Indonesian (1926 - 2010)

Born in Purwakarta, Handrio (1926-2010) is best known in Indonesian art history for exploring the musicality of painting. The recognisability of his work lies in their organic, interweaving forms that exude a sense of dynamic rhythm. Once an adept cello player, he was sensitive to the connections between the visual and auditory, and used cleanly delineated lines, repetition, and saturated colour-fields to create a lyrical effect. This manner was distinct from other Yogyakarta artists whose styles leant towards realism, expressionism and decoration.

Handrio referred to his process as “constructing paintings”. To him, the term “constructing” was more appropriate than “painting” because the latter connoted the growth of his creative process. Instead, he believed that line and colour should represent themselves. Accordingly, Handrio did not want his work to overwhelm the viewer. As opposed to creating a “shock factor”, his method focused on building an equilibrium between art and the audience. With interacting visual elements that support one another, his works hint at utopian realities founded upon the orderliness of geometry.

Handrio began studying painting under Basoeki Abdullah (1915-1993). During the Japanese Occupation, he also studied under S. Sudjojono and Agus Djaya at Keimin Bunka Shidoso (Institute for People’s Education and Cultural Guidance) and Putera (Centre of People’s Power) in Jakarta. Having spent his early artistic years exploring realism and surrealism, Handrio gradually grew an affinity to geometric abstraction in the 1950s. His artistic ability was demonstrated by his membership in the selection committee for the third Jogja Biennale in 1993.
A portrait of the Indonesian artist, Handrio


1926 Born in Purwakarta, Indonesia
c.1940 Graduates from Hollandsch-Inlandsche School (HIS)
c.1943 Studies painting at Keimin Bunka Shidoso (Institute for People’s Education and Cultural Guidance), Jakarta, Indonesia
Studies painting at Putera (Centre of People’s Power), Jakarta, Indonesia
1950 Begins learning abstract painting
1952 Moves to Yogyakarta
1980 Shifts to pure abstract painting style
1993 Joins the selection committee for the third Jogja Biennale
2010 Passes away

1989 Solo Show, Cemeti Art House, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
1987 Exhibition of Paintings, Taman Ismail Marzuki (TIM), Jakarta, Indonesia
1982 Exhibition of Paintings, TIM, Jakarta, Indonesia

2019 LINE TRANSITION, National Collection of Fine Arts, Jakarta, Indonesia
2018 Art Taipei, Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition Hall, Taipei, Taiwan
2006 Jakarta Biennale, Jakarta, Indonesia
Cubism in Asia: Unbounded Dialogues, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore
2004 Merahnya Merah (How Red is Red), Nadi Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia
1995 The International Conference on Cultural Tourism, Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM), Yogyakarta, Indonesia
1991 Painting Exhibition, Kesetiaan Seni Rupa Indonesia (KSRI), Yogyakarta, Indonesia
1989 Biennale VIII, TIM, Jakarta, Indonesia
1988 Joint Painting Exhibition, Bentara Budaya, Jalan Palmerah Selatan, Jakarta, Indonesia
Biennale VI Seni Lukis Indonesia, TIM, Jakarta, Indonesia
1987 Jakarta Biennale VII, TIM, Jakarta, Indonesia
1984 Pameran Empat Pelukis di Yogya (Exhibition of Four Painters in Yogya), UGM, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
1976 Pameran Besar Senilukis Indonesia Ke II (Indonesia’s Second Largest Painting Exhibition), TIM, Jakarta, Indonesia
1952 Group Exhibition, Medan, Indonesia