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Buttons, Mirrors and Tin


Buttons, Mirrors and Tin Pacita Abad’s Assemblages

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Cover: I knew you had blues (detail), 1985 (57 x 36 in) Acrylic, oil on paper glued on board


Abstract Assemblages Poetry of the Moment Buttons & Beads Sequins & Glitter Mirrors Tin Bark Paper Artist Profile


ABSTRACT ASSEMBLAGES Pacita Abad's painting is characterized by color, continuous change and experimentation from the 1970s right up to her passing in 2004. While some artists maintain one particular style throughout their careers, Pacita never repeated her work and always kept exploring new techniques, subject matters and materials. The one constant throughout her artistic career was her bold and vibrant use of color. Pacita's paintings in the late 1970s and early 1980s were in some ways a travel diary of the places throughout the world where she lived and traveled: Bangladesh, India, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Guatemala, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Sudan/South Sudan and Kenya, among others. Thus, her early paintings were primarily figurative, socio-political works of urban and rural scenes, and refugees drawn from her experiences living overseas. In the 1980s Pacita followed her passion for tribal art and traditional textiles by creating her Masks and Spirits series, followed by three completely different bodies of work consisting of large nature paintings from her deep water scuba diving experiences, animal wildlife adventures, and her love of tropical flowers. However, Pacita's most extensive and well-known body of work is her vibrantly colorful abstract, stitched, mixed media paintings. Almost all of


these are hand-stitched paintings embellished with diverse combinations of textiles and an array of objects and found materials. In addition to her stitched paintings, throughout her 32-year career Pacita constantly explored new techniques and processes, as she completed multiple artworks on a wide range of materials, creating colorful prints, paper collages, ceramic plates, painted glass, wearable art and public art installations. A disciplined and prolific painter, during her 32-year career Pacita created over 4,500 artworks and among her public art projects painted a 55-meter long bridge in Singapore, covering it with over 2,000 multicolored circles a few months before she died.

NEEDLE AND THREAD Pacita’s artistic transition from her early easel and flat surface using oil on canvas to large mixed media artwork created on her studio wall or floor evolved over time, but in retrospect it had a number of obvious and important personal antecedents. Pacita was born and raised on Batanes, a poor, isolated fishing island in the South China Sea where many families lived on very frugal budgets. Pacita’s mother was a dedicated housewife who raised 14 children. She made all of the family’s clothes and crocheted curtains, bedspreads and tablecloths for their house. She insisted that Pacita and her eldest sister Rency learn how to crochet, embroider and sew, as they were taught never to waste any material. The girls disassembled shirts, pants and dresses and put them back together to re-fit their younger siblings. Later when the family moved to Manila, Pacita focused on her studies, but frequently went with her mother and sister to the Divisoria wholesale market to buy cloth, buttons and other sewing items. However, it wasn’t until 1970 when she was living in San Francisco’s Haight Asbury district as a student, that she used her sewing skills to work as a seamstress to earn money.


It was there at the epicenter of the hippie movement that Pacita also saw people wearing beads and embroidering, crocheting and patching their clothes with tribal textiles from Mexico, Guatemala and India to make them outrageously funky. A few years later when she and her husband Jack were hitchhiking from Istanbul across Asia to the Philippines, Pacita began embroidering her cut up blue jean skirt and embellishing his shirts with Turkish puppet designs. Along the way, she picked up pieces of tribal textiles, beads and tin jewelry as she traveled through Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. Soon she looked like a tribal nomad, and it was a lifestyle she would embrace for the rest of her life. During this trip Pacita was constantly captivated by the vibrancy, brilliance and intensity of the colors that the local women wore, as well as the way they decorated everyday household objects. She was even more impressed that most of the accessories and clothing worn were made from common items found in local markets. In particular, she was captivated by India and stated, "I was overwhelmed when I first went to India, and particularly to Rajasthan in 1974. Every woman I saw was a walking piece of art, covered with colorful fabrics, beads, mirrors, tin jewelry, buttons, dyed yarn and multicolored hair ornaments. More than twenty five years later, I still wear much of the clothing and jewelry that I bought on that trip. India also had a major impact on my art, as years later as many elements, including embroidery, mirrors, buttons, beads and tie dyeing were incorporated in my paintings." On her return to America, Pacita still followed her mother’s motto and she and Jack continued to be inveterate back alley scavengers, always on the lookout for scraps of material that she could creatively use. One time in New York’s garment district they found bags of discarded fabric; later they discovered a butcher’s coat, which Pacita soon combined with the fabric patches to make her “coat of many colors”. Years later after Pacita became a painter she would continue to make and funk up their clothes, household items and sewed costumes for local theater productions.


