Prisms II • Rodolfo Gan

Jan 17 to Feb 11, 2019 • Upstairs Gallery

Rodolfo Gan’s second solo exhibition at Finale Art File is a continuation of his series of geometric abstractions. Using airbrush as his signature method for his square abstract paintings, his works evoke the lightness, balance and transparency of pure geometric lines and forms. Described as ‘timeless and dynamic, critical and introspective, but always forward looking’, his works reflect on the traditions of Modernism and its pursuit of the transcendental and the sublime. In his paintings, the fine mists of gradient color give way to decisive lines and rugged edges that fold into labyrinthine and box-like structures that conjure ineffable emotional and mental landscapes.

Gan draws from the works of three pioneers in Philippine modern art: Fernando Zobel, Lee Aguinaldo and Roberto Chabet, whose works opened windows for many young artists in the 70s and other succeeding generations. He shared Zobel’s fascination with the shifting qualities of light and color expressed through soft lines, as well as Aguinaldo’s linearity and geometry of vanishing fields. Zobel and Aguinaldo’s works charted the course of abstraction within the language of painting and surface compositions. Chabet, on the other hand, extended this discourse through the use of readymades and other non-traditional materials for art and their relation to space, site and context. From this triumvirate of artistic impulses, Gan has defined his own parameters, creating personal configurations that are enduring as much as they are elusive in nature.


Rodolfo Gan (b. 1949) 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.