Thursday, March 29, 2012



Ayala Museum presents - The Medium of Photography Among Asian Artists

In line with AIAE Educational Activities

Ayala Museum presents

The Medium of Photography Among Asian Artists

A review of Asian Art by Rosscapili

Saturday March 31,2012
3pm-6pm Ground Floor Lobby
Ayala Museum

Lecture is FREE with purchase of museum admission. P150 adults, P75 for students. Call 7577117 local 35 or email for more details

Rosscapili Studied Fine Arts in PWU in 1981. To date he has mounted more than 30 solo exhibitions with over 55 awards and distinctions. A Juror’s Choice in the Philip Morris ASEAN Art Awards (1994) ; Pamana ng Lahi Award in San Francisco USA (2001) ; PATA Gold in Hyderabad India (2008) ; Ani ng Dangal Presidential Award (2009) ; ECCA Abstract Painting Winner (2009) ; Executive Council of the NCCA - Committee on Visual Arts 2007-2010 and Chairman of the 25th and 26th AIAE -Federation of Asian Artists (2010-2012).

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Readymade Chinagirls:
Alice and Lucinda
Catalina Africa and Maria Jeona Zoleta

March 20 - April 15, 2012
Opening Reception: Tuesday, March 20, 6pm

Mo_space 3rd Level, MOS Design Buildings
B2 Bonifacio High Street
Bonifacio Global City
Taguig City

For inquiries contact +632 856 2748 x 2

A proposal of complex, calculated fictions through "the D.I.Y" and methods of play, Readymade Chinagirls introduces two pairs of collaborations – Alice and Lucinda with Catalina Africa and Maria Jeona Zoleta – that are a generation apart. They come together for an exhibition where new post-feminist art find itself in an expanded field of artistic practice, and likewise explores the dynamics of collaborative work.

Alice and Lucinda is distinctly the invention in 1999 by Yasmin Sison and Lena Cobangbang under whose name they have produced originative projects that investigated the boundaries beyond object-making in the days of Generation X, indie pop and alternative icons in the social realm of urban Manila. On the other hand, emerging artists Catalina Africa and Maria Jeona Zoleta present another channel in projecting their joint fantasies separate from their individual art-making.

Readymade China Girls peers into two major works by Alice and Lucinda and new versions of Catalina and Jeona’s projects. The exhibition presents performance based works, video and sculpture.

Planting Rice would like to acknowledge the additional support of GeiserMaclang, Gym Lumbrera, Clarissa Chikiamco (Visual Pond) and Meagan Ong in this exhibition

In connection with this exhibition, Alice and Lucinda is also presented at A&L : the parallel (lives) museum at the U.P. Jorge B. Vargas Museum, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City from March 29 - May 2. Opening Reception on March 29, Thursday at 4pm co-presented with Finale Art File.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


From 16 March to 6 April 2012, established Filipino artist Ramon Diaz presents his most recent artworks at Nova Gallery. The one-man show will feature 19 works on paper that capture the allure of the traditional Japanese sport, sumo wrestling.

Famous as a figurative painter, printmaker, sculptor and installation artist, Diaz shifts to ink on wet canvass to depict a sport that has captured his fascination since he was 11 years old when he first saw sumo wrestling match.

One of the most iconic symbols of Japanese culture, sumo has come to represent the persistence of tradition in an age where social shifts, motored by technology, are happening in breakneck speed.

Diaz's work is a call to a review of such developments. He implores us to look again at such customs, those that make the fabric of our identities but have begun to fray at the ages.It is no accident that he depicts scenes that show how regimented the sport is: from the dohyō-iri or ring-entering ceremony to the detailing of the mawashi loin cloth worn by the wrestlers.

This tension between opposing forces - old and new, lightness and gravity, man and rival - is magnified on the works that portray the different or winning techniques in a sumo bout. From a pulling body slam (yobimodoshi) to a double arm luck (kimedashi), Diaz attempts to freeze that very instant right before the victor makes the winning move.

“It is these that I am most interested in. The calm at the eye of the storm. Not the before or the after nor the build-up to that instant,” Diaz says. In framing such scenes, he draws the viewer and the viewed into a distilled, focused point in time during the fight. This perhaps is what Henri-Cartier Bresson would have called the 'decisive moment'.

That penultimate second just before a wrestler pins his opponent to the floor, when flesh becomes lighter than paper, and a fight ends with a single gesture.

For more information call 392-7797 or send an electronic mail to or

NOVA Gallery is located at Warehouse 12A, La Fuerza Compound, 2241 Don Chino Roces Ave., Makati City.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Don’t believe the hype: more adults and children are visiting Britain’s museums
But it’s hard to predict how budget cuts will impact on attendance, especially in regional centres

By Maurice Davies. Web only
Published online: 22 February 2012

Recently published research found that 40% of British children aged five to 12 have never visited an art gallery. Claiming to have identified a “culture starved’ generation, the study also found, somewhat less dramatically, that 17% of children have never visited a museum with their parents.

On closer reading, the research seems to be part of a public relations ploy to get parents to take their children to cultural venues in Britain’s second largest city. Commissioned by the tourism body Visit Birmingham and published in February, the research concludes rather clumsily: “Many attractions in Birmingham and the wider region have free entry, particularly for children, and you can learn much from visiting landmarks and exploring the history about them. Modern children would really benefit from including more cultural activity in their lives, which is invaluable to their learning.”

It’s a worthwhile sentiment and surely a good thing to market the city’s cultural attractions; certainly a better way to spend a day than slogging round the Bull Ring shopping centre, even with its Future Systems-designed branch of Selfridges.