A THOUSAND STITCHED PAINTINGS Although Pacita never made much of a distinction, her stitched paintings are loosely classified under three categories: trapunto paintings; textile collages; and abstract assemblages. Their common factor is that almost all of these stitched paintings include rich combinations of paint, textiles, cloth and found objects, such as ribbons, sequins, beads, buttons, tin and mirrors, among others. While her trapunto paintings are large and quilted, her textile collages are not quilted and the fabric is stitched onto canvas. Her abstract assemblages are similar to textile collages, but emphasize the use of a variety of found objects. Trapunto Paintings Pacita’s first stitched paintings were created by happenstance in Boston in early 1980s, right after she had returned from three months painting in Africa. She was painting with three other woman artists on a weekly basis when the initial concept crystallized. One of them, Barbara Newman, made life-size dolls, and this gave Pacita the idea that she might utilize similar sewing and quilting techniques in order to give her artwork an added dimension. In a major departure from her earlier work on surface flatness, she found that her new technique offered ways to expand the painted canvas beyond traditional boundaries and make her work more sculptural. Pacita then called her new technique “trapunto painting”. Trapunto (from Italian word for quilted or embroidered) is a quilt with a raised surface, stuffed with cotton and defined with running stitches. With the help of her sewing skills, over the next two and a half decades Pacita began to explore and develop her innovative mixed media painting style, which allowed her to fuse her painted canvas surface with handstitched, three dimensional collage and assemblages. Opposite: Pacita’s painted clothes


At first glance, Pacita's vivid stitched canvases look like large oil paintings, however, as the viewer draws closer, her works are in fact three dimensional. Not only painted but adorned with sewn swatches of traditional textiles, which she gathered on her numerous journeys to the far reaches of the globe. These paintings were often festooned with found objects, such as sequins, beads, shells, buttons, tiny mirrors, bits of glass, rickrack. Her stitched paintings kept evolving as she encountered new influences such as mola from the San Blas Islands of Panama; sequined drapo vodou banners from Haiti; huipils from Guatemala and Mexico; Kuba and Raffia textiles from Congo; embroidery from Afghanistan; Ralli quilts from Pakistan; kalaga from Burma; kantha from Bangladesh; Rabari mirrored embroidery from India; shells from the Philippines and the South Pacific; bark cloth from Papua New Guinea and Northern Australia; batik and ikat from Indonesia; beadwork from Kenya; and mud cloth from West Africa. Overall, Pacita created more than a thousand mixed media, hand-stitched artworks between 1981 and 2004. Most of her stitched paintings were abstract designs, though a number of them continued to be narrative. Pacita discovered that the stitched, mixed media process allowed her a spontaneous and innovative opportunity for unlimited artistic experimentation and improvisation, as well as a vehicle for abstract exploration, socio-political commentary or cultural celebration. In her creative hands, this technique also allowed her to utilize a number of different processes and materials including painting, collage, silkscreen, appliquĂŠ, tie-dye, embroidery and assemblage, which she experimented with in her mixed media artwork. Cora Alvina, Director of the Philippine National Museum noted that Pacita’s stitched paintings were “inspirations, and expressions of her unadulterated passion for color, texture, and form in art seen at every thrust and turn of the needle."


