BOOK REVIEW: LEMPAD OF BALI Siobhan Campbell – TAASA Review March 2015


This article was originally found in the March 2015 edition of TAASA Review (Volume 24, Issue 1, Page 26).

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Lempad of Bali: The Illuminating Line Bruce W.

Carpenter, John Darling, Hedi Hinzler, Kaja McGowan, Adrian Vickers & Soemantri Widagdo Editions Didier Millet, Museum Puri Lukisan, Singpore, 2014 RRP US$200, hardcover, 424 pages c.600 illus. It is not unusual to read the biographies of acclaimed artists whose lives achieved seemingly legendary proportions.

Yet such a designation is far from redundant in the case of I Gusti Nyoman Lempad (18621978), the subject of this colossal publication, launched in conjunction with a major exhibition of the artist’s work at Puri Lukisan Museum in Ubud, Bali from September to November 2014. While the authors are conscious that his legendary status may have ‘blurred the line between fact and fiction’ (p.413), the annals of Balinese art history have accorded far more legendary status to the names of expatriate rather than local artists...