City of Bawal
Brisa Amir, Datu Arellano, Kristoffer Ardena, Jan Balquin, Lesley-Anne Cao, Miggy Inumerable, Czar Kristoff, Celine Lee, Cris Mora, Indy Paredes, Mark Salvatus, Jel Suarez, & Jose Tong
No jaywalking. No trespassing. No littering. No loitering. No loading and unloading. No parking. No U-turn. No texting and driving. No drinking and driving. No entry. No guns allowed. No smoking. No illegal vendors. Not for hire. Post no bill. Do not blow horn. Obey speed limit. Do not delay. Obey god. Slow down. Bite me. Gago, call me!
How to grasp the everyday minutiae of the city of bawal?
Someone discarded a slipper on the street. Did she or he return home on one bare foot? What will happen to the discarded slipper? A pothole is so wide and deep, can it swallow an automobile or dead bodies whole? An ambulance is stuck in traffic, who prays for the passenger-patient to reach the hospital in time? Why do security guards yield shotguns? Do they ever have to draw their weapons? Why does it smell like piss right next to the bawal umihi signage? Who is the ‘we’ in the neon 'in god we trust'? Who writes of revolt and revolution on the city’s walls? Who reads these messages? How to respond?
The city of bawal – the seemingly trivial and futile, the fragments… Can bawal be made to stutter? And open bawal up to a different realm, an othered realm of perplexing possibilities. This becoming, stuttering becoming, is set in the messy, mesmerizing, chaotic, cacophonic city – Metro Manila that is.
City of Bawal
Lou Lim, Issay Rodriguez, Gary Ross Pastrana, & Maria Taniguchi
SILVERLENS is pleased to bring together four contemporary voices from the Philippines. Young and emerging artists Lou Lim and Issay Rodriguez alongside established and respected artists Gary-Ross Pastrana and Maria Taniguchi in Primary Drives.
All four artists have exhibited prior at SILVERLENS. In 2017, Lim exhibited Horizon and Rodriguez exhibited “…”, both their first solo exhibitions in the gallery. Having worked with SILVERLENS for over a decade, this will be Gary-Ross Pastrana’s 11th, and Taniguchi’s 10th, exhibitions in the gallery.
For the exhibition Primary Drives, three objects designated as columns exist in addition to the artists’ own works. Initially thought of as quasi-architecture, and not, strictly speaking, as collaborative work, these function simply as physical manifestations of a starting point. Anti-void, and inversely supra-void, the columns release the pressure to fill space, or to seek direct associations between the works in the exhibition. Thus, they can exist as architectural and utilitarian objects at full scale, made of wood, metal, cement. They can exist as traces in pencil, paint, sticker, wire; or as outlines in string, or other gossamer, light material fitted on an armature, fragile, so that only intentions occupy space. The columns, in the end, signal the possibility of an exhibition space as a discursive entity alongside its usual function in the display and framing of artwork. And as such, do more than their function to prop up structures and spaces. The phenomenology of these columns, of which the final form is undecided until the making of the exhibition itself, is what contextualises the four artist’s works.
Lou Lim focuses her investigations into the processes of painting and sculpture. Adopting the method of printmaking, the surface of a painting of a cloud-filled sky is cast with silicone, its result used as a matrix to imprint a copy of the painting’s strokes onto a new surface. From a section of sky seen, photographed, painted, cast, and printed, these series of transformations and their outcomes draw focus towards the activity of expressing the momentary and the immaterial in relation to materiality and the notions of permanence.
Gary-Ross Pastrana’s sculptural, object-based work are, for the artist, ‘realised’ prototypes - half artwork, half device for working out the problems and intricacies of new ideas. Having developed a rigorous practice in which his concerns often are dealt with in artistic projects that combine the quotidian and conceptual, in this new series of works the artist seeks to reorient himself in order to address new visibilities, in particular the various visual phenomena of digital information.
Issay Rodriguez’s series of cyanotypes and negatives depict the transience of memory despite the existence of photography. Images salvaged from old photographs are arranged along a wall, separated by gaps that the artist characterises as lost time. These abstract approaches to photography not only highlight the tactility of an image in the digital age but also serves as the artist’s own take on Ãoebermalte Fotografien' (Gerhard Richter’s “that’s a mouthful”) where painting and photography meet.
Maria Taniguchi’s quasi-abstract paintings propose an expanded idea of the self within an expanded notion of painting. Process-oriented and time-based, the paintings possess subtle architectural and sculptural qualities. In the work, accumulative, serial labor is what facilitates the entanglement of body and object over time. Outlined in pencil, the rectangular cells are individually painted. Viewed closely, the cells look decidedly non-mechanical, with distinct tonal variations and irregularities.
Primary Drives is on view from 27 April to 25 May 2019 at SILVERLENS, 2263 Don Chino Roces Avenue Extension, Makati City. For inquiries on this show, contact email@example.com or +63917 587 4011.
New shows by Valeria Cavestany (Random Crap From Here and There), Neil Pasilan (Personal) and Ella Mendoza (Packets of Probability)!
Exhibitions open at Artinformal Makati on April 27 2019, 6pm. Exhibition will run until May 25 2019.
A Mubble in a Pubble
A spirit of boundless play permeates Yasmin Sison’s A Mubble in a Pubble, brought by a wide variety of works that seem to have spilled out of a child’s toy box.
With a takeoff from Ruth Krauss’ classic 1950s children’s book I Can Fly, where a young girl asserts how she can be anything she wants to be: “A cow can moo, I can too…Pitter pitter pat, I can walk like a cat,” Sison allows others to participate in her process with dialogues of freedom and looseness; color and form; softness and hardness; and abstraction and figuration, made tactile by collages meant to be finished by viewers, as well as movable paintings and sculptures.
Together with shaped objects, fabric works, and paintings, Sison continues to cherish childlike wonder, and at the same time encourages her viewers to play alongside her, to fly with their imagination, to recapture that part of every person that only needs their intuition to overcome limitations.