"I delineate all the lines in the painting and every stitch is done by hand, because I don't like the look of machine stitching. Besides, sewing is so therapeutic and meditative.�

Artistically, Pacita’s stitched, mixed media paintings also signified a move from figurative realism towards abstraction. In terms of the size of her paintings, as It also allowed her to make larger works as she moved away from the easel and onto the floor and wall with her large scale, tapestry-style paintings. Many people were perplexed by Pacita’s stylistic shift and a number of artists and critics had difficulty in appreciating her hand-stitched, mixed-media paintings as art. Others simply dismissed her work as craft.


Fuschia mask, front and back side of hand-stitched painting

Although textile art is now increasingly recognized and appreciated in the modern art world, in the early 1980s only a few painters in America, including Miriam Schapiro, Faith Ringgold, Louise Bourgeois, Robert Rauschenberg and Alan Shields, were incorporating fabric and stitching in their paintings, and very few artists were doing this in Asia. Even so, curators typically characterized artwork utilizing fabric and stitching with the pejorative terms of “low art”, “craft” or “women's art”. However, Pacita took no issue with the public perception of her artwork and was never concerned about the artificial painting classifications and her decision to bridge “craft” and “art” was a conscious one. She had freely crossed the artistic boundary from traditional canvas painting to mixed media, and just loved the freedom of incorporating the textured richness of traditional textiles and found materials into her paintings.


Textile Collages In the mid-1990s after moving to Jakarta, Pacita’s stitched paintings gradually transitioned away from her earlier, large-scale trapunto paintings to more textile collages. This shift was mainly influenced by the fact that she wanted to explore the use of Indonesia’s rich textile traditions by adding batik, ikat and other local textiles into her paintings. Nevertheless, her new artistic focus still allowed her the freedom to embellish the surfaces of her Indonesian textile collages. Abstract Assemblages Gradually, in the last few years of her life Pacita’s artwork began to shift from painted textile dominated collages towards more abstract assemblages. Pacita had a special knack for using a unique composition of traditional textiles and found materials in her paintings, even her cut-up used paint tubes. She loved to embellish the surface of her work by adding various objects and would return with local materials from her trips. As a result her studio overflowed with boxes and jars of buttons, beads, glitter, sequins, shells, mirrors, bark cloth, butterfly cocoons and numerous other found and collected objects. Her passion was well known to her friends, who would often bring her these materials that she used to enrich her paintings.


With her move to abstract assemblages the size of Pacita’s paintings became noticeably smaller, particularly in her Door to Life and The Sky is the Limit series, which she created after her travels to Yemen and India. This continued to be true of her paper circles and cardboard assemblages that she created during the last year of her life. The following chapters of this monograph detail Pacita’s small abstract assemblages and are organized based on her use of materials, namely: buttons and beads, sequins and glitter, mirrors, tin, bark and paper.

“Alone with my paints and brushes, music day and night, is when I feel most relaxed — this is my therapy. I do not want to do anything but paint – this is my obsession!


Pacita’s mirrored Rajasthan room


POETRY OF THE MOMENT The following passage is an extract from “Poetry of the Moment” essay in Obsession by Ian Findlay-Brown, which discusses Pacita’s paper circles and cardboard assemblages. From Pacita Abad's earliest sketches and oils to her most recent collage and works on paper there has always been a compelling energy, one that speaks of an uninhibited zest for life and an appetite for experimentation. The boldly colored and often multidimensional structure of Abad's works have also served to confirm her as an artist for whom a universal vision is central to her being. This is clear in the figurative and abstract works that have made up the dynamic visual narrative of her art of the past three decades, which have included intensely moving statements on refugees and immigrants, as well as interpretations of numerous folk cultures and dramatic colorful abstractions of her personal thoughts. The collection of works that make up her latest series Obsession confirms that her voyage into self-discovery and experiment are as intense as ever. Intensity of color, emotion, line and patterning strike the eye and the imagination powerfully at the same time in almost all of Abad's works. The combination of color, emotion, line, and patterning seems to flood haphazardly from an artist so brim full of ideas and energy that there would Opposite: Dylan’s candy store (detail), 2004 (53 x 28 in) Acrylic, oil pastel, glitter collaged on handmade paper mounted on board


