painting, the whirlpool can be understood as swirling psychological problems that ultimately overwhelm her. This symbolisation, aside from reflecting the artist’s problems, also has universal value. From the perspective of psychoanalisys, the process of painting is a sublimation of the subconscious energy. The visual signs that appear are but a fragment of a multitude of problems repressed in the subconscious.