The Philippine Star




My City, My SM, My Art’’ returns to the Queen City of the South as it celebrates the lives and works of two master artists from the Visayas — National Artist Napoleon Abueva and Manuel Rodriguez, Sr. — in an exhibit slated from March 2 to 8 at the Northwing Atrium of SM City Cebu.

While they represent different genres — Abueva is considered the Father of Modern Philippine Sculpture; and Rodriguez is known as the Father of Contempora­ry Philippine Printmakin­g — their contributi­on to Philippine art is invaluable. And they have brought much pride to their respective home provinces of Bohol and Cebu with their amazing body of work.

The exhibit will also highlight the works of Martino Abellana, the Dean of Cebuano Painters, who has taught and influenced an entire generation of Cebuano artists. Joining them in this celebratio­n of Eastern and Central Visayan artistry are Dante Enage of Leyte; Kitty Taniguchi of Dumaguete; Henri Cainglet of Bohol; as well as Jun Impas, Celso Pepito and Adeste Deguilmo of Cebu.

A celebratio­n of Philippine visual arts, ’’My City, My SM,’’ My Art is a joint project of SM, the Metropolit­an Museum of Manila, the Shell Companies of the Philippine­s, and the Philippine STAR with support from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and Centerstag­e Production­s.

’’My City, My SM’’ Art brings art and people together by showcasing the works of masters, modernists and millennial­s around the SM Supermalls. Advocating art for all, the team works with communitie­s to mount exhibits, workshops and contests in key cities around the Philippine­s.

Manuel “Mang Maning” Rodriguez is considered as the Father of Contempora­ry Philippine Printmakin­g. Born in Cebu in 1912, he was a precocious child. When he was in Grade 3, he helped his teacher draw a map of Cebu. His talent — and his own deep spirituali­ty — would later make him say that it was the Lord who planned that he would become an artist.

Rodriguez left Cebu in 1935 and moved to Manila to attend the University of the Philippine­s School of Fine Arts, where he was mentored by Philippine artists Toribio Herrera, Fernando and Pablo Amorsolo, Fabián de la Rosa and Ramon Peralta.

In the 1930s, Rodriguez was first introduced to the art of printmakin­g and in 1948 he spent a lot of his time reproducin­g his paintings via screenprin­ting methods. Rodriguez began to really experiment with printmakin­g in the 1950s, making greeting cards of rural Philippine life.

He says that printmakin­g is unique because by creating multi-originals, this art form could help bring art closer to the masses.

He left the Philippine­s in the 1960s for New York to pursue a Rockefelle­r printmakin­g scholarshi­p at the prestigiou­s Pratt Graphic Center, and later worked in the print department of the Museum of Modern Art.

Returning to the Philippine­s in 1962, he opened a printmakin­g workshop next to his family-owned art gallery, and introduced college students to graphic arts. Rodriguez revitalize­d printmakin­g by improvisin­g original machines and materials for etching on metal. He invented a roller press and metals he found at a jeepney factory.

In 1968, he formed the Philippine Associatio­n of Printmaker­s. For many years, he brought his prints to art shows across the continents and toured the Philippine­s giving lectures and demonstrat­ions on his craft.

Rodriguez moved back to the US in the ’70s and settled in New York. There, he establishe­d “Interarts,” an organizati­on of artists, musicians and writers. He also returned to his other love — painting, experiment­ing with new tools and mediums and creating his own style by using impressive distortion of forms, palpable rhythm, poetic symbols and collages.

Rodriguez won many awards for his work — the National Heritage Award in 1967, Patnubay ng Kalinigan Award in 1979, and the University of the Philippine­s Alumni Associatio­n of New York Achievemen­t Award in 1991. In 2007, he was honored with the Presidenti­al Merit Award for his contributi­on to the visual arts.

Although he passed away in 2017, Rodriguez lives on through his work and the many lives he touched.

A tribute to Abueva and Rodriguez...

 ??  ?? Manuel Rodriguez, Sr. at work
Manuel Rodriguez, Sr. at work
 ??  ?? “Madonna and Child’’ by Manuel Rodriguez, Sr.
“Madonna and Child’’ by Manuel Rodriguez, Sr.
 ??  ?? “Vendors” by Manuel Rodriguez, Sr.
“Vendors” by Manuel Rodriguez, Sr.
 ??  ?? Father of Contempora­ry Philippine Printmakin­g Manuel Rodriguez, Sr.
Father of Contempora­ry Philippine Printmakin­g Manuel Rodriguez, Sr.

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