Pow Martinez's CYBORG SCALLOPS Opening on March 15, Thursday at Silverlens Slab

Immediately, a shock from this colorful apocalypse puts its tongue in your mouth that searches for cool memory tied to a vast archive of electronic pleasure. The erotic nerve of the picture, that of paint made flesh, blends the skins of various pigments into orgasms of delight, producing corpulent bulges of thick wet paint, sticky sweat from the oily medium, coupled with penetrating lunges of gesture that aim for the work’s central essence. Pow Martinez approaches his work with such incredible painterly gusto matched only by the grave seriousness he ponders on his craft. Thus, agony and ecstasy appear to be the constant torturers surrounding his work. Under his gaze, painting becomes a vexed solitary activity that traverses the void of unknowing, which is a mindless gap of despair, wailing an incomprehensible silent abstraction of a secret language hostile to the uninitiated, with panic stricken gasps approaching near death experience, in order to coax the phantasms of the mind to congeal, to reveal what the artist sees for himself alone, towards an awareness of negative reality, where things appear as what they truly are as soulless robotic slaves served to the indulgences of fate and to the cold indifference of destiny. Painting here becomes this one conscious subversion against a multitude of ideational contrivances - prosthetics for the unimaginative beasts. Consequently, Martinez smears the paint with wild abandon, in haphazard fashion, carefree of where it would go and what it would hit in an effort to cover the great divide that conceals the emptiness within brought about by this culture of control. The canvas, this barren landscape of blind hope, white light/white noise, shimmering spectral spots, pouring, sinking into one’s skin, impregnating the empty vessel with atomic probes that vibrate so as to explore territorial hunger, filling the cavities with a deafening sound, while expanding to explode this physical chamber, this body. Paint lines scurry and hiss across the color expanse to bind it from disintegrating into virtual dust, tracing the very structure of its existence into vestiges of pure horror. Faces eroding from their waxen entombment, washed by the acid of dumb life, emerge grinning, grimacing, staring, born naked into a second life. Martinez presents a sardonic image of humanity as bags of flesh with primary motor functions minus the codified programming that reduce it to ostensible communal value.

In a manner to contest the artificiality of the social-surround, Martinez creates this painterly world of noise experience, using his medium like a time bomb (as painting is time based with its ramifications felt well into the future) set to explode the aesthetic conventions of taste and cultural consciousness, scattering its remains to restructure a new image perfect for this eschatological moment. The optical noise resonating from Martinez’ paintings disengages the dullness of existence from its still life, jamming the codes of social control that program mechanical lives and toward states of unpredictability. This interferential rattle, which blocks the transmission of subliminal messages via cultural jamming, prevents sense from being made through a hiccup of sensations that never quite return to its norm, producing instead a mutational parody of itself reincarnated in cartoon form. What stays is this abominable registration in lieu of the original standard, which opens the way for the questioning of what was once deemed to be common experience. Noise is therefore the other, which Martinez’ works inevitably portray; hence, it is situated outside of us, as man made constructs of artificial energy that dictate the flows of information and communication, filling the compositional space with non-sense, with synthetic memory, that alter the perception of the world and its meaning around us, transforming ourselves into cybernetic organisms, into the other. To consider, the universal view of art is to present things to be harmonious, beautiful, and pleasing to the senses in order to sustain the ideals we want to hold dear in life. In other words, to affirm and to preserve life’s apparent meaning. But art’s immanent desire is to destroy, and through Martinez’ works, to negate a false sense of this world by way of hysterical representations to elicit the confrontation of our primal fears. But, the working out of this fear through art creates another space of recuperation, that of laughter and coping. Thus, Martinez’ visual noise deals with the extreme states of life: terror, pain, suffering, anger, despair, all of which expose the fantasy of humanist confidence, of a night that will eventually end, when we begin to wake.

“Cyborg Scallops” at SLAB Gallery is an escalation of Pow Martinez’ vision of the apocalypse rendered with hellish pop expressionism. The series features mutant figurations and monster mash- ups strewn allover barren landscapes of irradiated hues that paint the end of the world with sarcastic wit and gallows humor. Martinez runs counter to the local tradition and practice of rote rendering of religious figures and scenes, first by employing heavy viscous paint laid expressively on the surface that creates the work’s powerful verve; and second, by populating his paintings with mostly deformities of a monstrous, extraterrestrial, and demonic kind. Martinez revels in all this absurdity, and with a heretic’s attitude attacks the towers of taste and conventional value.

Pow Martinez’s Cyborg Scallops opens on March 15, 2012 at Silverlens SLab, simultaneously with Jake Verzosa’s Harbinger at Silverlens Gallery and Maria Taniguchi’s Untitled (Celestial Motors) in Silverlens 20SQUARE. All shows run until April 14, 2012.
Exhibition made possible in part with support from Pablo Gallery.
Words by Arvin Flores; Image: Pow Martinez, pink man, 2012


Jake Verzosa's HARBINGER Opening on March 15, Thursday at Silverlens Gallery

Take a straightforward portrait and turn it into something figurative, this is what photographer Jake Verzosa has demonstrated in his latest body of work whose title, Harbinger, was inspired by Magic the Gathering cards and other Role Playing Games. Or, as Verzosa put it simply, “I like the word.”

A fixture in the fashion industry, Verzosa presents the model, the very subject he is used to working with, in another light–as a vessel of form and movement. His images aim to document a figure in transition, to record what transpires when his subject is asked to interpret a series of cloud formations through movements across the canvas of the camera frame. Take a closer look at the hazy black and white images and you will discover distinct human forms juxtaposed alongside random storm cloud formations.

Verzosa’s latest images are a tight combination of a series of photographs he took in 2005 documenting cloud formations and a human body depicting movement in the form of top Philippine fashion model, Ria Bolivar. “I thought that it would be interesting to record human movement without any direction from the photographer. It should emerge from within the subject,” shares Verzosa.