appear scarcely enough time to get everything down on canvas or paper, or to bring order to the turbulent emotions simmering within the artist. The sheer vibrancy of the images sometimes overwhelms the eye for, at first glance, many of her works seem to be fortuitous collections of circles, triangles, squares, heavy lines, and confident color patterns. This is entirely deceptive, however, since Abad -- though frequently spontaneous in the execution of an idea -- is always fully in control of the outcome. While one might be confident in accepting the boldness of Abad's vision of the world, her abstract work is rarely readily accessible emotionally and intellectually. The meanings of many of her pieces are frequently couched in deeply personal terms which inhibit interpretation. And while Abad may be intent in bringing a sense of joy to the world, on smiling on the world even in turbulent and painful times, our comprehension of this is to be embraced through her visually challenging art. This is Abad's way for she is letting us know that what one sees on the canvas, or the paper, or in the collage is an experience of the world not easily come by and not readily surrendered. It is only right that she should make our eyes and mind tussle with that which she has seen and felt, and still sees and feels. Her intuition is not ours, of course, neither are her feelings and insights, but through observing her process we will surely be embraced by them, warmed by them, and matured by them. What Abad has seen and felt and suggests in such works as Techno-color Dreams, and Take Me to the Water (2004) seems to the eye an effortless interpretation of her world. Yet our mind and imagination, tells us that it is not so since the subtlety of collage, the layering and juxtaposition of different materials requires a unique sense of time and space, and the understanding of emotion in making visual choices. “My work has always been colorful, textured and multidimensional, whether it was abstract or narrative. Trying to maintain this approach led me to develop both abstract and finally sculptural works on paper. I like working on paper because it is more spontaneous and allows me to be freer. There is no chance to go back. But to me the main drawback of working on paper is the size limitation."


There are many similarities between Abad's works on canvas and those on paper that are striking to the eye. There was her trademark boldness of colors and a similar emotional and visual dynamic, for example, that reminds one of the best of her art. But there is also a different sense of lightness, a fresh sense of humor, and a softer edge to her line that are striking. This is particularly true in her abstract figurative assemblages, which struck a resonance with much of her earlier work, referencing as they do important journeys of discovery into other cultures and her desire to make strong sculptural objects with paper, that would be different from any threedimensional explorations that had gone before. These figures are strong individual aesthetic statements, tinged with a more objective emotional view of the world. A great deal of what Abad experienced and learned during her Singapore Tyler Print Institute (STPI) residency was carried over into much of her work of 2004. Where her trapunto work, dense with many materials and ideas, has a weighty three-dimensional quality, here her new pieces, with their base on hand-made paper, have a sense of lightness about them and a very different lyrical quality. Oil pastel, acrylics, painted and printed paper are the materials at the center of much of recent work. But Abad has not discarded such things as silk, batik, glitter, sequins, mylar, buttons and fabric entirely. They are here but the difference is that these materials are used more sparingly. With her more careful use of many standard materials of recent years Abad has been able to make a very different impact on the imagination with a more subtle range of images. Prized Possession (2004) is an excellent example of this fresh approach. Here there is a sense that the earlier anxious tension of some her trapunto works has been replaced by a gentler, more relaxed view of the world, but still an incisive one. There are many who may feel that Abad is at her best and most dramatic and expressive when her work is large in scale. This, of course, is very far from the truth as many of her early and recent range of work clearly shows. For some artists large-scale works signify the defining of the artistic ego, strength, and that the power of ideas requires the dramatic of huge space.


