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September 6, 2012

Papelismo - Significance of Paper in Art Making

Benjie Torrado Cabrera, Renato Habulan, Fred Liongoren, Arnel Mirasol and Pinggot Zulueta join forces, so to speak, in a show to assert the significance of paper in art making.

Habulan, who curates the show laments the seeming disinterest by art collectors in works on paper, because perhaps of the perceived perishability of such works. The works to be exhibited easily belies the fallacy of that perception, most of which though done in the 80’s and 90’s, are still in mint condition.

Cabrera, Liongoren, Mirasol and Zulueta will show their output in the so-called popular mediums of fine prints, comics and book illustration, and editorial cartooning. Paintings on paper, which are one of a kind, are deliberately downplayed to highlight the role played by the popular mediums not only in providing entertainment, but also in advocating causes; roles where they are very effective because of their wider reach and easier accessibility by the bigger public.

Habulan, meanwhile, will put on view for the first time the pencil studies for his big paintings. Pencil studies, though not really done in multiples, reinforce further the five artists’ point of view about the significance of paper in art making; because they are proof that paintings, except those composed digitally or painted alla prima, are first conceived and endowed primal forms in a matrix made of paper.

Benjie Torrado Cabrera finished Fine Arts at the University of Santo Tomas. He currently teaches in St. Scholastica’s College, and is an active member of the Printmakers Association of the Philippines. He had extensively exhibited his fine prints of cosmic and quasi-surreal imagery. He also had a solo show once of engravings done, not on paper, but on large flexiglass cubes - a pioneering work for which he deserves commendation and critical acclaim.

Renatio Habulan , a Fine Arts graduate from the University of the East (UE), has also taught in St. Scholastica’s. He is into painting full time nowadays, and is just back from Singapore where he exhibited his latest works. Habulan was noticed and given rave reviews by art critics in the 1980s when he mounted solo shows at the Hiraya Gallery and Gallery Genesis, two of the more prestigious galleries operating at that time. He is one of the stalwart pillars of the Social Realist Movement in the Philippines. Although he became well-known for his iconic images of farmers and workers, Habulan had lately varied his theme to delve into the manifestations of the Filipinos’ religious psyche.

Fred Liongoren, who came from the University of the Philippines, attained prominence early, in the late 1960s, for his distinct brand of abstraction, which won for him the Grand Prize in the 1971 AAP Competition on the theme of 400 Years of Christianity in the Philippines. He was the subject of articles in the Asia Magazine and other publications where he was consistently dubbed as an artist to watch. Liongoren has not stopped at just doing abstract works though; he is an expert in the realist technique and also tries his hand at comics illustration. At present, he is a passionate advocate of “re-greening” or reforestation. Liongoren is a vibrant raconteur who can always delight his listeners with anecdotes laced with self-deprecating humor.

Arnel Mirasol took up fine arts in UST and UE. His paintings in the 1980s, while belonging to the Social Realist School, was tempered somewhat with color and surrealist humor. He had worked as an editorial cartoonist for a time. From the late 1990s onward, he focused his efforts in picture book illustration. In 2007, he showed a resurgent interest in serious painting, when he exhibited with his fairy tale illustrations his acrylics and oils.

Pinggot Zulueta is a lifestyle photographer of a daily newspaper. A UST alumnus, he started his professional art career as an editorial cartoonist for widely circulated publications . His cartoons - which will compare favorably with the works of the luminaries of Philippine editorial cartooning - are true political cartoons, because they are in most ways satirical and adversarial, and not mere paeans to the powers-that-be. Zulueta also a painter and had shown similarly powerful works in solo exhibitions here, Australia, and the United States.

Contact Details:
For inquiries, please call Chari Elinzano at (63 2) 635- 6061.
The Crucible Gallery
SM Megamall

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

Tuesday September 4, 2012 - Sunday September 16, 2012

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