Renowned Thomasian artist Romulo Olazo showcased his fascination with black-and-white abstraction across the decades in Black and White Redux, an exhibit held at the Art Center at SM Megamall, Pasig City, from Oct. 24 to Nov. 5.

The exhibit consisted of ink drawings, serigraphs and “Papestry,” printimaking on handmade pulp paper.

He started his Black-and-White series in the early 1970’s with 69 collagraphs featuring flat and detailed materials such as leaves glued onto a piece of rigid substrate like paperboard or wood in overlapping sequence or collage serving as a plate.

The plate, inked by a roller or a paintbrush, would be imprinted on a canvas or on a piece of paper.

Later Olazo worked on Chinese ink drawings, which were brushed in a more defined blackness and more spontaneous washes.

Olazo shifted later to serigraph, or silkscreen. In 1987, he exhibited 20 black-and-white serigraphs at Ayala Museum.

Also exhibited in the new show were pen and India ink drawings, which were painting drafts or studies done in 1991.

Also shown were handmade pulp paper passed under a printmaking press, known as “papestry,” part of a series back in 1994. The production of the series required a meticulous and laborious process.

Large-scale paintings first exhibited in 1982 at the Main Gallery of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and 17 black and white paintings displayed at the Luz Gallery in 1979 were also featured in the exhibit.

Olazo, who studied fine arts in UST in the 1950’s, received the Thirteen Artists Award from the CCP in 1970 and is considered today the country’s foremost abstractionist.

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