For such artists small works act as stepping stones to larger ideas. This, as Abad says, is not the case for her. Small-scale works represent "different places and different feelings" and they are like jewels and though they are small, they generally require the same amount of time and energy as larger works. "I like the focus of working on small works. They have their own separate identity and sense of space. On occasion, I have tried to make a small work that I particularly liked on a larger scale, but it just didn't have the same feeling." The numerous small works made during the past two years capture and possess the essence of Abad's aesthetic and reveal her intense creative energy in an astonishingly compact manner. These works are clearly not expressions of small ideas waiting to be built upon or reworked into something much larger. They are of themselves, dramatic and lyrical expressions of a deeply personal nature, declarations of intimacy, and poems of the moment that challenge the imagination as forcefully as any of her larger pieces. And they are, like dynamic short poems, to be savored and often revisited in the mind. In Abad's small works, again her use of many materials is done sparingly to reinforce the impact of the image in the viewer's mind. Collage, with such things as buttons, glitter, different papers and cloth or thread, suggests Abad's desire to work three-dimensionally. Sometimes the effect of the small works harks back to much Abad's larger trapunto works and her concern with life's more cosmic rhythm. But this is only a thought in passing for each of these pieces has its own intrinsic strength, its own lyrical direction with no reference but to its own dynamic. While many of the small works are clearly to be read as a general view of the world, there are many others that are obviously of a deeply personal nature, secret moments that stand at the door of revelation. Abad's skill here is not to disclose through the structure of her images, but rather to tease the viewer's imagination to the challenge of discovery. In these works there is a


sense of the artist's profoundly private self that we can only guess at. This self is revealed acutely in the simplicity and directness of the image's construction. Frequently one wonders how such intensely felt emotions can be held within such a small space. There is, however, the notion that there is much, much more happening beyond the confines of the frame. This is very much a part of Abad's achievement as an artist -- the ability to suggest the world far beyond each individual painting or collage. It is clear that time and space for Abad are as much part of the inner self as they are part of the wider world. Abad's development as an artist is the result of great diversity of experience - emotional, artistic, physical, intellectual. With each new phase of her work she makes us aware, not of the limitations of life, but of the extraordinary potential that life offers even under astonishingly difficult private circumstances. Even in anguish she is able to smile and that is the center of her strength as an artist and inspiration to others. "I always see the world through color, although my vision, perspective and paintings are constantly influenced by new ideas and changing environments," said Abad during a recent interview. "I feel like I am an ambassador of colors, always projecting a positive mood, that helps make the world smile." Ian Findlay-Brown is the editor/publisher of Asian Art News and World Sculpture News


BUTTONS & BEADS Pacita’s use of buttons was a regular feature in many of her stitched paintings, as she loved their colors and shapes. She initially started using them on her large masks, underwater and abstract trapunto paintings. Her use of buttons was originally inspired by her mother’s sewing lessons and trips to buy sewing materials at the wholesale cloth market in Manila. However, as she began to travel she began to appreciate the simple decorative use of buttons by many of the tribal women that she came across in Afghanistan, India, Papua New Guinea, South Sudan and Guatemala. "I had not seen anyone use a thimble while handsewing for a long time," noted Cora Alvina, Director of the Philippine National Museum. "Without missing a stitch, Pacita said that she liked using buttons in her trapuntos because buttons had potential for different roles and functions...as they added to the texture of trapuntos." Finding buttons and beads was never too difficult for Pacita, and no matter where she traveled she always went to the local markets searching for interesting looking buttons. She particularly prefered the cloth covered buttons which could absorb her paints. Similarly, she would constantly scout for beads that she could add to her paintings in the souks in Yemen, the bazaars in Africa and India and markets in Indonesia. Opposite: The door is open but I cannot squeeze through (detail), 1998 (35 x 24 in) Oil, painted buttons, mirrors, painted cloth stitched on canvas


Hello, hello, 1999 (12 x 12 in) Oil, painted buttons stitched on canvas


Honeydews, 2001 (12 x 12 in) Oil, painted buttons, mirrors stitched on canvas


M and M’s, 2002 (6 x 6 in) Oil, buttons stitched on canvas


Circles and oranges, 1999 (12 x 12 in) Oil, painted buttons stitched on canvas


Sunflower, 2002 (12 x 12 in) Oil, painted buttons, mirrors, painted cloth stitched on canvas


Mischievous Urge II, 2001 (12 x 12 in) Oil, painted buttons stitched on canvas


He went from house to house knocking on doors, 1998 (12 x 12 in) Oil, plastic beads stitched on canvas


