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June 6, 2012

Aguilar Alcuaz Exhibit @ the SM Megamall Art Center

Remembering Aguilar Alcuaz exhibit celebrates the artist’s 80th year at SM Megamall Art Center.

Three years ago, in 2009, the Republic of the Philippines through the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) bestowed upon Federico Aguilar Alcuaz (1932-2011) admission into the Order of National Artists.

This titan of Philippine visual art was recognized for having influenced an entire generation of artists with a body of works that is critically lauded both here an abroad. Aguilar Alcuaz had the soul of an artist, attaining the pinnacle of mainstream artistic achievement. His complex and nuanced personality - the music lover, the bon vivant, the astute observer of the world around him - has cemented his legend as an artist without peer.

His untimely death early last year has renewed interest in this towering figure. In commemoration of the late National Artist’s 80th birthday, Galerie Joaquin, in partnership with the estate of the late artist, will hold an exhibition entitled Remembering Aguilar Alcuaz that will show the various facets of the Master’s art, at the 4th Floor, SM Megamall Art Center, Building A, Mandaluyong City from June 7 to 19, with a special opening on Thursday, June 7 at 6:30pm.

Having lived in Europe for large parts of his career, he was consequently fluent in several languages, including Filipino, English, Spanish, German, and some French. Aguilar Alcuaz is also one of the most awarded personalities in visual art. In Spain, he has won the Premio Moncada (1957), Prix Francisco Goya (1958), as well as the first prize of the Pintura Sant Pol del Mar (1961) and 2nd prize at the Premio Vancell at the Fourth Biennial of Tarrasa in Barcelona (1964). In France, he was awarded the Diploma of Honor at the International Exhibition of Art Libre (1961); the Decoration of Arts, Letters and Awards with rank of Chevalier from the French government (1964); the Order of French Genius (1964). From the Philippines - from which he never relinquished citizenship, being a Filipino to the end of his days - he was given the San Beda Outstanding Alumni award (1965), the Republic Cultural Heritage award (1965), the Araw ng Maynila award (1966), and the Presidential Medal of Merit Award (2006). His crowning achievement, of course, was when the NCCA and CCP unanimously voted to induct him into the Order of National Artists in 2009.

The exhibition will feature an extensive survey of an artist whose career spanned a multitude of subjects, forms, and media - including painting, sculpture, monumental tapestries, and ceramics. Known for his mischievous personality and his zest for life, which is reflected in a compelling oeuvre, Aguilar Alcuaz was a trailblazing genius with a cosmopolitan aura that, nonetheless, betrayed his pride in being Filipino. A fantastic example of this merging is a series he called “Tres Marias.” Taking influence from the Greek concept of “the three muses,” the theme of which is a favorite among European Masters, Aguilar Alcuaz’s series is that of women in Filipiniana attire.

Aguilar Alcuaz was also a master of the landscape and the abstract genre. The eminent art historian, Dr. Rod. Paras-Perez,once described Aguilar Alcuaz as the “epic troubadour of the urban landscape,” and indeed the artists paintings of the skylines of Manila are breathtaking and famous. “Weisbaden Landscape” is one of the landscapes on display at the exhibition - a brilliant combination of elements and colors that elevates the discourse to a new level of virtuosity.

Of equal fame are works from his “Barcelona Series.” Using a formidable understanding of abstraction to deconstruct still life subjects and figurations, Aguilar Alcuaz created a powerful series of abstract works on canvas and paper with a blend of geometric shapes, patterns, lines, and colors that, in recent times, have served as a basis for several forged works - none of which coming close to an original. “Still Life” is a great example of this, with an almost Picasso-esque technique of deconstructing a table and chair - with the painting authenticated by the estate of the Aguilar Alcuaz.

The range of the artist’s talents are also demonstrated by his large tapestries of abstracted motifs and his mosaics of discarded paper such as cigarette wrappings and museum brochures, aptly known as his “Alcuazaics.” His usage of unconventional media shows the mind of a unmitigated genius, encompassing expression of the highest order.

Indeed, the art of Federico Aguilar Alcuaz is a journey into the mind of that genius, and in that sense the heritage of his art has enabled him to live forever. Galerie Joaquin has put together a not-to-missed exhibition.

Contact Details:
For more details, please call (63 2) 723-9418 or email:
Art Center
SM Megamall

4th Level, Bldg. A, SM Megamall
EDSA corner Julia Vargas Ave.
Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, Philippines

Thursday June 7, 2012 - Tuesday June 19, 2012

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