The classic genre of portrait painting was the focus of the exhibit, Portraits, at the Pasilyo Victorio Edades of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), which ran from April 24 to June 9.

Among the works on exhibit, which were drawn from the CCP collection, were by National Artists for the Visual Arts Benedicto Cabrera, H.R. Ocampo, and Guillermo Tolentino, National Artist for Literature Jose Garcia Villa, and David Cortez Medalla and Alfredo Roces.

Works by Thomasians on exhibit included those by Diosdado Lorenzo, Justin Nyuda and Manuel Soriano.

Lorenzo, who taught fine arts at UST for 26 years, had two works on display. “East and West” was an oil-on-canvas of two women, one in Filipiniana and the other in modern garb. The other work was an oil-on-canvas self-portrait that shows Lorenzo’s signature style with reserved colors. With a background of women doing their household duties, Lorenzo looks serene as he paints on a canvas.

Soriano, who received the CCP Thirteen Artists Award in 1974, was represented by a collagraph, “The Luring Filipina,” where an ordinary woman’s features were etched and stamped on paper in red monochromatic colors.

Nyuda, who received the Thirteen Artists Award in 1972, was represented by a charcoal-on-paper portrait of H.R. Ocampo, portraying the National Artist shirtless, with the use of simple lines and light shades and strokes.

Ocampo himself had a self-portrait in the exhibit done in pen and ink on paper. The work showed the bespectacled artist seemingly in deep concentration.

Sculptor Tolentino’s conte-on-paper self-portrait utilizes shading and nuances to provide a sculpture-like, three-dimensional effect.

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Medalla’s “Zobel Lecturing on Art: III, IV, V, VIII” were a series in blue ballpoint pen on paper which he did to record the lectures of abstract pioneer Fernando Zobel de Ayala at the Ateneo Graduate School in the 1960’s. Descriptions in scribbles were written beside the illustrations, depicting the state of Zobel in the moment.

Cabrera was represented by etchings—“Ina,” “Ama,” “Bakla” and “Tomboy”—showing his gift at graphic and pictorial characterization. His self-portrait was another etching on paper work, showing him wearing sunglasses and his face in a faint smirk, exuding the aura of a prominent artist.


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