– Koki Lxx
IN THE DARK
It is hard to tell where reality ends and illusion begins. Exploring the paths that connect our inner and outer sights, the exhibition records the transitions that take place during a specific biorhythmic setting. Within this zone, activities like automatic painting, meditating, forming new habits manifest. Exercises were made on translating something hard to translate such as an aura in painting, visual vibrations, and the awareness that a moment passes with every stroke. Projecting these visions is like going on a trip. Take a moment to reflect on the things that are not there physically. Make sure you are not echoing old tricks to get new results. Look for a link, a crack, a gap; look for that space where reality and illusion blends and separates.
Hemline: Unholy Duty
Sarah Geneblazo is a graduate of the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts, Major in Visual Communication, and is the current President of Neo Angono Artists Collective Inc. Her works narrate her personal experience with childhood trauma; a therapeutic art process towards healing. She was a finalist in the PLDT -DPC National Art Competition in 2010, and placed first in the Department of Agrarian Reform Mural Painting Contest in 2006 in Lipa City, Batangas, the prize of which helped her pay her tuition during her first year in UP Diliman. She has showcased her work abroad and in Art Fair Philippines 2016, as well as local art galleries Galerie Stephanie, Blanc Gallery, West Gallery and J Studio.
Time is the catalyst that allows art to come out of the labor that must be mustered to accomplish the task. Kat Grow presents her first solo exhibition “Terraforming Rituals” with works on paper and a sculptural installation, where she allows herself to become the conduit between the earth and art - a worker for a master that has watched since the dawn of mankind.
Grow graduated from the University of the Philippines majoring in Painting, and has joined group exhibitions at Kaida Contemporary, Artery Art Space, and Sining Kamalig, as well as displayed works at the NCCA Gallery and the Erehwon Art Center. A multidisciplinary artist, Kat has taught various workshops on charcoal, pastel, ink, watercolor, and oil painting, and has won the Sculpture Category Grand Prize Winner in the 46th Shell National Student Art Competition. In 2014 she was awarded the Artery artist-run space Mentorship Program.
Vinyl on Vinyl: Anachronic Resonance / Blunt Force Coma / A Glassful of Ocean / Contain You | Continue
Blunt Force Coma
A Glassful of Ocean
Poeleen Alvarez, Rene Bituin, Jobert Cruz, Teo Esguerra, Iori Espiritu, Jacob Lindo, Yana Ofrasio, Eva Yu
Contain You | Continue
ENTERING THE “ENCLOSURE” OF DINO GABITO
By Cid Reyes
One of the breakthrough concepts in modern sculpture is what was called “wrapping art,” a phrase describing the works of the Bulgarian-American artist Christo Javacheff, whose objects, or subjects, have been wrapped to conceal what was purportedly never to be seen, or indeed, previously seen, such as his monumentally ambitious projects of wrapping the Pont Neuf in Paris (1985) and the Reichstag in Berlin (1971-1995). But conceived even earlier, however, was a work by the Paris-based American artist Man Ray, who in 1920, presented “The Enigma of Isidore Ducasse,” a “sculpture” that concealed within the enveloping blanket a sewing machine.
In painting, the Chilean Claudio Bravo painted in Hyper-realist style images of wrapped objects, which by their shapes, were suggestive of framed paintings. For the viewer, the sheer absurdity of having to look and stare, wondering at what may be the object of concealment, would seem like an exercise in futility.
Tradition of Concealment
Filipino artist Dino Gabito follows this tradition of concealment, of keeping his subjects out-of-sight, veiled, draped over. His first solo show was appropriately titled “Shroud: Ides of March (2015).” A length of cloth often used for wrapping a lifeless body, a shroud is a word which, till today, retains its morbid emotional resonance, in particular, from the so-called “Shroud of Turin,” purportedly the burial cloth of Christ, a matter still considered debatable. The subtitle, however, was derived from the famous quote “Beware the Ides of March,” from Shakespeare’s tragedy “Julius Caesar.” It was uttered by a soothsayer, warning the Roman emperor that his life was in danger.
Intriguingly, the allusion to the death of Julius Caesar may really be instructive of Gabito’s obsessive and transfiguring attraction with the art of drapery, as witness the many paintings depicting the event, for instance, in the works of Vincenzo Camuccini, Jean Leon Jerome, Tancredi Scarpelli, and others. In these magisterial Old Master paintings, a splendid cascade of drapery is arrayed in the figures of the ancient Roman senators robed in a toga, draped over the shoulder and flowing loosely over the body.
“Assistant of Character”
The history of drapery in art dates back to the ancient Egyptian hieratic paintings, characterized by the unrelieved stiffness of lines. In contrast, Greek art, mainly sculpture, was richly resplendent in the use of drapery with their soft, windblown contours hugging and clinging to the body, by turns covering and revealing it. Down through the centuries, Leonardo da Vinci prodigiously did drawings and paintings of draped figures, as did Raphael, whose drapery was “the assistant of character,” and Michelangelo whose drapery “envelopes grandeur,” and Peter Paul Rubens, whose drapery was “the ponderous robe of pomp.” Even Cezanne could not resist to cradle his still lifes of apples within the fold of drapery, coaxed to remain in shape with the use of strategically placed coins and stones concealed underneath the fabric.
What distinguishes then this Filipino artist’s terrain of drapery? For Gabito, drapery is essentially an abstract image, a fertile and generous resource of illusion in the service of trompe l’oeil, the art of fooling the eye. His adapted practice, however, of draping the cloth over a hidden body inevitably engages a figurative and poignant reading of his images. The “Shroud” paintings of Gabito, for instance, were not of those belonging to the dead. Indeed, his concealed subjects were in fact suggestive of living, breathing humans.
What Gabito did not conceal, though, was that he was his own model for all the bodies. While the artist could have hired some “body” to physically occupy the space behind the cloak, it was more practical for the artist himself to “embody” a persona, as it were, not unlike the appearance – in this case, the “non-appearance” of a dramatis personae – who could convey through choreographic contortions and angularities of the visage, the torso, the limbs and extremities specific dark emotions such as grief, devastation, despair, and sorrow.