The ever changing role of buttons, 2004 (35 x 24 in) Acrylic, buttons, painted cloth stitched on canvas


White buttons, 2002 (12 x 12 in) Oil, buttons, mirrors, sequins, cloth stitched on canvas


Door in Utma, 1998 (12 x 12 in) Oil, painted leather, painted buttons stitched on canvas


Getting plugged in connecting and navigating, 1999 (16 x 36 in) Oil, acrylic, painted buttons stitched on canvas


Browse and download, 1999 (16 x 24 in) Oil, acrylic, painted buttons stitched on canvas


Surf and view, 1999 (16 x 24 in) Oil, acrylic, painted buttons stitched on canvas


Mellow and yellow, 1999 (12 x 12 in) Oil, plastic buttons on ceramic tile


Blue blinds, 1999 (12 x 12 in) Oil, painted buttons stitched on canvas


Black and white in color, 1998 (12 x 12 in) Oil, buttons stitched on canvas


Dazed and confused, 1999 (12 x 12 in) Oil, painted buttons, painted cloth stitched on canvas


No boundaries, 2000 (39 x 39 in) Oil, buttons stitched on canvas


Seen and heard, 2004 (14 x 11 in) Acrylic, painted cloth, Rajasthan mirrored cloth stitched on canvas


Blue composition, 2002 (35 x 24 in) Oil, buttons stitched on canvas


Green composition, 2001 (35 x 24 in) Oil, buttons stitched on canvas


Colored glass plates, 2002 (35 x 24 in) Oil, buttons, mirrors stitched on canvas


Somewhere over the rainbow II, 2001 (24 x 24 in) Oil, buttons, painted cloth stitched on canvas


Navel orange, 1988 (35 x 31 in) Acrylic, plastic buttons, mirrors, yarn stitched on canvas


Blue lotus, 2001 (34 x 24 in) Oil, buttons stitched on canvas


Pretty in pink, 1990 (33 x 30 in) Acrylic, buttons, painted cloth stitched on canvas


Midnight stroll, 1990 (33 x 31 in) Acrylic, oil, plastic buttons on stitched canvas


Orange sliver, 1988 (35 x 33 in) Acrylic, oil, plastic buttons on stitched canvas


Pink and glitter, 1989 (35 x 35 in) Acrylic, oil, rhinestones, plastic buttons, gold thread on stitched canvas


SEQUINS & GLITTER Like her buttons, sequins and glitter were other embellishments that Pacita frequently added to accent and give a little sparkle to her paintings. She first got the idea to incorporate sequins in her work while she was in Haiti in 1981, when an artist friend in Port au Prince took her to see the figurative Drapo Vodou banners, or Vodou Flags, which were covered with colorful sequins. Pacita was overwhelmed with their sparkling beauty and strong African and religious imagery. It was at that point that she realized that she could incorporate sequins to accent her stitched paintings. During her travels in Asia, Pacita also came across sequins and glitter which she would buy from the local markets to bring back to her studio. In Rajasthan, she was particularly happy to find sequins already sewn on to traditional cloth which she bought and later cut up to use in some of her assemblages. Opposite: Magenta beads (detail), 2003 (6 x 6 in) Oil, sequins, painted cloth stitched on canvas


Moment of passion, 2001 (6 x 6 in) Oil, sequins, painted cloth stitched on canvas


My sequins have seeped into your life, 2002 (6 x 6 in) Oil, sequins, painted cloth stitched on canvas


Sweet things, 2001 (6 x 6 in) Oil, sequins, painted cloth stitched on canvas


Unmoved, 2001 (6 x 6 in) Oil, sequins, painted cloth stitched on canvas


Happy birthday to dear Martina, 1991 (10 x 12 in) Acrylic, sequins, mirror, beads collaged on handmade paper


Happy birthday to dear Jean, 1991 (10 x 12 in) Acrylic, sequins, mirror, beads collaged on handmade paper


Forbidden place, 2004 (6 x 6 in) Oil, sequins, painted cloth stitched on canvas


Lift me up, 2001 (12 x 12 in) Oil, sequins, rhinestones, painted cloth stitched on canvas


