Rock Drilon Homecoming: Works From Dumangas S E P 9 - 30, 2017
A RT D I R E C T O R
Johanna Labitoria Vicente Amancio, Jr. Jose Jeoffrey Baba Gabriel Abalos Dianne Ong
Thess Ponce Bing Francisco Roy Abrenica Edgar Bautista
Copyright 2017 Galleria Duemila, Inc. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system transmitted in any form or by any means without the written consent of the abovementioned copyright holders, with the exception of reasonably brief excerpts and quotations used in articles, critical essays or research.
Blue Line (2017) acrylic on canvas
57 3/4 × 95 3/4 IN / 146.58 × 243.02 CM
Golden Cross (2017) acrylic on canvas
60 × 48 IN / 152.28 × 121.83 CM
Of home and where the heart is WORDS BY LISA ITO
he exhibit Homecoming: Works from Dumangas is a welcome reunion and reacquaintance to the work of visual artist Rock Drilon. One of the country’s consistent practitioners of abstract painting since the early 1990s, Drilon is known for his expressionistic compositions resulting from largely personal and introspective ruminations. This exhibit gathers 14 new acrylic on canvas paintings, all produced in the artist’s hometown and studio in the rural seaside municipality of Dumangas, Panay. It is also one of Drilon’s few exhibits in Manila in the past five years. After studying and settling down in Manila in the late 1970s, the artist spent nearly four decades in the capital dedicated to his practice in painting and performance art. From 2002 to 2012, he also managed Mag:net Gallery and its satellite spaces to support the work of contemporary and young artists. In late 2012, Drilon found himself moving back to his home province of Iloilo, eventually constructing a studio in Dumangas. These past years were productive ones which reflected how he continued to be active in spearheading art initiatives and related endeavors while pursuing his practice in painting: heading the new Iloilo Cinematheque and organizing the 14th Visayas Island Visual Artists Exhibition and Conference (VIVA ExCon) Iloilo in 2016. Alongside these, Drilon managed to stage four solo shows—two in Iloilo and two in Manila.
S PA C E F O R B R E AT H I N G A N E W
The first impression that may strike the visitor seeing Drilonâ€™s works for the first time is their sense of flowing, organic forms and the almost luminous wielding of colors. The works are generally filled with formal elements typical of the artistâ€™s past works and now iconic vocabularies of form. His ubiquitous and undulating loops and outlines trace their way within canvases are suffused with clouds and planes. These irregular and inchoate forms are in turn built up by careful and harmonius brushstrokes and textures, like coalescent clouds or swarms. Those acquainted with Drilonâ€™s body of paintings will most likely find this exhibition a steady progression of practice, where familiar visual motifs and modes of representation resurface and sustain the sense of emotional surprise and wandering conveyed by his previous body of works. To take in the entire view of the exhibition is to see all these varied compositions suffused with a sense of quiet harmony: bright and almost joyous, exhibiting a litheness of spirit. After the past weeks filled with stormy weather and beset by even more ominous political tempests, this visual encounter with such paintings proves to be an unnerving, if not pleasant, surprise.
Blue Loop 2 (2017) acrylic on canvas
48 × 48 IN / 121.83 × 121.83 CM
FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT
The reference to darkness, is not entirely lost, though. The odd one out in the entire collection, for instance, is a work titled Black Loops, a composition built up by repeatedly painting tightly-coiled lines as a continuum until it obscures the entire surface of the canvas altogether, covering it entirely in different degrees and configurations of black pigment. These visually resemble an earlier series of dark loop drawings in charcoal which Drilon started working on nearly a decade ago: textured and bleak coils filling the space, tight with the energy of turmoil. Perhaps, it this capacity to breathe anew that distance and time finally makes possible. This singular work stands in stark contrast to the rest of the works in the exhibit space, which all commonly exhibit a sense of light, luminosity and space. While the dark loops never entirely disappear, they cease to be a dominant element and now recede into the backgrounds of his works, often appearing as complementary shapes dissolving or diffusing with other formal elements in the painting. The closed form in Black Loop, for instance, now shares space with more brightly-colored planes, lines and texturesâ€”serving as a complementary form to the bursts of texture and color that it finds itself submerged in. These works can be compared to Drilonâ€™s other painting titled Silver Loop, which is comprised of multi-colored undulating lines all wound up within each other, filling the entirety of the space like a profusion of compressed confetti, in the midst of a celebration. This frenzy of color and energy represents the chromatic opposite of Drilonâ€™s dark lines: the polar or flip side to darker meanderings.
