Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Art After War

Art After War: 1948-1969 is a new coffee-table book from publisher The Modern Reader, which contains works of Filipino artists who produced significant pieces during that era. It's the first in a series of books called The Philippine Artscape, which aims to map the history of Philippine art from the 20th century onwards. This is my first encounter with the work of Patrick Flores, who has authored and edited several books on Philippine art, and is considered one of the country's most active curators and art historians. I opened the hardback at random and was easily attracted to Leon Pacunayen's Anguilara.

"This volume covers the period immediately after the Pacific War until the glorious era of the Sixties. It includes the works of over 50 Filipino artists who produced significant works during that span, ranging from Vicente Manansala to Lee Aguinaldo. With almost 200 images of artworks and contextual photographs, and vastly researched material culled from 30 individual collectors and 18 institutions from all over the world, this period in Philippine Art has never been presented as extensively as it did in this volume. The discussion and themes range from essays about the rise of the Art Association of the Philippines (AAP), the conception of the so-called '13 Moderns,' and to the involvement and prominence of the Philippine Art Gallery in Manila. 
The carefully designed book is a testament in itself to the harmonious interaction between image and text. The generous number of photographs is counter-balanced with the rich discussion about the works and the forces that shaped each movement. Chapters include key moments during 1948, captured by memorable phrases like 'To catch up with the rest of the world,' or, like in 1964's, 'Attuned to the frenzied escalation of events in the world scene.' 
Art After War: 1948-1969, represents the most interesting artworks that help define that period. It is an invaluable compendium, being the first of the series that charts the history of Philippine Art through elegant, well-crafted books."

It is now available for purchase at Finale Art File, Tin-Aw Art Gallery, West Gallery,, and Fully Booked (Rockwell and Bonifacio High Street branches).

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