The whole scenario was then one of a triple projection of the artist as actor as director. With all its theatrical fervor, Gabito unwittingly stepped into the stagey realm of “The Theater of the Absurd,” where, for instance, an actor, abruptly out of character, would address the startled audience, thus breaking the illusion of “the fourth wall”
To be sure, Gabito could have withheld this bit of information from the audience so as to deepen the “mystery” of the apparition, but that, as we say, was the artist’s “call”. (It reminds us of National Artist BenCab’s disclosure that in his painting titled “Flag,” beneath the country’s rumpled tri-color was in fact his wife Caroline Kennedy. He needed, he said, to give volume and body to the Philippine flag.)
Succeeding shows titled “Ignore the Noise”(2015) and “Duplicity” (2017) were, by the evocative specificity of their titles, foregrounded paradoxical and psychological states, illuminations of human frailty and anxieties, revealed – or intensely felt, through the porous exhalation of the hidden figures, ghost-like, underneath the stultifying sheets.
In the current show titled “Enclosure,” now on view at the Blanc Gallery, Gabito has banished the human figure underneath – even the artist had to come up for air! What had replaced the figure instead is an object steeped in practicality: a serviceable, nondescript clothes hanger stand. Or indeed, a box – an unremarkable featureless vessel. Within and behind these languorously draped vessels is an enclosed space: unmoved and immovable air, a nesting alcove for the spirit. As a box is a three-dimensional object, so is Gabito’s painting an illusion of a three dimensional reality.
These recent works subscribe to the counsel of the American artist John French Sloan, a founder of the Ashcan School: “A piece of drapery is like a necktie, hot stuff to paint, and one of the easiest things for a painter to kid himself into thinking he can do. Don’t be fooled by the color. Go after the shape and character. Hew the focus together with colored tones.” Not only did Gabito drain his works of color, he lavished on these works the seductive tones of light, surface, and volume. Gabito courts a virtuosic display of skill, technique, and draftsmanship, eschewing such previous human concerns of presence and absence, identity and selfhood.
Working with patience and precision, he artfully hung his sheets of canvas – lifeless as material, yes, but lifelike in a way that they surrendered themselves to the real demands of weight, volume, and gravity. The modelling of light and shadow – stark blacks, white, and grays, and its infinite modulations – absorb and countervail each other, with an almost rhythmic alternation, undeterred by the formlessness of structure, being simply a relentless cascading of material, a continuously descending motion, undifferentiated by any pattern or detail, and a virtually unrelieved verticality. But even then, despite their frank materiality, and against all artist’s intention, they still seem to solicit spiritual qualities, incorporeal intensities, optical presences.
A Space for the Spirit
To be sure certain viewers habituated to figurative readings may insist on viewing these works as “crucifixion” figures, with their outstretched arms suggestive of the Christ hanging on the cross. But that is par for the course. What is concealed in enclosed space is perversely, curiously, what the human eye seeks to see.
In Dino Gabito’s “Enclosure”, we enter a realm in which within an enclosed space we may commune with the spirit.
Cid Reyes is the author of choice of National Artists Arturo, BenCab, J. Elizalde Navarro, and Napoleon V. Abueva. A prolific writer, he has written over thirty art books and numerous art reviews. He studied Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome, Italy, and Art History at the City Institute in London, England. Reyes received a Best in Art Criticism Award” from the Art Association of the Philippines (AAP). In 2015, he was recipient of the “Most Outstanding Kapampangan in the Arts” (MOKA) Award from the Province of Pampanga.
Dale Erispe’s fascination with nature and tales of its encounter with human presence across time takes him to another curious turn for his solo exhibition: the appropriation of a certain human behavior and translating this into an imagined ecology highlighting the formal and symbolic aspects of plant life. He still employs the usual elements he is most adept with in painting, such as greeneries contrasted with infrastructure or architecture, but this time deviates from visualizing the conflict between the natural and the man-‐made. He proposes instead an alternative reality where an anti-‐social condition seen in humans becomes a nurturing environment ideal to growth and blossoming in another life form.
The works, consisting of paintings and sculptural pieces, center on the image of a tree and explore the variety of forms emerging from its natural growth. He pictures the trees as being sited though in an odd environment—confined indoors or in small enclosures—a setting seemingly unfavorable to its survival. Yet, the trees thrive beautifully, each one displaying its lush, unique form. The inspiration comes from the Japanese concept of hikikomori, a state of extreme isolation from the outside world and social withdrawal. In this exhibition, such condition unexpectedly becomes conducive and allows life to flourish, a reversal which the artist uses to imply the importance to an individual of seeking solitude and refuge. The barrier or shield which shuts off the individual may in fact be a protective bubble from the harsh elements of social life, providing a recluse that brings out the best of one’s abilities and uniqueness.
Curated by Ruel Caasi and in collaboration with The Working Animals Art Projects
The art of John Marin has been taking a great deal of inspiration from Eastern spiritual and philosophical traditions, exploring the visual possibilities in the wealth of wisdom emerging from these traditions while incorporating his own interpretations of their resonance in contemporary society. His sustained engagement with these philosophies has also brought him to navigate a terrain dealing with issues of identity, the individual’s internal struggles, the burdens and baggage of existence, and seeking life’s purpose, among many others. In this solo exhibition, he converses with the Vedic concept maya, an illusion created by the magical powers of divinities which obstructs a human’s encounter with reality. Using this concept as a central theme, he presents a creative take on the age-‐old reflection about the illusory nature of human perception.
He comes up with portraits that emphasize the eyes as windows to the truth. In the compositions, the field surrounding the eyes is littered with distractions in the form of chaotic tangling of strokes, creating a blurry plane only cleared around the subject’s vision. The individuals in the portraits seem to be peeking through holes, their piercing gazes becoming invisible forces that penetrate the layer of mesh that renders them partially hidden from the viewer. With this intervention, the artist looks back to the association of the sense of sight to notions of truth, reality, illusion, and deceit, both in the visual and philosophical sense. Each portrait may speak about mediated forms of encountering and experiencing the world, be it through the handiwork of deities or spiritual forces, or through the lens of today’s technologies. These impediments from reality are bound to be transcended only by an extraordinary vision or a sharp, critical eye.