It is evident in his works that a strong connection with the image, idea, and even the subject is a significant factor in Verzosa’s artistic process. Bits and pieces of the artist’s life are subtly displayed in this body of work–his success as a fashion and commercial photographer, his fascination with science, born during his high school days at Philippine Science school, and his personal inclination towards taking photographs rather than making them. “I usually use film for my personal works but for this body of work, since it involved a lot of trial and error in terms of capturing beautiful accidents, it made more sense to shoot in digital,” he adds.

This body of work does not aim to delve into deep definitions and solve unanswerable queries. In its truest sense, the exhibition is a profession and manifestation of form captured in the documentary and organic style which is always present in Verzosa’s work. “I do what I do because I feel the intrinsic need to document the odd and the beautiful. Change is always permanent and photography is my way of moving through time. I am motivated to do works that I feel are significantly larger than me.”

The 32-year-old Manila-based artist is inspired by other photographers, musicians, random conversations, and hearing success stories and seeing unusual beauty, and keen on shooting stories about beauty, culture, social issues and the human spirit. He is busy with his family, commercial work, and a long-term project documenting the last tattooed women of Kalinga. He has traveled extensively around Southeast Asia and his works have been exhibited in Manila, Singapore, and Paris.

Jake Verzosa’s Harbinger opens on March 15, 2012 at Silverlens Gallery, simultaneously with Pow Martinez’s Cyborg Scallops at Silverlens SLab and Maria Taniguchi’s Untitled (Celestial Motors) in Silverlens 20SQUARE. All shows run until April 14, 2012.

Words by Monica Barretto; Image: Jake Verzosa, Harbinger #1, 2005 (left) Harbinger #2, 2012 (right)

Monday, March 12, 2012


Yasmin Almonte

Yasmin “Jigs” Almonte holds her 16th solo show featuring around 60 small works on paper,
March 12 - April 2, 2012 at the Liongoren Gallery, 111 New York, Cubao. Non-figurative, gestural and most of them bond-paper size – departs from the artist’s figurative, diaristic and large-scale body of works. We take the cue for this departure from earlier works from the title “And Then I Smiled…,” a reference to her successful battle in 2010 with an extremely rare cancer (stage 3 sarcoma) that originated from her jaw bone and the series of treatments at the Philippine General Hospital that culminated in a surgery that removed a large part of her jaw in 2010. The proceeds of this exhibit will help her fund her reconstructive surgery, and her maintenance regime. Feeling “half full, and half empty,” after a procedure that left her cancer-free but missing a large part of her jaw and struggling to “make sense of the senselessness of missing my students, my work, my colleagues, but only too glad to be alive,” she surrounded herself with bits of paper, paint and other materials she randomly put together and proceeded to splash, daub, whisk paint, crumple, paste, glue bits and pieces with no particular order, plan or structure. Random, unscheduled, cathartic – she laughed, sang, danced and wept during the proceedings, and largely relying on intuition and instinct, the process was akin to automatic writing celebrating life, its gains and triumph, as well as its pains and losses.

The opening on March 12, 6.30 pm is a celebration as well as an occasion to cheer up, pray and rally more resources, this time for the recovery of another artist, Lirio Salvador, who is in coma at the Lasalle hospital, Cavite following a motorcycle accident last December 30, 2011. We thus call on artists, collectors and friends of artists to rally behind Lirio in 2012, like we rallied behind Almonte, when we cheered: Go, Jigs, Fight! in 2010. Lend a Hand for Lirio is the group show featuring the works of Lirio and his artist friends which will run until March 24. On the last day at 2 pm there will be a raffle and auction of the all works on exhibit.


To Be Continued : Roberto Chabet
Roberto Chabet, detail (from the China Collage Series), 1982-1985

Roberto Chabet’s To Be Continuedis a landmark survey exhibition of Chabet’s plywood works that was first presented in the Institute of Contemporary Art, Singapore - La Salle College of the Arts last January 2011. The exhibition returns to Manila as the final installation of Chabet: 50 Years, a year-long series of exhibitions organized by King Kong Art Projects Unlimited to celebrate Chabet’s fifty years of pioneering conceptual work as an artist, teacher and curator.

The exhibition gathers seminal works such as, ‘Russian Paintings’(1984)and ‘Cargo and Decoy’(1989), as well as other works that utilizeplywood boards, a material, which has become not only the surface and support of his paintings and installations, but to a large extent their subject matter and content. He first used plywood in his early kinetic sculptures in the 1970s, but it was in the 80s when he adapted the material to painting. Breaking away from the rigid formalism of Modernism, his seemingly ‘purely’ geometric and abstract plywood constructions are often juxtaposed with particular everyday objects that would appear and re-appear in his other installations and become part of his familiar inventory of anxious objects. Highlighting process and the provisional nature of theseworks, the exhibition illuminates a key aspect of Chabet’s practice, which gives precedence to the fugitive and contingent nature of art.

Also included in the CCP mounting are a selection from Chabet’s‘China Collages’ (1980 – 1990), a series of large collages done over a ten-year period; ‘Bakawan’ (1974), a closed door installation in the CCP Small Gallery; the ‘Apple Painting Lesson’ (1983), an early collaborative work with over forty artists; and ‘Day and Night’ (2011), the artist’s most recent installation. The CCP Little Theater Curtain, which was designed by Chabet, will also be highlighted.

Roberto Chabet was born in 1937 in Manila and held his first solo exhibition at the Luz Gallery in 1961, the same year he graduated from the University of Sto. Tomas with a degree in Architecture. He was the founding Museum Director of CCP where he initiated the Thirteen Artists in 1970, supporting young artists whose works show “recentness and a turning away from the past”. After his brief tenure in the CCP, Chabet led the alternative artist group Shop 6, and taught for over thirty years at the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts in Dilimanand at key artist-run spaces in Manila. Since the 70s, Chabet has been curating landmark exhibitions of vanguard works by young and emerging Filipino artists. He is the recipient of the JD Rockefeller III Fund Grant (1967- 1968), the Republic Cultural Heritage Award (1972), the ArawngMaynila Award for the Visual Arts (1972), and the CCP Centennial Award of Honors for the Arts (1998).

