THE SECOND CHAPTER
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.