Black Loops (2017) acrylic on canvas
36 × 29 IN / 91.38 × 73.60 CM
Red Line (2017) acrylic on canvas
78 1/4 × 56 1/2 IN / 199.24 × 143.40 CM
LO O P S A S R E P R E S E NTAT I O N A N D S Y M B O L
The loop and line are among the two strongest forms within Drilon’s abstract works, asserting their presences in many of his canvases. The cobalt blue loop—a strikingly familiar element and marker of identity across Drilon’s body of work through time—for instance makes repeated reappearances in this series across several paintings. Drilon’s personal mode of abstraction can be appreciated on formal, emotional, biographical and symbolic levels. The form of the loop has long remained both a visual and biographical marker for the artist: not merely a decorative element or a stylistic quirk but also a sign and trace of continuity. Beyond being an exercise in playful and flowing form, producing the curve that bends and wounds up around itself can symbolize both beginning and end, and their intense connection to each other. This connection of form and personal philosophy is underscored by how Drilon often employs the loop as a form of automatic painting, where he allows the line to carve its own outline and path on paper or canvas like an undeciphered entry or form of free writing in one’s own visual diary. As an extension of the psyche and the lines that it traces, the loop is also the act of moving on and beyond, yet always within, the spatial and special circumstances of being. As such, it expresses impulses that are subliminal and primordial. Like his dark outlines, this form never entirely disappears even when he turns to other forms in abstraction. The form in the work titled Blue Loop for instance, remains into the sidelines when Drilon explores the use of outlines that resemble figurative elements and the human form.
Black Loop (2017) acrylic on canvas
48 × 48 IN / 121.83 × 121.83 CM
Yellow Line 2 (2017) acrylic on canvas
48 × 48 IN / 121.83 × 121.83 CM
Various line shots of Gallery A and Gallery B during the duration of the exhibition, held September 9 to 30, 2017.
ROGUE ELEMENTS AND TRANSITIONS
Homecoming also underscores continuities and new nuances within Drilon’s abstract works, pointing out nuanced departures from his previous explorations. His use of light metallic hues and textures connoting the fluidity and movement of water, for instance, are more pronounced in this series. One can sense that some planes and textures are not simply applied on as a single layer but are built through the process of paint and water resisting each other. Perhaps it is his own response or extraction of this physical closeness to the shore and its sense of flux? Window, on the other hand, almost completely obscures all references to both dark and colorful forms—so prominent in the other works—in its layering of planes, obscuring all in a tranquil wash and almost atmospheric haze. Another aspect to Drilon’s abstract paintings is his tendency to title his works not after their most visually prominent forms but also after smaller visual quirks or surprises within the paintings. Some examples of these are White Line and Yellow Line, titled after their thinnest slivers of pigment which occur like accidental streaks or rogue elements that can remain unnoticed except by the keen eye. The work Red Line on the other hand, is devoid of any actual red lines and instead draws attention to vibrant streaks of red, like blood bursting free in the periphery. Another series of works within the show is titled not after formal elements such as lines or loops, but after actual things and objects. Golden Cross, for instance, incorporates and plays with this figurative symbol as an extension of abstract painting.