Curated by Ruel Caasi and in collaboration with The Working Animals Art Projects
More Than Meets The Eye
Mark Rene Nativo
Obet Tiano, Kris Jan Gavino, Edu Perreras, Eduardo Perreras, & Eric Perreras
West Gallery: Me, Cy and M. Chagall Down by the Schoolyard / Concrete Evidence / Real Eyes Realize Real Lies / A Class Without A Teacher
Me, Cy and M. Chagall Down by the Schoolyard
Real Eyes Realize Real Lies
JOSE GUILLERMO NAVAL:
A Class Without A Teacher
Exhibitions run until May 4 2019
Chati Coronel, Bernardo Pacquing, & Jose Santos III
Silverlens presents three important mid-career artists for the first show post-Art Fair Philippines: Bernardo Pacquing, Jose Santos III, and Chati Coronel. The choice of the timing this show after the art tsunami that is AFP is deliberate, a doorbell to audiences that exhibitions happen at the galleries all year round. A reminder that the magic of art happens at these long-form exhibitions when artists, like icebergs, simultaneously dazzle on the surface and reach deep into the abyss.
The show perhaps should be called ‘Infinite, Zero, Infinite’ pertaining to the middle number that zero stands for. On either side of it, are an infinity at the positive or at the negative. Mathematically, these are unconnected—zero is a number; infinity is a concept you can never reach.
For this show, Jose Santos III chose Bernardo Pacquing, Bernardo Pacquing chose Chati Coronel. Santos and Pacquing were first, and last, together shown at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Thirteen Artist Award in 2000, the millennium bug year. Coronel’s pieces float in and out of Pacquing’s consciousness, like spirit pieces reflected on months after their encounter. A conversation over studio visits among the artists revealed common interests in the beginnings of their processes, in the endless inquiries presented by specifics. Inquiries that can go either side into positive or negative: x-axis or y-axis. Or Z axis even!
Zero is the measure of nothing, of having no quality; infinity, we use to describe the process of doing something forever. Zero is a definite presence; infinity is an approach. Diagrammatically, their symbols are the same, an unbroken but connected line, but twists of each other.
The twist is what we are interested in. When does something become art? When do materials rise above their humble parts to become more than their sum? When Pacquing ratchets together hard and soft objects to form impossible but consummate unions; when Coronel paints layers on layers of color and text to reveal a final figure that was there from the beginning; and when Santos builds assemblages into cascading packets of the national psyche.
Philosophically, they present a way of working— a perpetual beginning, an indivisible source, the perfect unknown.
- Isa Lorenzo
SILVERLENS is pleased to announce Continuing Growth, Tessy Pettyjohn’s first solo exhibition in the gallery. A renowned pioneer of Philippine pottery, Pettyjohn’s ceramic works are often inspired by the flowers and plants in her garden.
Tessy’s exploration into nonfunctional clay forms began some years ago. Her first exhibitions were about architecturally inspired structures and were mostly simple geometric forms, which is no surprise given that she originally wanted to study architecture before she was convinced to take up painting at UP Fine Arts. Her interest in painting eventually evolved into a new direction: ceramics. For the past 40 years, she and her husband Jon have been pioneering the path for a whole generation of studio potters.
Beginning with her exhibit Cornucopia in 2001 she moved in a new direction. During a snorkeling experience in Palawan she was struck by the diversity and complexity of life underwater -- not just sheer beauty and color but also by the repetitive patterns and structure growing out of the corals, rocks, and sea floor. In the following years she studied and absorbed natural form from other sources such as cacti, succulents, flowers, and grasses. This produced 3 consecutive solo exhibitions: Cornucopia, My Garden, and Aianthous. In all of these exhibitions growth and pattern were her main concern.
Pettyjohn’s choice materials are stoneware and porcelain. These clays, often favored by modern potters, require high temperature firing and produce an amazing range of colors and textures, not unlike those found in nature. They can convey both the biological (such as cacti and coral), and geological (stones and landscape), as stoneware is coarse and earthy, and porcelain fine and colorful. They are opposites in a way.
The common thread in all these exhibits, apart from pattern and color, was the way the structures appeared or blossomed out of another simpler form like a stem or a vase or sometimes the cover of a jar. She was still interested in the vestiges of function; however, it was the contrast that seemed to appeal. Complex form and color appearing from plain lifeless surfaces and finding a sort of niche; porcelain appearing out of stoneware.
For Continuing Growth, she has stepped a little further beyond the progression and has moved away from the vases; the growths appear out of simpler forms that could be biological, geological, or even man-made, as though the vegetation begins to appear in the detritus of an abandoned world. “Life will find a way” as the mathematician Ian Malcolm said in Jurassic Park. The patterns are now moving up the wall. Although the artist says this might be the last show in the series it will be interesting to see if she moves even further away down the road to abstraction in coming shows.
- Jon Pettyjohn
ART FAIR PHILIPPINES 2019
22-24 February | 10am - 9pm
The Link, Ayala Center, Makati
Founded in 2013, Art Fair Philippines is the premier platform for exhibiting and selling the best in modern and contemporary Philippine visual art. The fair aims to mirror the vibrant local art scene and continue to generate support for Filipino art practitioners. Set in an alternative urban venue, Art Fair Philippines makes art accessible to enthusiasts and to those who want to discover one of Southeast Asia’s most exciting art landscapes.
Philippine Art Events, Inc. oversees the management of Art Fair Philippines.
The event is co-presented by Ayala Land, Bank of the Philippine Islands, Globe Platinum, and Julius Baer.
Special Events | A Mini Exhibit and Pop-up by Luis Lopa
Feb 20, 5PM - 10PM | Don Carlos Palanca Street Legaspi Village, Makati
Celebrate the best in Philippine contemporary art for 10 days with our partners all around the city!
10 DAYS OF ART
Feb 15 - 24, 2019
Exhibition Opening | Juxta: Position, The Aesthetics of Reduction
Asian Art: Future, 1335MABINI
Feb 16 - Mar 2, 4PM | 1335 Mabini Karrivin Plaza, Chino Roces Ave. Extension, Makati City
Celebrate the best in Philippine contemporary art for 10 days with our partners all around the city!
10 DAYS OF ART
Feb 15 - 24, 2019
Galerie Joaquin showcases the abstract masterpieces with works by Raul Isidro, Ombok Villamor, Aner Sebastian, Fitz Herrera, Marco Coching, Milmar Onal, Marge Organo, Perfecto Palero, Jay Ragma, Caress Banson, Kenneth John Montegrande, and Gary Custodio. Neo-Conceptualism 2019 will open with an Artist Reception on Wednesday, January 16 at 6PM.
