The UP Vargas Museum opens its second exhibition “Drawn to Scale” for the Art History Series on March 13, Thursday, 6:00PM at the 3F galleries of the museum.
The exhibition presents the works of Pablo Amorsolo and Pedro Coniconde from the museum’s art collection together with the graphic art of Manix Abrera, Ernest Concepcion, Louie Cordero, Dex Fernandez, Lyra Garcellano, Mark Salvatus and Apol Sta. Maria.
Drawing is one of the rudiments in making forms and images. Interspersed lines and bold shadings articulate nuances and express the covert. The hatches and curves work both as revelation and concealment; they show the affirmative trait and hide or at least tame the unwanted. In Pablo Amorsolo and Pedro Coniconde’s portraits, the artists shape the nature of what and who is depicted. The representation is the gaze of the artists, their take on the persona transformed into sketches. Amorsolo’s portrayal is idealized. In contrast, Pedro Coniconde’s approach is playful. This sensibility is also evident in their illustrations for newspapers and magazines. Both Amorsolo and Coniconde bring to life stories and editorials, fictions and urgencies of the day. They are part of telling the tales, sometimes even re-inventing them. They are partial storytellers, offering a glimpse of their own reflection in a collaborative work with literature.
In conversation with the works of Amorsolo and Coniconde are contemporary artists who share the same impulse. Honed in the discipline of drawing, these artists evoke an existence – a legendary hero, a mystic symbol, or an ordinary being. The artists are creators and raconteurs themselves, blurring the boundaries between words and images.
The Art History Series is a curatorial project based on art historical methods: the thematic, the monographic, the diachronic. The first approach was thematic held last August 2013; it dwelt on the notion of the picturesque in visual culture as it re-examines ideals of beauty and revelations of nostalgia and melancholy in portraiture and landscape paintings, as well as images in popular culture. The second is monographic, which focuses on the lives and works of artists. It explores the careers in painting and the graphic practice of Pablo Amorsolo and Pedro Coniconde, whose works are well represented in the Vargas Collection. The series will be rounded out in 2015 by the diachronic approach, which investigates the milieu of the Philippine Commonwealth government from 1934 to 1941. This project aims to cross the gap between curatorship and art history. It is also part of the museum’s continuing efforts to reactivate the collection and place it within a broader social context and an always emerging contemporary expression.