Silver Loop (2017) acrylic on canvas
60 × 48 IN / 152.28 × 121.83 CM
White Line (2017) acrylic on canvas
48 × 36 IN / 121.83 × 91.38 CM
In the end, Drilon’s formal abstraction continues to awe in its wielding of color, light and gesture to create intensely emotional encounters. The smaller canvases in Homecoming all seem to be a prelude to the largest painting in the exhibit: a colossal canvas titled Blue Arrow, which incorporates and distills many of these disparate tendencies into a singular composition. One wonders at the strength of body and spirit needed to envision and bring this work to completion. This powerful work reminds one of the often forgotten potential and power of gestural abstraction: when the act of painting is writ large as performance and raw action. Altogether, the works are a fitting homecoming gesture for the artist: showcasing enough of his visual vocabulary to situate one on familiar ground and also offering a glimpse at the new ground to cover. •
LISA ITO IS A WRITER, ARTIST AND ACTIVIST. SHE GRADUATED FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS IN DILIMAN WITH A MAJOR IN ART HISTORY AND HAS PURSUED THE PRACTICE OF ART WRITING SINCE 2001.
Window (2017) acrylic on canvas
48 × 35 1/4 IN / 121.83 × 89.46 CM
Yellow Line 3 (2017) acrylic on canvas
48 × 36 IN / 121.83 × 91.38 CM
Yellow Line (2017) acrylic on canvas
59 3/16 × 83 1/2 IN / 150.14 × 211.92 CM
Blue Loop (2017) acrylic on canvas
48 × 54 3/4 IN / 121.83 × 139.06 CM
Blue Arrow (2017) acrylic on canvas
118 × 75 1/2 IN / 299.5 × 191.62 CM
ROCK DRILON March 13, 1956 Dumangas, Iloilo , Philippines
DATE OF BIRTH BIRTHPLACE
Fine Arts Studies, University of the Philippines - College of Fine Arts Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS 2016
2006-2010 2000-2010 1997-1999 1991-1993 1991
1991-1992 1990-1991 1980
Chairman, VIVA ExCon ILOILO, PHILIPPINES Adviser, VIVA ExCon Iloilo Organization, Inc; Hubon Ilonggo Director, Casa Real Gallery ILOILO, PHILIPPINES President/Chairman, Mag:net Café Group Director, Mag:net Galleries Director, Brix Gallery Dumangas Projects Project Director, Kanlungan ng Sining Member, Board of Directors, UP College of Fine Arts Alumni Foundation Member, Board of Directors, Art Association of the Philippines (AAP) Art Residency, University of the Philippines - Visayas (Summer) President, University of the Philippines Artists’ Circle Jose Joya Scholarship in Painting Jose Moreno Scholarship, UP College of Fine Arts Second Prize, Manuel Quezon Centennial National Painting Competition PHILIPPINES
1977 1971 1969-1973
Second Prize, AAP Annual Painting Competition Second Prize, AAP Black and White Competition First Prize, Quintin Salas Centennial Painting Contest DUMANGAS, ILOILO, PHILIPPINES “Artist of the Year”, Elementary and High School DUMANGAS, ILOILO, PHILIPPINES
SOLO EXHIBITIONS 2016
Recent Paintings WEST GALLERY, QUEZON CITY, PHILIPPINES Untitled CASA REAL GALLERY, ILOILO CITY, PHILIPPINES 2015 Recent Paintings: The Iloilo Period UNIVESITY OF THE PHILIPPINES - VISAYAS, ILOILO CITY, 2013
