Well Listed Malaysian Artist
I have up for auction an incredibly well done watercolor painting by A.B. Ibrahim. I bought this painting at a wealthy Minneapolis Estate about a year ago. There were two. I have the other one listed separately. The painting itself measures 15" x 11". The frame is about 19" x 14.5". The painting is in excellent condition. The board it is mounted on has some foxing. The period frame is in very good condition. There is a minor crease in the watercolor upper left corner as shown in photo. There is no date on the painting but has an excellent signature. I believe this is an early work by this prominent artist. Below is some information about the artist.
A.B. Ibrahim was born in Alor Star in 1925. To the best of our knowledge he was the first full-time Malay artist who depended entirely on sale of his paintings as a means of living. He was a self-taught artist from an artistically inclined family. His brothers, Hassan, Kechik (Chik), Ahmad as well Yusuf Bakar produced watercolours of notable quality. One of his daughters, Faridah, is a MARA-trained graphic artist.
He was one of the founder members of Persatuan Pelukis Melayu, Malaya (Society of Malay Artist, Malaya) which was based in Singapore. Other than Ibrahim, the North was also represented by Abdullah Ariff, Saidin Yahya and Idris Haji Sallam. The small but active group of artist friends used to meet informally in Alor Star under the leadership of Ibrahim. He was well-known to the first generation of Kedah artist who regarded him as a father figure.
His main medium of work was watercolour in which he excelled in creating landscapes of uncommon nostalgic moods. Yet, he succeeded equally well in his rare oil paintings as shown in the "Mallaca Gate", a permanent collection of the National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur.
Although Ibrahim was based in Alor Star, most of his time was spent in Penang where almost all his paintings were sold at shop-fronts along Penang Road and Chulia Street. His paintings depicted Penang landscapes. targetted at the tourist market.
He held a one-man show at Dewan Besar Perniagaan Cina, Ipoh in 1962. Between 1945 to 1970, he participated in various exhibitions organised by Persatuan Pelukis Melayu and Penang Trade Fair, 1948. He was invited to the 4th Malaysian Artists Exhibition, held at the British Council, Kuala Lumpur,1958.
Besides two paintings collected by the National Art Gallery, his works are also represented at the Kedah State Gallery, and the Royal Museum, Alor Star. His paintings were featured in various local publications, such as Mastika (1957, 1959, 1967, 1969) and Dewan Sastera ( 1971, 1972). He died in 1977.