Montclair exhibit features retrospective of Philippine art spanning 50 years

From top left, Julie Lluch, Mideo Cruz and Ernest Concepcion

From top left, Julie Lluch, Mideo Cruz and Ernest Concepcion

Montclair State University opened on September 21st an exhibition of contemporary Philippine art, inspired by the South East Asian archipelago’s long history of socio-economic/political struggles and their search for a national identity.

Titled “Triumph of Philippine Art,” the unique retrospective is the first exhibit to ever specifically use artwork to tell the nation’s political story, beginning with the oppression of the martial law period (1972-1986), leading up to the 1986 non-violent “revolution that surprised the world” and ultimately resulting in the vibrant and robust art of a free society at the turn of the 21st century.

The exhibit will be displayed at the university’s George Segal Gallery from September 21 through December 15. It is made possible with the cooperation of the Philippine Consulate General of New York and the renowned Ayala Museum in Manila.

“The exhibit features works produced during one of the most turbulent periods in Philippine history, which led to a paradigm shift in the nation’s political, economic and sociocultural life,” said Consulate General Mario L. De Leon, Jr. “The art of the period, as seen through the featured artists, mirrors the developments in these event-filled years and acts as a prism through which history and its ramifications are refracted and viewed. The imprint of ‘Triumph of Philippine Art’ will be felt for generations.”

Curated by Director of the George Segal Gallery, M. Teresa Lapid Rodriguez – a Philippine-born artist who experienced first-hand the repressive regime of President Ferdinand Marcos – the exhibit is the centerpiece of a multi-disciplinary campus-wide series of events celebrating Filipino culture, history and art (complete listing below).
Rodriguez will give a public lecture about the exhibit, offering historical context for Filipino art.

“Undoubtedly, the unique imagery of Filipino art can be attributed to the transformation that has occurred in the country over the past 50 years,” said Rodriguez. “That the Philippines is primitive, feudal, and modern all at the same time, translates into an artistic advantage in establishing a body of distinctive work in the globally competitive art market. Considering that Filipino art was categorized as folk art by the Western art world and was rarely reviewed until 15 years ago, the highly-collectible status that Philippine Art is currently enjoying is nothing short of a national triumph.”

The works selected for “Triumph of Philippine Art” fall into categories including Figurative Expressionism and Social Realism, Feminism, A New Generation in the 21st Century and Conceptual Art and demonstrate the varied and distinctive imagery that represents Philippine contemporary art. art

Artists being featured are: Leo Abaya, Benedicto “BenCab” Cabrera, Buen Calubayan, Ernest Concepcion, Mideo Cruz, Imelda Cajipe-Endaya, Brenda Fajardo, Karen Ocampo Flores, Michael Rodriguez Gomez, Gregory Raymond Halili, Mark Orozco Justiniani, Julie Lluch, Athena Santos Magcase-Lopez, Racquel De Loyola, Renan Ortiz, Christina Quisumbing Ramilo, Mark Salvatus and Pablo Baen Santos.

The George Segal Gallery, which has received numerous Citation Awards from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts for its excellence in artistic programming and public service to the arts, hosts visitors from around the world to view its collections.

For more information, visit their website here.

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