Recent Works NOW GALLERY, PASONG TAMO, MAKATI CITY, PHILIPPINES 2008 Drawings MAG:NET GALLERY, AYALA AVE. MAKATI CITY, PHILIPPINES Recent Works GALLERIA DUEMILA, PASAY CITY, PHILIPPINES 2007 Recent Drawings MAG:NET GALLERY PASEO, MAKATI CITY, PHILIPPINES Moving On MAG:NET GALLERY PASEO, MAKATI CITY, PHILIPPINES 2006 Paintings: The Last 20 Years MAG:NET GALLERY, ABS-CBN; MAG:NET GALLERY PASEO, MAKATI 2004
CITY; MAG:NET GALLERY KATIPUNAN, QUEZON CITY
Wrestling with the Right Brain CRUCIBLE GALLERY, MANDALUYONG CITY, PHILIPPINES When you lose, don’t lose the lesson GALLERIA DUEMILA, SM MEGAMALL, MANDALUYONG CITY,
Instructions for Life II GLORIETTA ARTSPACE, AYALA CENTER, MAKATI CITY, PHILIPPINES Instructions for Life I GALLERIA DUEMILA, SM MEGAMALL, MANDALUYONG CITY, PHILIPPINES Paean to the Moment AYALA MUSEUM, MAKATI CITY, PHILIPPINES Prayer Paintings BRIX GALLERY, MAKATI CITY AND MUSEO ILOILO, PHILIPPINES For Nana BRIX GALLERY, MAKATI CITY, PHILIPPINES Artifacts from the Womb GALLERIA DUEMILA, SM MEGAMALL, MANDALUYONG CITY, PHILIPPINES Jeepney with a Driver (Jeepney Series VII) PHILIPPINE CENTER GALLERY, NEW YORK, USA X and Beyond BRIX GALLERY, MAKATI CITY, PHILIPPINES
1999 1998 1997 1994 1992 1991
GALLERIA DUEMILA AT THE ART CENTER, SM MEGAMALL, MANDALUYONG CITY,
1987 1985 1984 1983 1982 1981 1980 1978 1977 1976
I Need a Haircut ALLIANCE FRANCAISE GALLERY, MANILA, PHILIPPINES Healing Wounds LOPEZ MUSEUM, MAKATI CITY, PHILIPPINES Jeepney Series VI PHILIPPINE CENTER GALLERY, NEW YORK, USA Drilon in Paris DE LA SALLE UNIVERSITY GALLERY, MANILA, PHILIPPINES New Works ALLIANCE FRANCAISE GALLERY, MANILA, PHILIPPINES New Works AYALA MUSEUM, MAKATI CITY, PHILIPPINES The Babysitter PENGUIN CAFÉ, MANILA, PHILIPPINES New Works FINALE ART FILE, MAKATI CITY, PHILIPPINES Jeepney Series V LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, USA Jeepney Series and Other Works UNIVESITY OF THE PHILIPPINES - LOS BAÑOS, LAGUNA, PHILIPPINES
Jeepney Series IV PHILIPPINE CONSULATE, HOUSTON, TEXAS, USA Manila: People and Symbols (100 Portraits) PHILAMLIFE LOBBY, MANILA, PHILIPPINES Drawings done in Europe REAR ROOM GALLERY, MANILA, PHILIPPINES Drilon ICOMOS EXHIBITION HALL, PARIS, FRANCE Jeepney Series III GALLERY FELDMANN, BERN, SWITZERLAND Dumangas Works MUSEO ILOILO, ILOILO CITY, PHILIPPINES Baguio Works HIRAYA GALLERY, MANILA, PHILIPPINES Drilon ABC GALLERIES, MANILA, PHILIPPINES Paintings and Drawings GALLERY BLEUE, MAKATI CITY, PHILIPPINES Jeepney Series II METRO GALLERY, MAKATI CITY, PHILIPPINES Dumangas Series CITIBANK LOBBY, MAKATI CITY, PHILIPPINES
GROUP EXHIBITIONS 2011 2002 1986 1985 1984 1983 1982 1981 1980
1979 1978 1976 1975