Roberto Chabet’s To Be Continued will be on view until March 31, 2012. The exhibition is organized by King Kong Art Projects Unlimited in collaboration with the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

01/19/2012 - 6:00pm to 03/31/2012 - 5:00pm
CCP (Cultural Center of the Philippines


Frieze Projects expands into London’s East End
Public art works are due to be installed this summer, during the London Olympics

By Julia Michalska. Web only
Published online: 22 February 2012

After announcing a new fair across the Atlantic in New York, Frieze is now looking to expand its base back home into London’s East End. The non-profit arm of the art fair, the Frieze Foundation, is planning to curate and produce at least four new public art projects throughout six east London boroughs. A playground, a doorknob, pool toys and a series of billboards will feature among the works produced for Frieze Projects East, which opens during the London Olympics. The project has been organised in cooperation with the London 2012 Festival and the summer festival Create.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


“Suspend The World”
by Guenivere Toledanes Decena

Negros Occidental, with its rich culture and history, has once again produced a child dedicated to the arts. Alliance Française de Manille presents an exhibition by Negrense artist Guenivere Toledanes Decena entitled “Suspend The World” which opens on March 13th, 2012, 6:30pm and will run until 3rd of April, 2012.

“Suspend the World” concretizes one of Decena’s greatest obsessions: that of seeing herself as a traveler of the psyche. She has put safe approximations to a theory she came upon that we are not really at home in our present time-"our moment". We are all, by nature and logic, willing ourselves ahead, yet inadmissibly dreaming ourselves back to the past; treating life itself like a melody which we can sing from the top, or a fabric unwoven, woven and rewoven for an imagined better design.

“Inevitably, the mind conditions everything it encounters,” says the artist. “It is within the limits of our minds that we do not see things as they are in themselves.” For the mind presupposes a role of reaching reality through accumulated understanding. “Suspend the World” emphasizes that it is also through the mind that the unknowability of things is thoroughly questioned and examined.

Translating her presuppositions visually, Decena presents paintings in acrylic and oil that have evolved from quotations and poetry that she has written and collected over the early years of her venture into art. The artist declares that she desires to show how we envelop the world with our ideas and our thoughts. She shares questions along with their far-reaching echoed calls for answers.

We suspend the world every second with our thoughts as a consequence to this. Yet while we are also suspended in anticipation of the answers and solutions yet to be found, humankind is caught up in this on-going dance with the paradoxes. We are all seemingly treading the murky depths for answers within a minute span of existence. And so the ramifications of ideas and questions continue to multiply.

Guenivere Decena is one of the youngest emerging Negros contemporary artists. She is an only daughter of two artists who have been traveling to share their music. Her interest in visual arts and music started during her years in Beijing, China. She earned her degree in Fine Arts major in Advertising at La Consolacion College as an art and academic scholar, graduating cum laude. At 25, she is already acknowledged in art circles for her talent as well as her ideas. Her first solo exhibition was an installation entitled “Constant Point of Vanishing” in Gallery Orange, Bacolod, held last July, 2011. She has also participated in several group shows in Negros, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro and Metro Manila, and was granted an artist residency with Project Space Pilipinas from September to December, 2011. In January 2012, the artist was a finalist for AFM’s 2012 Philippine Art Residency Program (PARP) in Paris, France.

Guenivere Decena’s exhibition “Suspend The World” opens on Tuesday, March 13, 2012, at the Alliance Française Total Gallery of the Alliance Française de Manille, with cocktails at 6:30pm to 9pm. The exhibit runs until April 3, 2012. For high resolution images of the artworks and more details about the exhibit, kindly contact Mr. Earl Parco (AFM Cultural Officer) at 895 7441 / 895 7585 or email, or visit the AFM website at

(Guenivere Decena’s exhibition “Suspend The World” is co-presented by Gallery Orange)
Alliance Française de Manille is located at 209 Nicanor Garcia St. formerly Reposo St.) Bel-Air 2, Makati City. Gallery days and hours: Monday to Thursday, 9am to 6pm; Friday and Saturday, 9am to 5pm; and closed on Sundays and Holidays.


Gestural Reflections
Proceso Gelladuga

Galerie Anna, The Artwalk, 4th Level, Megamall-A
Mandaluyong City

The exhibit is open from March 12 to 24, 2012. For inquiries, please contact us at (+632) 470-2511 or send us an email at Like us on Facebook: or visit our website at .


New York water tanks to be transformed into works of art
Ed Ruscha and Lawrence Weiner, as well as Jay-Z, are due to take part

By Bonnie Rosenberg. Web only
Published online: 23 February 2012

Word Above the Street, a New York-based non-profit organisation, plans to transform 300 rooftop water tanks across New York City into works of art to raise awareness on the global water supply.

For 12 weeks during the spring and summer of 2013, the Water Tank Project will host works by artists including Ed Ruscha, Lawrence Weiner, Tony Oursler, Marilyn Minter and Carrie Mae Weems, as well as rapper Jay-Z.

The project is run by Mary Jordan, a film-maker and activist, with a curatorial team that includes Lisa Dennison, the chairman of Sotheby’s North and South America, Neville Wakefield, the senior curatorial adviser for MoMA PS1, Alison Gingeras, the head curator of François Pinault’s collection and Toby Devan Lewis, a trustee of the New Museum of Contemporary Art.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


For more details about of the art auction and raffle please contact 912 4319 / 439 3962 / 964 3496 and look for Ms.Fatima or email us at


On March 11, HIRAYA GALLERY opens its group exhibition entitled “Daring i”, a collection of self-portraits done in various media by new and promising Filipino artists who are itinerants in the local landscapes and abroad.

