Town & Country (Philippines) - - OUT ABOUT -

The sec­ond in a se­ries of events for Na­tional Artist Ce­sar Le­gaspi’s birth cen­te­nary, “A Man and His Re­la­tions,” is on view this month at the Bul­wa­gan ng Dan­gal ex­hi­bi­tion hall at the Univer­sity of the Philip­pines, Dil­i­man. View­ing his work from a more in­ti­mate lens, this home­com­ing ex­hi­bi­tion pays at­ten­tion to the artist’s en­coun­ters with artis­tic peers dur­ing his stay at the univer­sity and later as he em­barked on his pro­fes­sional ca­reer. Col­lab­o­ra­tive works with con­tem­po­raries such as Her­nando Ocampo, Mauro “Malang” San­tos, and Al­fredo Ro­ces are fea­tured, as well as por­traits and per­sonal ef­fects col­lected from friend­ships made at Le­gaspi’s alma mater. Archival ma­te­ri­als and works from the fam­ily’s col­lec­tion spe­cific to these points in his time­line are also on display to strike par­al­lels be­tween the so­cial and the pri­vate per­sona of the artist.

For decades, the univer­sity’s fine arts pro­gram has been a breed­ing ground for var­i­ous col­lec­tives and in­di­vid­u­als who have been in­flu­en­tial in es­tab­lish­ing pro­gres­sive trends in the field. The de­vel­op­ment of these so­cial cir­cles makes ap­par­ent the shared as­pi­ra­tions and the cul­ture that honed their in­di­vid­ual prac­tices. In the case of Le­gaspi, vis­i­ble in­ter­sec­tions in styles, meth­ods, and con­cerns of his peers can be seen blur­ring in each of the artist’s early im­pro­vi­sa­tional pieces. The be­gin­nings of the Mod­ernist move­ment are glimpsed in these aes­thetic ex­changes, punc­tu­ated by key pieces from Le­gaspi. And here lies the crux of the ex­hibit: the de­vel­op­ment of an artist is not only fos­tered in­ter­nally, but is also nur­tured by his re­la­tions and the en­vi­ron­ment in which he per­sists.

The prac­tice of col­lab­o­ra­tion is fur­thered with con­tem­po­rary prac­ti­tion­ers re­spond­ing to or ref­er­enc­ing the Na­tional Artist’s life and work. Videos, in­stal­la­tions, paint­ings, and ob­jects by 1x, Ar­nel Flores, Mark Flores, Clara Gal­lardo, Rita Gudiño, Nonoy Marcelo, Flash Tan­galin, Team JuanTen An­i­ma­tion, and Eric Za­muco ex­tend this so­cial facet high­lighted by the ex­hi­bi­tion. Runs un­til Au­gust 10, Bul­wa­gan ng Dan­gal, Roxas Av­enue, Univer­sity of the Philip­pines (Main Li­brary base­ment), Dil­i­man, Quezon City. IRIS FERRER

IN GOOD COM­PANy Clock­wise from bot­tom: A rare sculp­ture by Ce­sar Le­gaspi; in­stal­la­tion view of Machina GIF, by Clara Gal­lardo; the show’s cre­ative di­rec­tor, Claro Ramirez.

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