News : Farewell Arby Samah ‘The Maestro of Abstract’

“Once Abstract, Always Abstract” — Arby Samah

Working passion of Arby Samah was never receded despite his old age. Born in West Sumatera on 1 April 1933, Arby had the ability to create abstract sculptures. He was also consistent in making artwork. For him, ‘once abstract, always abstract’. Arby was recorded as the first Indonesian abstract sculptor, also known as an Indonesian modern sculpture tower.

Not only sculpture, Arby also learn painting and sketching to Hendra Gunawan, while studying at the Academy of Fine Art Yogyakarta (ASRI Yogyakarta). His style in painting wass often praised by Indonesian art figures such as Sudarso, Widayat, Trubus, and Hendra Gunawan. His artistic career also shone brightly. He then held a solo exhibition in Lontar Gallery, Duta Fine Art Foundation, and the National Gallery of Indonesia. One of his painting became a collection of the National Gallery of Indonesia entitled Minangkabau, oil on canvas, 52 x 61 cm, 1959. 

Besides his activity in art, Arby also contributed to the world of fine art education. He became a headmaster of High School of Fine Art (SMSR) in Padang until 1933. His devotion continued and Arby actively supported the establishment of art center in West Sumatera which now becomes Padang Cultural Center. For Arby, an art center is important for developing the art souls as well as the effort to preserve local culture in Padang.  

Arby passed away on 6 September 2017. But, his spirit in creating artwork will keep on alive and inspire Indonesian art world. Farewell, Arby Samah