Self-portraits do not make a niche to a painter, particularly while he is still young, because his facial countenance should be a litter of lumps and furrows recognized by his friends and rivals and sworn to by his detractors. In other words, a self-portrait must be a sum of the drenching chaos of life’s largesse of success, anger, and grief.

Shorn of this strong facet but brimming with the intensity of youthful statements, the eleven painters in the exhibition have wrought a collage of differing abilities and outlooks about their craft and lives.

They inform and instruct the viewers a pilfering of advocacies on the environmental degradation in the urban landscapes, the continuing struggle for liberation from the underbelly of traditional male dominance, a dissidence against the encroaching commercialization of his homeland, a demonstration of unabated anger like a hollow mask, a hammering crash of a Christian central belief as a Balinese folktale, a flagrant and explicit taunt at sexual taboos.

The show will run from March 11-31, 2012. Hiraya Gallery is located at 530 United Nations Avenue, Ermita, Manila. For information, call 5233331 or visit


Police drop investigation into British Empire and Commonwealth Museum
No one charged over sales of museum objects taken from the collection

By Gareth Harris. Web only
Published online: 23 February 2012

An investigation into the unauthorised disposal of objects from the Bristol-based British Empire and Commonwealth Museum has been dropped by Avon and Somerset police. The museum’s former director, Gareth Griffiths, left in February last year. The chairman of the museum's trustees, Sir Neil Cossons, gave as the reason for his dismissal “the unauthorised disposal of museum objects”, and the director's “abuse of his position”.

“In March 2011 police received an allegation of theft in connection with the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum in Bristol… following the investigation, and after consultation with the crown prosecution service, it was considered that there was insufficient evidence to bring any criminal charges,” says a police spokesman.

The trustees responded yesterday with a statement, saying: “[We] have been advised by Avon and Somerset Police that they do not intend to bring a criminal prosecution against the museum's former director [Griffiths] who was dismissed on 17 February 2011. The trustees are taking legal advice on the museum’s civil law remedies in respect of these matters.”

Griffiths could not be contacted for a comment but released a statement through his solicitors in March 2011 saying that any objects were disposed of with the knowledge and agreement of the trustees and receipts were fully audited. “Any suggestion that our client has profited from the disposal will be vigorously defended,” said Griffiths's solicitor at the time.

Friday, March 9, 2012


Birmingham’s children are “culture-starved”, says tourism report
A quarter of parents surveyed said they couldn’t afford entrance fees or didn’t have the time to take their kids to attractions

By Anny Shaw. Web only
Published online: 22 February 2012

Research commissioned by the tourism body Visit Birmingham has branded millions of British children “culture starved” after it found that four in ten children aged five to 12 have never visited an art gallery, while 17% have never been to a museum with their parents. The study, published in February, surveyed 2,000 parents from across the UK.

A quarter of parents said they could not afford the entrance fees for attractions and 28% said they did not have the time. However, the report points outs: “Many attractions in Birmingham and the wider region have free entry, particularly for children, and you can learn much from visiting landmarks and exploring the history about them.”

Thursday, March 8, 2012


Exhibition Notes

The search for contemporary art reflecting a locale has proven to be elusive. Especially in a place like Cebu where rich historical and cultural narratives, monuments, and architecture abound, it is just difficult to reconcile the old and the new, the classic and the modern, and the traditional method and the avant-garde practice. Many have tried and have proved to end as a disaster.

Of course, there are a selected few who succeed creating a perfect blend of the paradox. One of them is Josua Cabrera, artist, illustrator, and poet. For his solo exhibition, Kal-ang, iconic landscapes are presented with the use of tuba (Visayan coconut wine), local tabloid clippings, and his signature medium of ink. Starting from his house, Cabrera takes his audience on a tour around Cebu. Iconic landmarks like the Capitol and Magellan’s Cross are revisited while quotidian life around the city are captured. His carefully crafted pieces display a strong sense of local color without sacrificing new methods in depicting cityscapes.

Cabrera provides a glimpse of Cebuano everyday life with tabloid clippings that also banks quotidian events from the mundane to the extraordinary. The artist in his endless wandering around Cebu encounters these stories. He colors them with coconut wine, the very thing that bridges the space between his memory and his roots.

The artist’s past time includes walking around the city to contemplate, think, and find inspiration for his art. Kal-ang provides its audience the similar experience.

JV Castro
ACAS Curator


We don’t own that Modigliani
Nahmads say the contested painting, Seated Man with a Cane, 1918, belongs to another organization

By Gareth Harris. News, Issue 233, March 2012
Published online: 29 February 2012

The news that the billionaire New York art dealers David Nahmad and his son Helly were being sued for the return of a 1918 work by Modigliani allegedly looted by the Nazis made it to the British and American tabloid press in November. Now, in a legal twist, lawyers acting on behalf of the Nahmad family say that the case is unfounded because the Manhattan-based Helly Nahmad Gallery does not own the work.

In court papers, the Nahmads’ legal team says instead that an organisation called the International Art Center (IAC) possesses the piece and that “Helly Nahmad Gallery never owned the painting [which] is not in New York State… the plaintiff has sued the wrong defendant.” But lawyers for Philippe Maestracci, who is claiming Modigliani’s Seated Man with a Cane, contend that the “International Art Center is an offshore entity used by the Nahmad defendants as an instrumentality to hold their interests in works, around 90% of which are held in an art storage facility at the free port of Geneva.” They add that the art centre’s holdings are estimated at between $3bn and $4bn.

Maestracci says that the Modigliani was owned by his grandfather, Oscar Stettiner, who ran a gallery in Paris. In 1939, Stettiner fled Paris without the work; in July 1944, Marcel Philippon, who was appointed by the Nazis to sell Stettiner’s property, sold the painting. Maestracci says that he made repeated requests to the Nahmad gallery to return the piece, but received no reply.

