The Vargas Collection
2F Main Gallery
The exhibit features the museum’s art collection spanning the late 19th century works of the old masters to the post-war era of the modernists. True to its commitment of initiating dialogues between the art of the past and the contemporary expression, the exhibit includes works by invited guest artists Poklong Anading, Roberto Feleo, Alfredo Juan and Isabel Aquilizan, Renan Ortiz, Adjani Arumpac, and Stephanie Syjuco. These contemporary pieces converse with the works of Juan Luna, Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo, Fernando Amorsolo, Guillermo Tolentino, Vicente Manansala, Cesar Legaspi and Victorio Edades among others.
The Native Strain: Guillermo Tolentino and Aurelio Alvero
2F Main Gallery
The initial exhibition focuses on an unexplored theme in Philippine art history. It refers to the nativist disposition of the sculptor Tolentino and the curator-poet Alvero, who went by the nom de plume Magtanggul Asa. This is exemplified in the research on Philippine culture, the penchant for the occult, the invocation of dead heroes of the national pantheon, the allusion to an ancient Philippine lifeworld, and the attempt to summon a classical and civilizational discourse of the past. In many ways, the collection of art becomes an index of self-consciousness, a modernist gesture for “nation” and thus turns into a “living tradition.”
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