The gallery is located on the 2nd Level of Phase 2, UP Town Center, Katipunan Ave, Diliman, Quezon City. For inquiries, contact Galerie Joaquin at (+63)2 247 1109 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Exhibit runs until January 25, 2019.
National Artist for painting Jerry Elizalde Navarro may not have the same recall now as many of his peers, like Bencab, Ang Kiukok, Jose Joya, Fernando Amorsolo, or Vicente Manansala, who, by their ubiquitous presence and prominence in the auction scene over the past decade, remain in the public consciousness. Instead, he occupies a more quiet place; mythic still, because of his prodigious output which are well-placed in private collections and museums, but rather impalpable to the general public, particularly the younger set of art collectors and connoisseurs. Yet this was not always the case. Navarro, in his lifetime, explored and excelled in various art fields. An elegant writer and poet, sculptor, graphic designer, and advertising maverick, he represented the Philippines in many international biennales for sculpture (Sao Paulo 1967, 1970,1972), and graphic design (Brno 1974, 1978) and participated in designing the Philippine pavilions in various world fairs and expos (1964 New York World Fair, 1975 Ocean Expo Japan, 1977 International Tokyo Trade Fair, 1979 Hamburg Trade Fair). His interdisciplinary practice; together with his wanderlust which landed him various grants, teaching positions, and exhibitions in Australia, the USA, Japan, and Indonesia; have made his works among the most elegant, cosmopolitan, and sophisticated among the Philippine artists of his time, vaulting his reputation as an artist, and garnering him the National Artist Award in 1999.
Galerie Stephanie, in its pursuit to provide excellent artists, presents “In Private: Jerry Elizalde Navarro“ an intimate exhibition which features thirteen works on paper composed of two collages, eight graphic works and illustrations, and four en plein air drawings; to provide an insight to the creative process of the genius that is Jerry Elizalde Navarro, and make him more accessible to the general public. In the various works which preoccupied the artist in his private time, we see how he mastered line, color, and composition, and gain insight into the themes and subjects which tickled his imagination.
Notes by Ricky Francisco
A Public Collection of the Hidden but Familiar
Accidental Intersections of Aesthetics and the Everyday
CZAR KRISTOFF/Laguna Daily
MARK SALVATUS/Load Na Dito
Tropikalye exists to document overlooked and underrepresented Filipino cultures of the present day. These cultures are everything in between the realms of the indigenous and the socio-economic elite - a speculated post-folk gray area that evolved from a more homogenous and rural folk culture. Through its gathering and presentation of personal observations made about the community by the community, vernacular wisdom is not lost to the wind.
From a digital space, the Tropikalye online index is extended to a physical one through A Public Collection of the Hidden but Familiar. With the exhibition format’s narrative capacities, enhanced by the co-presence of object and visitor, a new curiosity about creativity in the margins of society is anticipated. Recognizing the potential contributions to wider cultural development, the project’s goal is to introduce ‘hidden but familiar’ ways of life into mainstream consciousness.
In its first staging, A Public Collection features work by Filipino artists taking cues from the vernacular landscape, providing an initial survey of what it means to live in tropical and postcolonial conditions.
Receptions starts at 6 pm, with music by DMAPS, ALYAS MORGUS and JO PARADIS!
NOIR, an exhibition of vintage monochromatic paintings by celebrated painter, printmaker, photographer, and textile designer Juvenal Sansó, will be on view at #GalerieStephanie from January 19 to 31, 2019.
It is in these acrylic works on paper that the technical mastery of Sansó is displayed with unabashed bravado. With no place to hide, the broad, energetic strokes mingle with the meticulous, intricate details; negative space balanced harmoniously between.
Do not miss this collection of 26 poetic and meditative black and white paintings on paper.
17 January, Thursday, 6PM
BEEJAY ESBER, DON DJERASSI DALMACIO, DARREL BALLESTEROS
Moments of Silence
maybe i'll tell you sometime
Attain Complete Emptiness
Exhibitions run until February 16 2019
Ongoing Exhibition | Moments of Silence by Veronica Peralejo
Jan 17 - Feb 16 | Gallery 2, 48 West Avenue Quezon City
Celebrate the best in Philippine contemporary art for 10 days with our partners all around the city!
10 DAYS OF ART
Feb 15 - 24, 2019
Vermont Coronel and Trek Valdizno’s works are on view at Galleria Duemila from Jan 15 to Feb 28, 2019. See the two monumental works at their magnanimity.
For more information, you may contact us at 831-9990 or 833-9815, or visit our website at www.galleriaduemila.com and follow us on our social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram): @galleriaduemila
The Drawing Room is proud to present
Portly Filipino ladyboys with miraculously small waists parade around the cobblestone streets of Brussels. They appropriate the colors and motifs of the paintings on the design of their outfits and accessories and perform fake voodoo rituals using symbolic objects that reference icons often depicted in contemporary Philippine paintings.
Posers and flirts they are, but not lazy bums
Opening 6pm, Saturday January 12
Exhibit runs from January 12 - February 5, 2019
A Paradise Lost
SILVERLENS welcomes the new year with the show A Paradise Lost, Ryan Villamael’s 7th solo exhibition in the gallery. For this presentation, Villamael will premiere a new body of work that builds upon his ongoing dialogue with the contentious subject of Philippine History.
Villamael’s fascination with history began when he came across some early maps where the idea of ‘The Philippines’ first started to appear, which at that period could be seen as just a random scattering of nearby islands, with various tribes (warring and friendly) that were forced into a single, unified entity by an external power. This set forth more than three centuries of foreign rule that effectively dissolved all but a few links to our pre-colonial origins. For Villamael, this fraught relationship with history is a powerful driving force that sets fire to his nagging desire to read and know more, to dig deeper and sort through the entanglements of hearsay and facts, and from there begin to piece together a picture that may shed light to how we, as people, ended up where we are today.