The Nahmads bought the work at Christie’s, London, in June 1996 for $3.2m, according to the online publication Artnet. However, the court papers state: “The International Art Center purchased the painting… the painting has been openly and publicly exhibited at various museums and galleries throughout the world since 1996, when the IAC acquired ownership.” Christie’s catalogue entry states that it had previously belonged to the Paris collector Roger Dutilleul and was later sold to J. Livengood, also in Paris, around 1940 to 1945. The provenance did not indicate spoliation.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012




Turkey blocks loans to US and UK
Multiple claims for antiquities at New York’s Met, major exhibitions hit at London’s British Museum and Victoria & Albert Museum

By Martin Bailey. News, Issue 233, March 2012
Published online: 01 March 2012

Turkey is refusing to lend artefacts to leading British and American museums until the issue of disputed antiquities is resolved. The ban means Turkey will not lend artefacts to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and London’s British Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A).

The British Museum had asked for 35 items for the exhibition “Hajj: Journey to the Heart of Islam” (until 15 April). Although Turkish museums were agreeable to the loans, the ministry of culture blocked them, leaving the British Museum to find alternative artefacts at short notice.

As part of the growing Turkish campaign, loans have been blocked to museums with disputed objects in their collections.

The Met has confirmed that a dozen antiquities are now being claimed by Turkey, but would not identify the individual items. A museum spokeswoman says: “The matter is under discussion with the Turkish authorities.” This month, the Met is due to open “Byzantium and Islam” (14 March-8 July). Many loans are coming from the Benaki Museum in Athens, with none requested of Turkish museums.

Tolga Tuyluoglu, the head of the Turkish government’s culture and tourism office in London, confirmed that claims for the return of two artefacts in the British Museum and V&A are being pursued. Although there is a “good relationship” between Turkish and British cultural organisations, his government wants to resolve issues over the two antiquities “before discussing loans for exhibitions”.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Tagalog at Taga-ilog
Roberto M. A. Robles
08 March to 27 April 2012
GF Lobby and West Wing Gallery

The Jorge B. Vargas Museum in cooperation with Galleria Duemila presents Tagalog at Taga-ilog by Roberto M. A. Robles which will open on March 8, 2012, Thursday, 4:00PM.

This exhibition focuses on the convergence between the museum’s milieu and the artist’s sculpture. The inspiration of this project is Saluysoy, Robles’s retrospective held last year, which means “wellspring”. Tagalog at Taga-ilog explores the resonance of the term through sculptures, maquettes, drawings and poetry in the wider discourse of identity and landscape.

Roberto M. A. Robles (b. 1957) graduated from the School of Music and Fine Arts of the University of the East with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts. In 1995, he completed his Master of Fine Arts sculpture program majoring in stone carving under the tutelage of Prof. Hitoshi Itoh at the University of Tsukuba School of Art and Design. He was appointed Dean of the College of Fine Arts, University of the East in the same year upon returning to the Philippines. He has extensively exhibited locally and abroad in such venues as at the Pinaglabanan Gallery, Galleria Duemila, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum, and Ibaraki Museum of Modern Art and Kitano Museum Art Movement. He received an Asian Artist Fellowship at the 11th Annual Freeman Foundation Vermont Studio Center, USA in 2004. Robles held his 30 year retrospective "Saluysoy" at the Ateneo Art Gallery in 2011.

Tagalog at Taga-ilog will run until 27 April 2012. For more information, please contact Vargas Museum at +632 928-1927(direct line), +63 981-8500 loc. 4024 (UP trunkline), +63 928-1925 (fax) or send an e-mail to You may also check our website at or like us at more information.


Altro Mondo - Arte Contemporanea celebrates Women's Month this March with a group show by established and up-and-coming women artists based here and abroad. Billed "Women on Women," the show will mount paintings, sculptures, installations, and mixed media works by Agnes Arellano, Imelda Cajipe-Endaya, Valeria Cavestany, Marika Constantino, Jenny Cortes, Lina Llaguno-Ciani, Delphine de Lorme, Sheen Ochavez, Christina Quisumbing Ramilo, and more.

The gallery will unveil Arellano's new series of reliefs centered on "the end of a woman's life when she renews her virginity." Cajipe-Endaya brings to the collection intricate scrolls that pay homage to the women of the Philippine revolution. Llaguno-Ciani delivers two arresting paintings from Italy, "OFW" and "La Pùi Bella del Mondo." Ramilo offers fascinating urban yet personal interpretations of the contemporary woman with an altar of found objects, a breathtaking wall of sandpaper, and cigarette butts. French artist de Lorme lends provocative pop art pieces on the power of women's sexuality today.

"Women on Women" opens on Thursday, March 8 at 6:00 pm at Altro Mondo on the 3rd Level of Greenbelt 5 at the Ayala Center in Makati. A poetry reading session will be held during the reception, featuring award-winning and oft-published writers Mabi David, Daryll Delgado, Nikka Osorio, Faye Cura, Petra Magno, and more. The reading will comprise of poetry, short prose, and other performances inspired by the works in the show.

For inquiries, call 501-32-70–71, email, or visit our website at


Leonardo’s lover probably painted the Prado’s Mona Lisa
Identifying the assistant who worked on the copy in Madrid could lead the Louvre to reassess the original’s early provenance

By Martin Bailey. Web only
Published online: 01 March 2012

The Prado’s copy of the Mona Lisa was most likely painted by Salaì, Leonardo’s assistant and reputed lover. Salaì, whose nickname means “little Satan”, joined his master’s studio in 1490, at the age of ten, and worked with him until Leonardo’s death.

