In the Beginning
In honor of Arturo Luz, the National Artist for Visual Arts who turned 90 late last year, the Ayala Museum presents “Arturo Luz: First Light” at its Third Floor Galleries. It is part of the museum’s continuing “Images of Nation” program, which focuses on the works of Filipino artists conferred with the title of National Artist. As Luz, one of the pioneers of the Philippine Neo-realist movement, marks his 60th year as a professional artist, it’s the perfect opportunity to catch a glimpse of his earlier works and look for the visual clues that would influence works from his later period. Curated by historian and educator Dr. Ambeth R. Ocampo, “First Light” includes the artist’s drawings from 1950s, where his desire for simplicity and visual order was already becoming evident. Works from this period include a series painted in 1952, depicting typical scenes from Philippine daily life. The collection progresses to paintings from the 1960s, which are characterized by muted colors, simple lines and shapes, and reflect his fascination with architecture —perhaps the style which most art aficionados are familiar with and appreciate. According to the museum, among the pieces that will be on display are works from institutional and private collections which have never been exhibited to the public. Born on November 26, 1926, Luz took up Fine Arts at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, and furthered his studies at the Art School of the Brooklyn Museum in New York and the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris. By the mid 1950s, he was already a celebrated artist, named the “Outstanding Young Man in Art” by the Manila Times in 1955, and chosen to represent the country at several art festivals in Europe. Through the years, Luz has also proven to be a skilled printmaker, photographer, and sculptor; he also established the Luz Gallery (it closed in 2002) which inspired and influenced many of his peers and later generations of artists. On view until June 11; Makati Avenue corner De La Rosa Street, Greenbelt Park, Makati; 759.8288; firstname.lastname@example.org; ayalamuseum.org.
DrawinG tHE linE a self-portrait by arturo luz (1950), from the collection of Fernando and catherine Zobel de ayala.