With A Paradise Lost, Villamael returns to the intimacy of paper; hand cut, made intuitively and in isolation. Presented as a set of unfurled scrolls, which in total spans close to 20 meters stretched across the length of the gallery’s inner walls, the work evokes a faint horizon seen from a distance, a distance that it is keen to preserve. As even up close, it remains elusive; blank, still, and nearly empty. While ancient scrolls served as one of humanity’s earliest forms of editable record keeping, Villamael’s sheets remain thoroughly white yet not unmarked: it contains a thoughtful and evocative lament not written in ink but is encoded by blade. From his earliest works on, Villamael has employed the process of paper cutting to create images, confer stories and ask questions through the calculated use of negative space. Here he sliced and nibbled away slowly through the paper, creating a network of lines that mirrors how certain pests burrow and eat their way through old books, leaving a distinct pattern of holes, pathways and tunnels across the pages. And while images of hole-riddled pages and destroyed books carry with them the melancholy air of information forever lost, here they translate to the actual content that informs and cuts through the blankness of the page.
Still in another light, the patterns could just as well be seen as overgrown sprouts of wild vegetation, hopeful and alive as they creep their way up through the rubble of an unseen, perhaps fractured world below the horizon.
Jon Pettyjohn, Tessy Pettyjohn, Shozo Michikawa, Joey de Castro, Alvin Tan Teck Heng
SILVERLENS opens 2019 with Watchfire, a group exhibition that brings together five artists who have each made a critical contribution to the development of contemporary ceramics in Asia: Tessy Pettyjohn, Jon Pettyjohn, and Joey de Castro of the Philippines. Shozo Michikawa of Japan, and Alvin Tan Teck Heng of Singapore.
For this exhibition, these five artists were invited to participate in an anagama wood firing at the studio of fellow ceramic artist Pablo Capati III. Each artist contributed to the kiln a number of works that had been formed and biscuit fired in their individual studios. Once the firing was underway, they then worked in shifts to stoke and watch over the fire until the process was complete. The works from this collective endeavor are exhibited in Watchfire, alongside a small number of works from the artists’ studios.
Incorporating work from an anagama firing collectively undertaken, Watchfire examines the role of both the individual and the collective in building a ceramic art scene in the Philippines that is collaborative yet independent, locally engaged yet highly international. Furthermore, this exhibition examines how the participating artists successfully balance collaborative action with their own individual artistic identities.
In the Philippines, working with clay demands a greater level of collaboration than other disciplines. Commercially made materials are harder to come by than in other parts of the world, so it makes sense to pool resources and share facilities. The culture of collectivism born of this necessity has resulted in productive and lasting working relationships within the ceramics community, and between the artists in this exhibition.
Collectivism in the Philippine ceramic art scene has paradoxically also created a certain degree of independence. The relationships born of this approach to art-making have seen Filipino ceramic artists forge their own international networks and opportunities independent of art world structures and hierarchies – a critical contribution to the Philippine art scene that is yet to be fully recognized.
While these artists work across a number of firing techniques, the ancient practice of anagama wood firing can be seen as the core collaborative endeavor that has facilitated, deepened, and sustained the relationships between them. The Philippines’ first anagama kiln was born of a collaborative act, when in 2000 the Japanese artist Shozo Michikawa helped Jon and Tessy Pettyjohn to build one at their studio in Laguna. Two years later Michikawa provided Capati with the plans for what was to become the country’s second anagama kiln. This marked the beginning of the Batangas ceramics studio, which is today an important site for wood firing in Asia and where the works in this exhibition were fired.
Anagama kilns are typically fired for a number of days, in order to reach and sustain temperatures high enough to melt the wood-ash circulating within, thereby creating a natural glaze. Firings are therefore collaborative endeavors, with multiple participants working in shifts to watch and stoke the fire. Each anagama kiln is its own beast and the firing process cannot be entrusted to the uninitiated. This means the usual suspects are regularly called upon; Filipino potter Joey de Castro has participated in countless firings at the studios of Capati and the Pettyjohns, while in recent years Singaporean artist Alvin Tan Teck Heng has frequently travelled to the Philippines to take part. When, in 2016, the Pettyjohns undertook a residency in Shigaraki, Japan, Capati and Teck Heng flew over to assist with the final wood firing. The anagama firing that took place for this exhibition is therefore emblematic of the practices and relationships that have shaped ceramics in the Philippines over the past two decades.
For any artist working in any discipline, collectivist approaches to art making come with a degree of risk, namely the loss of artistic identity. Sharing resources, techniques and facilities requires considerable self-confidence; it requires the firm belief that even if someone knows what you know and has what you have, they still can’t do what you do. While this exhibition considers the importance of collectivist approaches to art-making, it also demonstrates the strength of these artists as individuals, and their individual contributions in pushing the boundaries of contemporary ceramic art in the Philippines.
- Anna O’Loughlin and Mark Valenzuela
Opening Jan 12 2019, 6PM
Exhibitions will run until Feb 09 2019
In his third solo exhibit, Joel Vega explores the rituals of grief and remembrance that borders on fetishism and nostalgia. Expanding his core materials of early 19th century portraits which are embroidered, combined or photo-transferred, to baked polymer clay, found objects, stitched puppets and boxes, the result is an intriguing treasure trove that is whimsical and emphatic. Devoted, ultimately, is a forthright exploration of memory and its links to sentiment, obsessive recall and personal devotion.
Gene Paul Martin
Gene Paul Martin’s genre-defying solo exhibit collides virtual excess with worldly ephemera collectively deemed as existence, deftly toggling between abstraction and representational devices to confound the mind and the eye from mere cognition, strongly creating undefinable worlds only imaginative painting could bring. Martin provides us a slipping glimpse of a world of interstitiality, a contemporaneous condition of everywhere and nowhere, inbetweenness, always beginning and never ending, entering and leaving at the same time, simultaneous, infinite. Improvised Exits is a paean to the impossibility of remaining human within a culture of systems and technology expressed consciensiously here through the distinct practice of painting, a so-called zombie medium using liquefied pigments modulated accordingly with mechanical yet random gestures on flat supports, an unpredictable conjuring and improvisation of the unknown, a triumphant exit from the chains of convention and the trap of compromise.