Giorgio Vasari, the mid-16th century art historian, described Salaì as “a graceful and beautiful youth with curly hair, in which Leonardo greatly delighted”. It has long been believed that Salaì and Leonardo were lovers, although there is no firm evidence of a sexual relationship.

The identity of the studio assistant who painted the Prado’s copy of the Mona Lisa is still being investigated, but Salaì (whose real name was Gian Giacomo Caprotti) has now emerged as the top contender. On 21 February, the newly-restored copy of the Mona Lisa, done side-by-side with Leonardo’s original in his studio, was unveiled in Madrid. The Louvre dates the original to about 1503-06.

If it is confirmed that Salaì was the copyist of the Mona Lisa, then it is unlikely that he once owned the original, as has previously been assumed. The Louvre would then have to reassess the early history of the world’s most famous painting.

In attempting to identify the copyist, curators at the Prado began by eliminating pupils and associates such as Boltraffio, Marco d’Oggiono and Ambrogio de Predis—since they each have their own individual styles. They also eliminated two Spanish followers of Leonardo, Fernando Yáñez and Fernando de Llanos, whose work is distinctively Valencian.

Miguel Falomir, the head of Italian paintings at the Prado, now believes that the copy of the Mona Lisa “can be stylistically located in a Milanese context close to Salaì or possibly Francesco Melzi”. Melzi was an assistant who joined Leonardo’s studio in around 1507, but the Prado’s copy may well have been started earlier. Of the two, Salaì now seems the most likely.

Bruno Mottin, the head curator at the Centre de Recherche et de Restauration des Musées de France (based at the Louvre), concurs. He believes that Melzi is less likely, and although Salaì’s style remains obscure, he is the most likely candidate.

Monday, March 5, 2012


Is Moscow’s culture tsar Putin’s secret election weapon?
The Russian presidential candidate may be taking his cue from Sergei Kapkov, who transformed Moscow’s dilapidated Gorky Park into an arts haven

By Sophia Kishkovsky. Web only
Published online: 29 February 2012

Sergei Kapkov, a close associate of billionaire art collector and football entrepreneur Roman Abramovich and a member of Vladimir Putin's United Russia party, quickly made his mark on Moscow when he was put in charge of the dilapidated Gorky Park last March. He rapidly transformed a space known for tatty fairground rides and run-down ephemera from the Soviet regime into an attractive, sophisticated European park for Muscovites, with access to free wifi, cafes and yoga classes. The Garage Centre for Contemporary Art, founded and run by Abramovich's partner, Dasha Zhukova, is due to move to the park in spring this year.

Following his success with Gorky Park, Kapkov was appointed head of Moscow's department of culture late last year by Mayor Sergei Sobyanin and again wasted no time in taking headline-grabbing initiatives. One of first acts was to waive admission charges to city-run museums from 2 to 9 of January, during the school holidays. Kapkov told reporters that 93,000 people had visited the State Darwin Museum of Natural History during that period alone-only 400,000 had visited during the whole of 2011. One blogger reported that the queues had been longer than those for “the Lenin Mausoleum in Soviet times”. Part of the initiative has been maintained, with free access to city museums on the third Sunday of every month. And as part of his plans to make Moscow more culturally tourist-friendly, Kapkov also wants to introduce a museum pass and abolish two-tier admission fees, which make foreigners pay more than Russians. Mayor Sobyanin told a press conference on 14 February that nearly 30bn rubles have been allocated for cultural development in Moscow in 2012, almost 20 times more than in 2010.

“The Luzhkov [Sobyanin's predecessor as mayor] regime was so horrible, that it's not hard to do something based on common sense,” says Ilya Oskolkov-Tsentsiper, the president of the Strelka Institute for Art, Media and Design, a consultant on Gorky Park and other projects.

“Moscow is quite an aggressive city,” Kapkov told the Moscow Urban Forum conference in December. “People in this aggressive city try to put up boundaries between their personal space and the outside world. They put a huge fence up around their house or stay deep in their apartment. If they go out, it's to restricted areas, such as theatres or restaurants. From this we conclude that people draw a sharp distinction between personal and public space, private from public. They don't consider themselves responsible for public space. They don't think it belongs to them. It's not only that people limit their living space; it's that they don't feel their belonging to this space. They're not ready to deal with it themselves, and in this configuration they expect the state to give form to this space for them. This is bland and boring on the local level.”

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Rosscapili at Crucible Gallery

Multi-awarded painter Rosscapili will unveil his recent abstract paintings on canvas entitled Painted Words at Crucible Gallery on March 6, 2012.

Fifteen abstract works bear his signature wet-on-wet drip technique with multiple layers of acrylic pigment, his favorite medium. This will be the painter's third time to mount solo shows at the Crucible Gallery, preceded by his Green Fire exhibit in 1996. To date he has mounted more than 30 solo exhibitions. A Juror’s Choice in the Philip Morris ASEAN Art Awards 1994, the artist -- in what he considers to be his show on painted words -- will explore his interpretation of various utterance, quotes, lyrics and verses. Rosscapili's works have been collected widely by corporate and private entities both in the Philippines and abroad, and have been exhibited in Paris, New York, San Francisco, Taiwan, Kuala Lumpur, Fukuoka, Mongolia, Seoul Korea, and recently in Singapore.

Exhibit opens on March 6, 2012 at the Crucible Gallery, 4th level Bldg A , SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City. The show will run until March 18, 2012.

For details, please call Telefax 6356061 with Chari Elinzano.


Yayoi Kusama to create work for first Kiev Biennial
The Japanese artist will install a polka-dotted tunnel similar to her earlier pieces from the 1960s

By Anny Shaw. Web only
Published online: 28 February 2012

The Japanese artist, Yayoi Kusama, who has a major retrospective at Tate Modern in London (until 5 June), is creating a new work for the first Kiev Biennale (24 May-31 July). Kusama is one of 100 contemporary artists to take part in the biennial, along with Paul McCarthy, who will show his irreverent sculptural work, The King, 2006-11.