Carating / Vinluan / Drilon / New Works NOW GALLERY, MAKATI CITY, PHILIPPINES Two-Man Show Rock Drilon / Briccio Santos PHILIPPINE CENTER, NEW YORK, USA AAP Annual Exhibition MUSEUM OF PHILIPPINE ART, MANILA, PHILIPPINES Philippine Contemporary Art PEMBROKE GALLERY, HOUSTON, USA Philippine Jeepney CULTURAL CENTER OF THE PHILIPPINES, MANILA, PHILIPPINES A Filipino in Paris ALLIANCE FRANCAISE GALLERY, MAKATI CITY, PHILIPPINES Vice Versa: An exhibition of Poems by the painter Rock Drilon and of Paintings by the Poet Cirilo Bautista SINING KAMALIG GALLERY, PASAY CITY, PHILIPPINES ASEAN Paintings NATIONAL ART GALLERY, THAILAND ASEAN Landscape in Contemporary Form MALAYSIA Philippine Contemporary Art BEIJING, CHINA Young Art in Asia Now HONG KONG ART CENTER, HONG KONG AAP Annual Exhibition MUSEUM OF PHILIPPINE ART, MANILA, PHILIPPINES 100 Years of Philippine Painting (1980-1990) THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS Philippine Paintings Old and New GERMANY Philippine Paintings and Ceramics WASHINGTON D.C., USA AAP Experimental Exhibition AYALA MUSEUM, MAKATI CITY, PHILIPPINES Impressions of China MANILA PENINSULA, MAKATI CITY, PHILIPPINES Black and White AYALA MUSEUM, MAKATI CITY, PHILIPPINES Group Exhbition AAP Winners HIDALGO GALLERY, MAKATI CITY, PHILIPPINES Young Filipino Artist Group Show KOLN, GERMANY Daroy/Drilon KS GALLERY, MAKATI CITY, PHILIPPINES
PERFORMANCE ART 2010 1997 1996
1992 1986 1985 1982
Giving Chabet a Ride: A Tribute to the Fallen Riders Transition BRIX GALLERY, MAKATI CITY, PHILIPPINES Mentor, Tomentor BRIX GALLERY, MAKATI CITY, PHILIPPINES X Redefined CRUCIBLE GALLERY, SM MEGAMALL, MANDALUYONG CITY, PHILIPPINES The General’s Wife PINAGLABANAN GALLLERIES, SAN JUAN, PHILIPPINES Words and Bullets PINAGLABANAN GALLLERIES, SAN JUAN, PHILIPPINES The Guitar Man HIRAYA GALLERY, MANILA, PHILIPPINES
g al leria duem ila was established in 1975 by Italian born Silvana AncellottiDiaz. Duemila means “twentieth century”, and it was this vision that inspired Duemila’s advocacy in promoting and preserving Philippine contemporary art. To date, it is the longest running commercial art gallery in the Philippines maintaining a strong international profile. With the vision to expose its artists locally and within the ASEAN region, Duemila complements its exhibits with performances, readings and musical events in its custom-built gallery in Pasay City, Manila. Galleria Duemila takes pride in being the only local gallery to publish and mount retrospectives of artists as part of its advocacy in pursuing art historical research and scholarship. With the collaboration of institutions, Duemila has mounted the retrospectives of
Roberto M.A. Robles (Ateneo Art Gallery, 2011), Duddley Diaz (Vargas Museum, 2009), Julie Lluch Dalena (Cultural Center of the Philippines, 2008). It has also published a book on Diosdado Magno Lorenzo (National Library of the Philippines, 2009) and produced a major Pacita Abad exhibition at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, 2004. The gallery maintains close ties with museums throughout Asia, Australia, Europe, and the United States. Its futurist vision keeps it at the cuttingedge of Philippine art, making and archiving history as it happens.
s e rv i ce s : conservation an d r e s t or ation of p a i n t i n g s , consu ltancy s e rv i ce s , c om m issions and i n s t a llat i on
Published on Oct 17, 2017
Catalogue / brochure for Rock Drilon's exhibition "Homecoming: Works From Dumangas" 09 - 30 SEP 2017 at Galleria Duemila, 210 Loring St. 130...