Words by Arvin Flores
In her first solo exhibition, Krista Nogueras examines human responses through the cycle of “sensitization and desensitization.” Through ceramics and sculpture drawn from primordial forms, Nogueras attempts to create an environment where one becomes heavily sensitive to a specific situation; responding to a stimuli drawn from our perception of images. The artist devises predictable shifts in the emotional and bodily responses of the viewers and thus, allowing them to connect this total experience into how the mind and the body react to anxiety, forcing them to confront the trepidation and chaos through familiarity.
Words by Gwen Bautista
OPENING at Artinformal Greenhills, Dec 08 2018 at 6pm:
Jose Tence Ruiz and DengCoy Miel
Exhibition will run until Jan 12 2019!
Artinformal is pleased to present Toggle: Engage-Disengage, a two-man exhibit by Jose Tence Ruiz and acclaimed illustrator DengCoy Miel, opening on December 8, 2018, 6PM, at the gallery’s Greenhills location. The exhibit will run until January 5, 2019.
Curated by Tence Ruiz, the two artists will present new works in mixed media of a vascillating discourse between two different locations, scrutinizing the specifics of the past and the future of our agonized present. In this era of uber convenience where we toggle into an indifferent ambivalence, we find ourselves oscillating between the excesses which are now prevalent, as well as between the virtual and the real.
DengCoy Miel is a two-time Reuben Awardee for Cartooning. He is also editorial illustrator and designer for the Singapore Straits Times, The New York Times, and Philippine Star.
Jose Tence Ruiz is a multimedia artist, independent writer, and curator. He was Philippines representative to the 56th Venice Biennial in 2015.
The Smallest Convenience
End of Things
Julio San Jose
Within a Particular Territory
Shades of Green
See you at the opening reception of Raul Lebajo’s Shades of Green on December 6, 2018 (Thursday) at 6 PM at the ArtistSpace Gallery. An exhibition one year in the making, the highly anticipated show features a fresh view into the phantasmagorias and fantastic worlds fashioned by the prolific mind and dynamic brushwork of one of the most respected masters of his generation
The exhibit runs from December 6 - 19, 2018, 10am - 7pm
The process of learning lessons again and again is the main narrative in Lyndon Maglalang’s new works. The entirety of the exhibition is the entirety of Maglalang’s journey in art. Here in ‘Again’, he bares the essence of his works.
The whole space has been treated as if one is entering his studio. The audience is encouraged to view all of the pieces as a single entity, but to also look at each work as independent ones. Maglalang muses on the idea that despite doing different things and presenting artworks in seemingly different styles, all he’s doing is telling a story. Conversations with the artist allow for a deeper probing into the inner workings of each piece.
Working with a new method of production, Maglalang’s paintings utilize paint scraped off of old palettes to build images. The way he works is like doing collage. This method, according to him, doubles the effort needed to create the subjects of his compositions. The same effort intensifies the otherwise simplistic art.
The fleshy palette of the “Insight” series represents his struggles with worldly matters. The only things the audience can see in these paintings are a plain background, an image of a person, and a small patch of white paint. For this set of artworks, he intended to strip as much detail as he could, leaving only what is needed to communicate the idea that he wants to present. The end result is a series of works that give one a sense of boundless space—space that is silent and unforgiving. The subjects scream out loudly, in agony, in pleasure, in confusion. White paint signifies redemption; a belief that no matter how small, hope is always around the corner.
The main work is a polyptych. Entitled “To What End,” two large canvases and three supporting pieces have been used to present an interconnected story. Of the two large canvases, one shows an image of a person, disfigured and incomplete, set in a dull looking background; the other is an image of a seascape, with a vast expanse of the sky and the silently raging waves of the sea. The supporting artworks depict two abstracted designs: one made with collaging dried paint, and another using nails covered with clear coat. The last panel shows a smaller seascape. Again, all of these are recurring symbolisms in Maglalang’s work, they talk about overcoming obstacles, seeing things from a different perspective, and allowing the will of the one up high to prevail.
Aside from the paintings, the audience will be able to see various objects placed on top of a table. These serve as markers for the different processes that embody the various aspects of Maglalang’s art, from the beginning to the present. He intends to show a sense of nostalgia and an appreciation for the small things that tie together the whole. All of the methods he employs have been put out for the audience to see. Curled up steel wires, nails, and found objects are the inspiration to communicate his truth.
Again and again, the themes presented in Maglalang’s works are derivative of what he had been doing from the start; most of the time they’re simply expounded further or brought back as a reminder. All of these are, in essence, a revisiting—both of the good and bad events, and a vision of what he sees the future holds.
Notes by Jerome Destacamento
Visual artist, illustrator, and art director Brent Sabas is known for his skillful illustrations that succinctly communicate complex ideas. After graduating cum laude from the University of the Philippines with a BFA major in Visual Communications, Brent joined the organization Ilustrador ng Kabataan, a group of artists committed to illustrating literature for children. At the same time, he managed to balance a steady career in advertising, becoming an art director at PC&V Comm, Publicis Manila, Ace Saatchi & Saatchi, and now at Over the Moon Comm.
After consistently honing his craft for ten years, Brent’s design and illustrations have been seeing growing success. Some of his notable accomplishments include his four published children’s books, the movie poster design for comedy film “Ang Babae sa Septic Tank 2,” and his regularly published editorial illustrations in magazines like Preview, Mega, and Esquire. Brent has been named one of “25 Creatives to Watch” by Real Living Magazine (2016), and a “Standout” by TEAM Mag (2016). With group exhibitions in Vinyl on Vinyl, Nova Gallery, and Sining Makiling Gallery, Brent now takes a big step in cementing his voice as a visual artist with the launch of his first solo exhibition “Ethos” at Galerie Stephanie.
West Gallery: Door to Door / A Tangible Translation / Copies Will Not Fool But Fools Will Copy / Recent Paintings
Door to Door
A Tangible Translation
Copies Will Not Fool But Fools Will Copy
Painting Palettes/Palette Paintings II
SILVERLENS is set to end the year with Elaine Navas’ Painting Palettes/Palette Paintings II, her third solo exhibition with the gallery. A noted painter of waterscapes, forests, and gates, each piece is achieved through her signature use of impasto.
