Philippine Neo-Realist Masterworks Gallery @ SAM


Fernando Amorsolo (1892-1972)
Portrait of Fernando Zobel as a Teenager, 1945
Oil on wood
39 x 30.5 cm
Ateneo Art Gallery Collection

This is one of the very first few paintings i saw at the museum that day at the Singapore Arts Museum. Was very drawn towards how realistic it looks and how it seems to capture the emotion and character of the person. Even the style of the subject like his hairstyle and clothes can be identified with that particular era.

It's definitely better to look at all these paintings in real life and experience it face to face. How the light falls on the painting illuminating the texture and brushstrokes can really be seen and examined closely. It's really captivating.

Other portraits by Fernando Amorsolo.

In the Eye of Modernity: Philippine Neo-Realist Masterworks from the Ateneo Art Gallery

Hernando R. Ocampo (1911-78)
53-G (Beefsteak)
1953
Oil on canvas
Ateneo Art Gallery Collection

Yup the title is beefsteak. Quirky isn't it?

How "Neo-Realists" artist came about.


Another painting by Hernando R. Ocampo.

Highly textured impasto.

Top:Hernando R. Ocampo
Isda at Mangga (Fish and Mango)
1952
Oil on canvasboard
33.5 x 43 cm

Bottom:Manuel Rodriguez, St. (b,1917)
Still Life with Melon and Papaya
1950
Encaustic on paper mounted on board
29.5 x 37 cm

Another painting by Manuel Rodriguez.

Looks like the cranes and poles of building being constructed.

Jose Joya (1931-95)
Granadean Arabesque
1958
Oil on canvas
118 x 305 cm

"Joya was a leading exponent of Abstract Expressionism in the Philippines. Unlike Jackson Pollock's improvisatory approach to drip painting which translated the nervous syncopated energy of jazz, Joya added texture through thick swipes of impasto and gobs of paint riddled with gravel, rendering a broader, more sweeping gestural style."

Initially it looks like one of those abstract paintings with very expressive brushstrokes which is hard to decipher. However, I found an interpretation of the artwork which is that the colors are "inspired by the colors of summer in Granada, a region in Spain where the artist has visited while studying in Madrid" and Arabesque relating to the "Arabic ornamental design that consists of flowing lines".

After walking through the whole collection i could feel like there is a sense of wanting to break away from the academic way of doing paintings like those by Fernando Amorsolo as seen by the movement away from realism towards more expressive styles (e.g. Hernando R. Ocampo, Manuel Rodriguez, etc). This is probably to break away from their colonized past by the Spanish rule.

These are just a few artworks from the "In the Eye of Modernity: Philippine Neo-Realist Masterworks from the Ateneo Art Gallery".

Will probably update on the other galleries the next time i have the mojo to do so :)

Shilka  – (February 2, 2010 at 2:25 PM)  

Oh my, seems I should finally visit the Art Museum. The artwork you put in the post looks so awesome :D

Sarah ZA  – (February 6, 2010 at 7:20 PM)  

Thks =) I think there are some pretty interesting works there and at 8Q as well... Yeah you should have a visit!

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