Kusama’s commission, a tunnel studded with bright pink bulbous forms decorated with black polka dots that viewers will be able to walk through, takes its cue from her earlier work of the 1960s, as well as a 2010 piece, Footprints of Life, which was installed in a roof-top pool of water at the Aichi Triennale. “The installation will be similar to the work Kusama first made in the 1960s as it will include playful floating shapes embedded in the space, but this piece will take a rather different approach,” says David Elliot, the artistic director of the biennial.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


26th AIAE Homecoming Exhibit at Ayala Museum

You are cordially invited to celebrate the homecoming with us via cocktails on March 5, 2012 at 6pm at the Ayala Museum.

Sixteen Filipino Artists were the country's delegates in the 26th AIAE (Asian International Art Exhibition) in Seoul Korea's Hangaram Art Museum last September 2011. Approximately 300 artists from 14 countries in the Asia-Pacific rim converged for the 26th time.


Ayala Museum - Ground Floor Gallery, Greenbelt Park, Makati Avenue, Makati City
Exhibit runs until April 1, 2012.
tel (632) 7577117 to 21

RSVP Aprille Tamayo, tel (632) 7577117 to 21 local 10


Japanese architect Maki chosen for Patna Museum, despite jury’s recommendation
Indian government authorities say Foster’s firm was “a close second”

By Martin Bailey. Web only
Published online: 28 February 2012

The £45m Patna Museum in India is to be designed by the Japanese architect Maki and Associates, despite the international jury’s initial recommendation for the London-based architect Norman Foster.

A government statement released on 15 February explained: “After deliberating as per the pre-set evaluation criteria including the technical and financial evaluation, the winning design selected was that of the internationally known Maki and Associates along with their Indian partner Opolis. Maki and Associates were awarded 77.56% while Foster + Partners were a close second at 75.59%.”

The Bihar decision has caused concern to some international members of the jury. The seven-person jury comprised three Indian officials, as well as Neelkanth Chhaya, the dean of the School of Architecture, Ahmedabad, and three international members—the Indian-born artist Subodh Gupta, the Irish architect Roisin Heneghan and the Victoria & Albert Museum’s director Martin Roth.

Following the announcement, Roth told The Art Newspaper: “After a thorough discussion, the jury chose the Foster scheme. We felt it was the best design. At the very last moment, the officials questioned the result.”

The Toronto-based consultants Lord Cultural Resources directed the architectural selection process. Barry Lord confirmed that in terms of overall points awarded, including financial considerations, Maki was slightly ahead of Foster.

A Foster spokeswoman said that “we are naturally disappointed not to win the contract”.

The three other architects on the short-list had been Daniel Libeskind (New York), Coop Himmelblau (Vienna) and Snøhetta (Oslo).

Friday, March 2, 2012


Prado’s copy of the Mona Lisa gives up more of her secrets
The work is now fully restored and on view in Spain, and gives fresh insight into the most famous painting in the world

By Martin Bailey. Web only
Published online: 23 February 2012

The Prado’s copy of the Mona Lisa, unveiled in Madrid on 21 February, has produced a series of surprises. Painted in Leonardo’s studio, it was made with high quality materials, suggesting it was an important work, probably a commission. When the copy was begun, the outline of Leonardo’s original composition was traced directly onto the assistant’s panel. The two works were then developed side by side, with the copyist following the master as he worked for years to complete the portrait of Lisa del Giocondo. Although remarkably similar, there are also fascinating differences between Leonardo’s original in the Louvre and the copy in the Prado.

The Art Newspaper revealed in its February issue that the Prado’s version of the Mona Lisa was not, as had been assumed, a later copy by a northern European artist. The dramatic discovery was that the copy had been done in Leonardo’s studio and painted alongside the original (see related story).

Black overpaint added in the late 18th century had obscured the landscape background, and until recently, no one had any idea of what lay hidden beneath. This was revealed by infra-red reflectography, done last summer by the Prado’s technical specialist Ana González Mozo. After further investigations, a full restoration was begun.

The first stage was to remove the old, yellowed varnish from the portrait area, restoring the original tones of the flesh. The next step was to deal with the black overpaint which obscured the landscape. Originally, it had been feared that that black had been applied to disguise damage to the landscape, but fortunately this was not the case. Earlier this year, the overpaint was painstakingly removed with solvents, revealing the Tuscan landscape beneath.

The final work, completed in the past few weeks, was retouching to fill in small paint losses and blend in the colours. The resulting restoration, by Almudena Sánchez, means the portrait now looks much closer to how it left Leonardo’s studio over 500 years ago. It also gives us a much better impression of the early appearance of the Louvre’s version, which is covered in layers of darkened varnish. Because of its importance, the original will not be cleaned by the Louvre in the foreseeable future.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


It’s all in the eyes—and the lips
A detailed comparison of the two versions of the Mona Lisa reveals some subtle differences

By Martin Bailey. Web only
Published online: 23 February 2012

The most obvious difference between the Louvre’s original and the Prado’s copy on the Mona Lisa are her eyebrows. In the Madrid version, she has distinct, partially-plucked eyebrows. In the original of the Mona Lisa, there are no eyebrows, a style which was fashionable at the time.

In the mid-16th century Italian art historian Georgio Vasari went out of his way to mention Lisa’s eyebrows, saying that they “could not be more natural: the hair grows thickly in one place and lightly in another following the pores of the skin”. This suggests that Vasari may be writing about the Prado copy, not, as has been assumed, the Louvre original.

Vasari provided a detailed description of the painting, but because it was thought that he was wrong about the eyebrows, his account has often been dismissed—unfairly, as it now seems. The Prado’s collection director, Gabriele Finaldi, suggests that Vasari may be right in his explanation about Lisa’s smile.








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