Sometime around February, 2001 (12 x 12 in) Oil, painted cloth, sequins, painted tin stitched on canvas


Round and around I go, 2002 (24 x 24 in) Oil, sequins, rhinestones, painted cloth stitched on canvas


Flame, 2004 (6 x 6 in) Oil, sequins stitched on canvas


Morning has broken, 2001 (12 x 12 in) Oil, sequins, painted cloth stitched on canvas


Valentine Dress, 1993 (9 x 12 in) Gouache, sequins, handmade paper collaged on Chinese paper


Red sequins, 1993 (9 x 12 in) Gouache, sequins collaged on handmade paper


Sky blue, 2002 (6 x 6 in) Oil, sequins, painted cloth stitched on canvas


Strawberry, 2001 (6 x 6 in) Oil, sequins, beads, painted cloth stitched on canvas


Please don't cry, 2004 (5 x 5 in) Oil, sequins, painted cloth stitched on canvas


Yellow planet, 2003 (5 x 5 in) Acrylic, printed cloth, sequins collaged on paper board


Burnt by the sun, 2004 (31 x 46 in) Acrylic, glitter, mirrors, painted paper, painted cloth collaged on handmade paper


Red carpet moments, 2004 (22 x 30 in) Acrylic, glitter, cloth on handmade paper


Kinokuniya, 2004 (53 x 28 in) Oil pastel, acrylic, glitter, cloth collaged on handmade paper mounted on board


Dylan’s candy store, 2004 (53 x 28 in) Acrylic, oil pastel, glitter collaged on handmade paper mounted on board


The sparks, the gold and oh, the glitter, 2004 (53 x 28 in) Oil pastel, acrylic, glitter, painted paper collaged on handmade paper mounted on board


Clockwise from top left: Song for Moonyean, Juke box music, David's presence, Gypsy 2003 (11 in diameter) Oil, pastel, acrylic, glitter, mirrors, mylar collaged on paper


Purple rain, 2003 (5 x 5 in) Acrylic, glitter collaged on paper board


Love you Jackie, 2004 (6 x 6 in) Oil, acrylic, glitter, painted cloth stitched on canvas


MIRRORS Pacita’s use of mirrors was inspired by her first trip to Rajasthan in 1974 when she first encountered colorful mirrored cloth. Even though she was traveling with only a small shoulder bag at the time, she still managed to buy a full lenghth, mirror embroidered skirt along with a colorful, mirrored bodice top from a nomadic, Rabari woman. The skirt in particular was one of her prized possessions and she proudly wore it for the remainder of her life. Pacita also watched and learned how to embroider and sew mirrors onto her clothes and paintings and loved the effect that they had on her work. Getting mirrors when she was living in Dhaka, Bangkok and Singapore was not too difficult, but when Pacita lived in Manila or Washington it became a challenge. Fortunately, she had numerous friends who would regularly come back from trips to India with a 15-pound box of mirrors bought from her favorite stores in Delhi or Mumbai. As homage to Rajasthan, late in her career Pacita returned to India and created a new series of mirror assemblages. The Sky is the Limit showcases her fascination with the intricate detailing of objects in Rajasthan, from the carefully worked miniature paintings to the diverse patterns on women’s saris, and the multi-textured, mirror embroidered clothing of the Rabari women.” - Tan Swee Lin, Curator, Singapore Art Museum, excerpt from “Pacita Abad: Up, up and away, infectuous inspiration” in The Sky is the Limit

Opposite: Blue mirrors II (detail), 2000 (6 x 6 in) Oil, mirrors, painted cloth stitched on canvas


