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(1946 – 2004), Philippines

Pacita Abad Biography

Pacita Abad (1946-2004) was born in Basco, Batanes, Philippines. Her more-than-thirty-year painting career began when she journeyed to the United States to undertake graduate studies. Abad studied painting at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C. and The Art Students League in New York City. She lived on 5 different continents and worked in more than 80 countries, including Guatemala, Mexico, India, Afghanistan, Yemen, Sudan, Mali, Papua New Guinea, Cambodia and Indonesia.

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Her early paintings were primarily figurative socio-political works of people and primitive masks. Another series was large scale paintings of underwater scenes, tropical flowers and animal wildlife. Pacita's most extensive body of work, however, is her vibrant, colorful abstract work - many very large scale canvases, but also a number of small collages - on a range of materials from canvas and paper to bark cloth, metal, ceramics and glass. Abad created over 4,000 artworks. She painted a 55-meter long Alkaff Bridge in Singapore and covered it with 2,350 multicolored circles.

Abad developed a technique of trapunto painting (named after a quilting technique), which entailed stitching and stuffing her painted canvases to give them a three-dimensional, sculptural effect. She then began incorporating into the surface of her paintings materials such as traditional cloth, mirrors, beads, shells, plastic buttons and other objects.

Pacita Abad Featured Artworks

Filipinas in Hong Kong by Pacita Abad contemporary artwork
Pacita AbadFilipinas in Hong Kong, 1995Acrylic on stitched and padded canvas
Para Site
Stained Glass by Pacita Abad contemporary artwork
Pacita AbadStained Glass, 2000Acrylic, mirrors and painted cloth on canvas
35.7 x 28.3 x 3.3 cm
Not for sale
Asia Art Archive

Pacita Abad Represented By

Pacita Abad In Ocula Magazine

The Major Biennales Going Ahead in 2020 Ocula News The Major Biennales Going Ahead in 2020 London, 8 July 2020

Despite numerous cancellations and postponements, several significant biennales in Europe and Asia will take place this year.

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Pacita Abad’s Artwork ‘Stained Glass’ up for Grabs Ocula Insight
In collaboration with Asia Art Archive
Pacita Abad’s Artwork ‘Stained Glass’ up for Grabs By Sherry Paik, Hong Kong

Small, circular mirrors glint from rings of colour—green, dark green, and pale pink from inside out—while sprightly brushstrokes of red, yellow, and green acrylic paint compose the background. This painted collage, titled Stained Glass (2000), is the work of the late Pacita Abad; it was donated by the artist's estate for Asia Art...

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Joselina Cruz Ocula Conversation Joselina Cruz By Stephanie Bailey, Manila

Since 2011, Joselina Cruz has been the director and curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MCAD), De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, Manila, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2018 with a series of programmes and special exhibitions, starting with Flatlands (7 December 2017–4 March 2018). A group show with James...

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Pacita Abad In Related Press

A MILLION THINGS TO SAY: PACITA ABAD Related Press A MILLION THINGS TO SAY: PACITA ABAD 4 July 2018, ArtAsiaPacific

Walking through the glass doors of the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MCAD) in downtown Manila, one is immediately greeted by the domineering faces of Pacita Abad's Bacongo VI (1986) and European Mask (1990)—each measuring two and a half metres tall—composed of zig-zagging geometric shapes in orange, bright yellow, jade...

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Highlights from the seventh edition of Art Stage Singapore Related Press Highlights from the seventh edition of Art Stage Singapore 18 January 2017, The National

‘Contemporary art is not a decoration, it is a statement. It is a wonderful ­seismograph of our societies and realities.' These words were part of the opening speech given last week by founder Lorenzo Rudolf at the seventh edition of Art Stage Singapore in the South-east Asian island city. Rudolf, from Switzerland, has made it his mission to...

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