Between and beyond the representational
The exhibition features the work of five contemporaries working in abstraction over the past four decades of art practice. Curated by Nestor Vinluan, the show provides a glimpse of the breadth and sensibilities spanned by non-representational art in the Philippines, including material and thematic areas of exploration.
Encounters with nature, the cosmos and its elements have been a strong undercurrent in Philippine abstraction, exemplified in the works of Gus Albor and Vinluan over the decades. The transience of time through landscape, for instance, is explored by Norberto Carating in a series of large-scale acrylic on canvas works for this show. Highlighting Carating’s distinctive style of abstraction where metallic textures and meditative gestures merge, works such as ‘Agaw Dilim’ and ‘Blue Circle with Orange Reflection’, for example, are titled after fleeting, poetic encounters between sky and sight.
On the other hand, abstraction has also taken as its starting point not just material reality but also ideas and concepts made concrete through language. Roy Veneracion, for instance, moves away from the elemental and delves into the experience of the everyday in his series of recent paintings. Some of his works, such as the paintings ambiguously titled ‘Certainly’ and ‘Even If’, underscores the fluid, encompassing character of language itself—drawing parallels between this and the nature of abstract images. Junyee, on the other hand, responds to the philosophical concepts of Yin and Yang through separate spherical paintings that complement and complete the other’s presence.
Spanning the entire gallery space, the show is a reminder of how abstraction moves beyond and between representation; pointing to the vast possibilities of expression and communication that it continually harbors.
Agaw Dilim (triptych), Norberto Carating, 2015, Acrylic on canvas, 72×144 in
Blue Circle with Orange Reflection, Norberto Carating, 2015, Acrylic on canvas, 60×60 in
Morning Bliss, Norberto Carating, 2015, Acrylic on canvas, 48×48 in
Odyssey, Norberto Carating, 2015, Acrylic on canvas, 48×48 in
Yang, Junyee, 2015, Acrylic on canvas, 96×96 in
Yin, Junyee, 2015, Acrylic on canvas, 96×96 in
The Collector, Roy Veneracion, 2015, Acrylic on canvas, 96×96 in
Certainly, Roy Veneracion, 2015, Acrylic on canvas, 60×48 in
Even If, Roy Veneracion, 2014, Acrylic on canvas, 48×36 in
Did You Bring Home the Bacon or Baloney, Roy Veneracion, 2014, Acrylic on canvas, 48×36 in
Eros in the Morning, Roy Veneracion, 2014, Acrylic on canvas, 48×36 in