Previous exhibitions in Silverlens are Wet Paint (2010) and Salt Water (2016), featuring waterscapes. In this series of new works, Navas continues her Painting Palettes/Palette Paintings series that she began in 2014 on the recommendation of her teacher and mentor, conceptual artist, Roberto Chabet. The palettes Navas paints in this show are of artists Jan Balquin, Jose John Santos III, Pam Yan Santos, Ariel Navas, Yasmin Sison-Ching, Mauro Malang Santos, Manual Ocampo, and Patricia Perez Eustaquio.
The palette is testament to a painter's process, with every mark and trace chronicled on its surface. It knows the artist’s idiosyncrasies and proclivities when working --- the pauses and obsessions, the mundanity of the grind. It willingly abides to every mound of paint, every mixture and every erasure. Unmentioned, undeclared and cleansed at the end, the palette remains ready for the next series, ready to be used again.
It began as a dream by professor, mentor and confidant the late Roberto Chabet: a series of paintings of palettes. And Elaine Roberto-Navas happily obliged, first in 2014 then presently for the exhibition Painting Palettes/ Palette Paintings II. Each palette collected from friends and colleagues turn into artefacts that intimately embodies its possessor. With her signature impasto renderings, they are individually abstracted and interpreted, as though producing in the process portraits of the painters who provided them.
The levels of transference yielded --- from the palette’s ordinariness in the studio to paintings on canvases to framed articles --- blur the divisions between process and output, subject and object, personal and the public. It is then not the intent to be identified or to produce accurate depictions. It is not about the individual as much as a revelation of the techniques and methods of a painter.
The extraction of these items or unsung heroes* from the solitude of the studio instead acknowledges the liminal stages of production. It is a remembrance of a phase of no verdict, a space where freedom and exploration are of the essence.
*Term quoted from a conversation between Navas and Robert Langenegger.
- Iris Ferrer
ORDO AB CHAO
Yasmin Sison, Christina Quisumbing Ramilo, & Pam Yan Santos
SILVERLENS is pleased to present one of its two concluding shows of the year, ORDO AB CHAO, a three-woman exhibition by Yasmin Sison, Christina Quisumbing Ramilo, and Pam Yan Santos. Invited by Elaine Navas who is holding a solo exhibition simultaneously, it marks the first time these three artists featured in together in a Silverlens exhibition. Both Christina Quisumbing Ramilo and Yasmin Sison have held solo exhibitions in the gallery, The Domestic Life of Pictures (Sison, 2012) and Construct (Quisumbing Ramilo, 2013). This is the first time for Pam Yan Santos to show at the gallery.
The exhibition features what the trio have in common – drawing out personal experiences to craft new meanings. It welcomes back Ramilo’s sensitive approach to material and site specificity, the recurrence of childhood elements in Sison’s works, and presents Yan Santos’ multi-layered pieces.
ORDO AB CHAO (a Latin expression for ‘order out of chaos’ or ‘order from disorder’) explores the possibilities of the creative process while in the state of constant disarray. Chaos termed in physical and mental senses though may initially be seen as hindrances are recast into fuel and material for their works.
Acts of gathering and accumulating things are deeply ingrained into the artists’ quotidian lives. These are then incorporated into varying forms into the pieces that are produced. Layers upon layers of seemingly mismatched objects and imagery meld together to create abstracted objects, collages, installations and figurations as a manner of making sense that is rooted in their own understanding of how things function.
Mired within the contexts of the personal, especially with spaces bound within homes, a paradoxical merging ensues where this kind of intimacy becomes both boon and bane, privilege and drawback; it is clear that there seems to be no strict separation between the realities of life and of practice. This is then used as a start-off point for explorations and discussions, the seed for art to be concretized.
This transition from collected raw materials to actual work poses an evident cycle: a constant push and pull where the production process becomes meditation, refuge and catharsis --- a breathing space, an act of lifting one’s head out of the water. For the three artists, the art process turns into repeated attempts geared towards order whilst at the same time finding redemption in the clutter.
- Iris Ferrer
LUIS ANTONIO SANTOS
ZEAN CABANGIS &
Exhibition will run until Dec 15 2018.
A View of Dawn in the Tropics
Luis Antonio Santos
In “A View of Dawn in the Tropics,” artist Luis Santos explores the vital dynamic between image, place and history. Citing Cuban writer, screenwriter, and critic Guillermo Cabrera Infante and appropriating the title of his well-known novel, Santos draws on parallelisms between two similar histories – one is our own while the other, oddly enough, is a work of fiction. The artist’s impulse to act out complex processes on a specific image only reveals Santos’ understanding of its power. In this case, an image of a certain place could and must trigger remembrances of that place represented. In the artist’s brilliant take, it is possible for him to change gears and shift through ingenious and varied modes of reproducing images that make for reconstituted conclusions in different emotional ranges all the more possible.
Words by Jonathan Olazo
Zean Cabangis continues his forays into being with his show “Somewhere, Anywhere.” Investigating locality as both a place and a non-place, Cabangis delves into the digital and the physical - how we are everywhere but also nowhere. He further examines this through his process wherein digital manipulation and actual painting is applied - depicting an era where everyone is lost and wants to go somewhere, albeit without knowing where they really want to be.
The Longest Night
During the winter solstice, nights are longer. Reykjavik in Iceland had only about 4 hours of sunlight on December 21, 2014. Most Scandinavian countries had similar dismal sun hours. In fictionalized Barrow, Alaska, the town is blanketed by snowstorms and a month of sunlessness turned the town into a virtual ghost town or rather a hunting ground for nocturnal hemovores.
Night is dark, dark is night, is void, is blankness, is blackness, is sleep, is repose, is listlessness, is lightlessness, of shadows long and short, of beasts under beds, of lurkers by windowsills, of uncertainties and fears, of velvet and silk, of transgressions and emissions, of terrors and tremors, of quietude and plenitude, of 40 wishes of a parallel existence, 40 versions encased in REM reveries.
Night in 1000 frames, in 1000 renditions of lightless skies, intercepted by glimpses of ineffable sparks of bright, night stretched and compressed as animated strobic pulses or as strips of black on a wall.
Words by Lena Cobangbang