Wonder Women at West Gallery: Nona Garcia, Geraldine Javier, Elaine Navas, and Yasmin Sison

Nona Garcia, "Before The Sea"

Should we ever compile a Philippine version of Art Review’s annual Power List, these ladies will surely make the cut.  Nona Garcia, Geraldine Javier, and Yasmin Sison first burst into the Southeast Asian art scene via their show Silent Declarations at Valentine Willie Fine Art in KL nine years ago.  They helped pave the way for Filipino emerging artists to seep into the consciousness of audiences outside Manila’s cocoon.  A few years later came the auctions, and with a little help from Sotheby’s and Christies, the three ladies firmly established their reputations as art superstars.  Together with Elaine Navas, a Singapore-based Filipina painter (who the three have all professed boundless admiration for) they headline West Gallery’s offerings for this month: Continue reading

A Photography Collection at silverlens

Neil Oshima, "Gummy Worms", 2009

I’ve had the good fortune to view pieces from Isa Lorenzo and Rachel Rillo’s private art collection before, an invitation I wouldn’t have passed up.  The chance of savoring Rachel’s cooking served as an equally strong lure as the superb art they laid out for our enjoyment. I think that it’s great that they’ve mounted selected works at silverlens, the gallery they own and manage.  A Photography Collection allows their clients and supporters to share in their affinity for an art form that they both practice so well. Continue reading

Ateneo Art Awards 2011: Anatomy of Autonomy

I look forward to the Ateneo Art Awards every year.  I believe that it does a credible job of recognizing the best works by young visual artists.  I do not always agree with their

Bembol dela Cruz and Kawayan de Guia

selections, and I do have an issue with the awards’ age limit.  But overall, I still find it relevant and prestigious, a worthy acknowledgement of efforts undertaken in the past twelve months.  All the chatter that rolls in along with the announcement of winners just adds to the fun!  Yes we get names that appear every year— but doesn’t that just prove that those who always make it to the shortlist consistently do great work?   A key component to the judging process requires artists to recreate an exhibit for the benefit of the panel of jurors.  Yes, this imposes an onerous burden on the artists, one that the galleries must pitch in for. Having exhibits properly documented certainly helps.  But it does prove difficult to capture an exhibit’s original flavor, despite the galleries’— and the artists’—best efforts. Perhaps, this should be addressed.

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Nona Garcia and MM Yu Bring Us Compelling Collaborations

MM Yu, "Pantone" and Nona Garcia, "Unfinished"

Nona Garcia/ MM Yu, "Hallow/Hollow", detail

Nona Garcia/ MM Yu, "Hallow/Hollow", detail

More often than not, sticking to what you do best keeps things simple, and guarantees the most success.  Such is the case with Space And Two Points, the two-person exhibit of Nona Garcia and MM Yu, currently on at MO Space. By tapping into the photo-based aspects of their art practice, they bring us collaborative works that come together seamlessly while still retaining both their imprints.  You get the sense that they both thought this show through.  Or perhaps, their friendship allowed them to work comfortably with each other, melding common elements of their art into remarkable joint pieces. Continue reading

Patty Eustaquio, Nona Garcia, Geraldine Javier, and Yasmin Sison Take A Turn As Photographers

Geraldine Javier, "Overkill"

In 1893, when Paul Delaroche first encountered the then new-fangled art of photography, he famously declared painting’s demise.  The death of painting has since triggered numerous debates in the annals of art history. While developments in contemporary art have made this a non-issue, viewers of Strip 2011 Painters As Photographers may find themselves in agreement with M. Delaroche.  For this exhibit, Patricia Eustaquio, Nona Garcia, Geraldine Javier, and Yasmin Sison, four artists known primarily for their paintings, essay into photography. Their works

Nona Garcia, "Whiteout Series"

prove that, should they choose to, they can very well leave painting behind. Continue reading

Nona Garcia’s Fine Fractures

Nona Garcia, "A Series Of Fractures", x-ray plates made into light boxes

I loved the quiet impact of Fractures, Nona Garcia’s show that opened this week at West Gallery.  I honestly did not know what to expect from this, her third show of the year, coming as it did on the heels of her SLab and Finale exhibits.  For those two shows, Nona gave us major pieces, firmly announcing she had come back after a brief hiatus.  As majestic as her two oversized paintings

Nona Garcia, "Above Water", photo assemblage

had been, White, blank(at Slab in March) and Fall Leaves After Leaves Fall (at Finale in May) simply reacquainted us with Nona.  She revisited signature devices, her portraits from behind and depictions of damaged and abandoned spaces. Continue reading

Patty Eustaquio’s Dear Sweet Filthy World; Nona Garcia, Bruihn, and Anna Varona Make Rare Appearances

To what do we owe the surfeit of exciting shows that opened all over the metro this week?  It seems the ides of March has swept in

Patricia Eustaquio, "Dear Sweet Filthy World IV"

the muses, with the Silverlens group leading the way:







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