Prism 3 • Rodolfo Gan

Oct 15 to Nov 9, 2020 • Tall Gallery

Rodolfo Gan’s latest series of paintings and sculptures continue to explore the possibilities within the field of geometric abstraction. Executed using his signature airbrush method, his paintings chart various compositional strategies within the square format. Throughout the history of modern art, many painters have adapted the square to draw attention to issues of scale, balance, unity, and proportion. 20th century abstractionists, in particular employed the square to defy the traditional formats for painting. In Gan’s case, he invokes the elusive nature of the sublime through his own personal configurations, using the square as an arena for the harmonious interplay of formal elements.

In Gan’s works, he reinforces the square with the addition of bold black borders and heightens contrast by juxtaposing fine mists of gradient colors with sharp lines that form into labyrinths, mazes and other enigmatic forms. In a pair of diptychs, the panels mirror each other and expand the notion of reflection and unlimited space. Complementing these paintings, Gan’s sculptures are made of interlocking forms – rings, cubes and triangles that are seemingly suspended in space. Using various metals and surface treatments, they capture the variations of the continuously evolving geometry and the fluidity of the compositional process.

Espousing the idea that geometry had a narrative that is neither literal nor literary, as proposed by Frank Stella, Gan asserts, “Geometric abstraction also has the ability to tell a narrative beyond what is actually presented or what one can actually see.” Each shape, color and line serves as a kind of code that refers to a story behind it.  Despite the apparent formalism of Gan’s works, they belie their own furtive meanings and narratives. (RB)


Rodolfo Gan (b. 1949, Philippines) studied Fine Arts, with a major in Advertising at the University of Santos Tomas, where he also taught in the early 70s. He won several top prizes at local and national art competitions as a young artist and started exhibiting his works at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and the Luz Gallery in 1970. He held his first solo exhibition at the Luz Gallery in 1972, the year he was also named as one of the CCP Thirteen Artists. Throughout the 70s, he actively participated in group exhibitions at the CCP, Shop 6 and the Museum of Philippine Art (MOPA). His works were also shown as part of the ASEAN Collection in Jakarta and Hong Kong and in the 7th Paris Biennale in France. After more than thirty years focusing on his printing business, he returned to painting in 2014 with an exhibition at Finale Art File.

  • He invokes the elusive nature of the sublime through his own personal configurations
  • Using the square as an arena for the harmonious interplay of formal elements
  • Juxtaposing fine mists of gradient colors with sharp lines that form into labyrinths, mazes and other enigmatic forms
  • They capture the variations of the continuously evolving geometry and the fluidity of the compositional process
  • Geometric abstraction also has the ability to tell a narrative beyond what is actually presented or what one can actually see.”

Artworks from the Show

Composition 128 • Wordless Expressions

Composition 128 • Wordless Expressions, Rodolfo Gan, 2019, acrylic on canvas, 36×36 in

Composition 130 • Gemini

Composition 130 • Gemini, Rodolfo Gan, 2019, acrylic on canvas, 48×48 in

Composition 131 • Nocturnal Rendezvous

Composition 131 • Nocturnal Rendezvous, Rodolfo Gan, 2019, acrylic on canvas, 36×36 in

Composition 132 • Virtual Hexagon

Composition 132 • Virtual Hexagon, Rodolfo Gan, 2019, acrylic on canvas, 48×48 in

Composition 133 • Geometric Transfiguration

Composition 133 • Geometric Transfiguration, Rodolfo Gan, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 48×48 in

Composition 134 • Memories Unfold

Composition 134 • Memories Unfold, Rodolfo Gan, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 48×48 in

Composition 135 • Dreamscape

Composition 135 • Dreamscape, Rodolfo Gan, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 48×48 in

Composition 136 • Soulmates

Composition 136 • Soulmates, Rodolfo Gan, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 36×72 in

Composition 137 • Destiny

Composition 137 • Destiny, Rodolfo Gan, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 36×36 in

Composition 138 • Chariots Of Heaven

Composition 138 • Chariots Of Heaven, Rodolfo Gan, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 48×48 in

Composition 139 • Infinity Bond

Composition 139 • Infinity Bond, Rodolfo Gan, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 48×96 in

Composition 140 • Afterglow

Composition 140 • Afterglow, Rodolfo Gan, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 36×36 in

Composition 141 • Triune

Composition 141 • Triune, Rodolfo Gan, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 48×48 in

Composition 201 - WP • Reflected Realities

Composition 201 - WP • Reflected Realities, Rodolfo Gan, 2020, Copper, brass, stainless steel, powder coated metal, 36×36 in

Composition 202 - WP • Geometric Interlinks

Composition 202 - WP • Geometric Interlinks, Rodolfo Gan, 2020, Copper, brass, stainless steel, powder coated metal, 36×36 in

Composition 203 - FS • Geometric Reflections 1

Composition 203 - FS • Geometric Reflections 1, Rodolfo Gan, 2020, Brass, stainless steel, powder coated metal, size variable

Composition 204 - FS • Geometric Reflections 2

Composition 204 - FS • Geometric Reflections 2, Rodolfo Gan, 2020, Brass, stainless steel, powder coated metal, size variable