Staring at the sun, 2000 (12 x 12 in) Oil, mirrors, sequins stitched on canvas


On plate of rice, 2000 (6 x 6 in) Oil, mirrors stitched on canvas


Dusk at Khouri desert, 2000 (6 x 6 in) Oil, mirrors stitched on canvas


Mirrors are rockin’, 1998 (12 x 12 in) Oil, mirrors stitched on canvas


Turn me loose, 2000 (50 x 35 in) Oil, mirrors stitched on canvas


Hermes, 2000 (35 x 29 in) Oil, mirrors stitched on canvas


Score, 2000 (16 x 12 in) Oil, mirrors stitched on canvas


Melancholy, 2000 (16 x 12 in) Oil, mirrors stitched on canvas


Rainbow of mirrors, 2002 (36 x 29 in) Oil, mirrors stitched on canvas


Talking to the wall, 1999 (61 x 39 in) Oil, mirrors, painted cloth stitched on canvas


Swatch, 2000 (6 x 6 in) Oil, mirrors stitched on canvas


Take two, 2000 (6 x 6 in) Oil, mirrors, painted cloth stitched on canvas


Adornment, 2000 (12 x 12 in) Oil, mirrors stitched on canvas


Partial eclipses, 2002 (12 x 12 in) Oil, mirrors stitched on canvas


Still wild, 2000 (12 x 12 in) Oil, mirrors stitched on canvas


Why can't I have my rice?, 2000 (6 x 6 in) Oil, mirrors stitched on canvas


I'm so jealous, 2001 (6 x 6 in) Oil, mirrors stitched on canvas


Avocado, 2000 (6 x 6 in) Oil, mirrors stitched on canvas


Honey and saffron, 2002 (12 x 12 in) Oil, mirrors stitched on canvas


Hooked love, 2002 (6 x 6 in) Oil, mirrors, stitched on canvas


House is on fire, 2000 (12 x 12 in) Oil, mirrors, painted cloth stitched on canvas


Pick up the pieces, 2001 (12 x 12 in) Oil, mirrors, painted cloth, painted tin stitched on canvas


Jealous love, 2000 (12 x 9 in) Oil, mirrors stitched on canvas


Holding on, 2000 (14 x 11 in) Oil, mirrors stitched on canvas


Green mirrors, 2002 (35 x 24 in) Oil, mirrors, painted cloth stitched on canvas


Face to face, 2000 (12 x 9 in) Oil, mirrors stitched on canvas


Bumbu-bumbu, 2000 (18 x 14 in) Oil, mirrors stitched on canvas


Lem-o-lime, 2004 (10 x 8 in) Oil, acrylic, mirrors stitched on canvas


TIN Late in her career Pacita created a number of metal assemblages, which came about quite by accident. She always squeezed her tin paint tubes to the last drop, and then cut them open and flatten them to get the last bit of paint remaining in the tube. One day as she looked at the flattened tin from her paint tubes she decided to try to stitch them to her paintings. Pacita was pleasantly surprised to see the muted rippled effect of the tin and happy to see that her paint adhered to the metal strips. She then decided to try to find a way to utilize the cut-off tops of the paint tubes. Adhering these odd shapes to her paintings was a challenge, but with a bit of creative sewing and strong thread it worked. Pacita was very pleased with the metallic effect, and even happier because she had finally found a way to utilize the entire paint tube on her painted canvas in her painting Think of the possibilities. Nothing wasted, and that made her smile. Opposite: Green and purple (detail), 2003 (14 x 11 in) Acrylic, painted tin, painted cloth stitched on canvas


Life is a series of doors, 1998 (12 x 12 in) Oil, painted tin stitched on canvas


Van Gogh oils, 2001 (12 x 12 in) Oil, painted tin stitched on canvas


Think of the possibilities, 1998 (12 x 12 in) Oil, painted tin stitched on canvas


He'll take my grubby secret away, 1999 (12 x 12 in) Oil, painted tin stitched on canvas


Lime green, 2003 (12 x 12 in) Oil, painted tin, painted cloth stitched on canvas


Santiago, my friend, 2003 (12 x 12 in) Oil, acrylic, painted tin, painted cloth stitched on canvas


Transitions, 2001 (12 x 12 in) Oil, painted tin stitched on canvas


Stay behind, 2000 (12 x 12 in) Oil, painted tin, painted cloth stitched on canvas


Violet-eyed Italian, 2001 (6 x 6 in) Oil, painted tin stitched on canvas


Peach melba, 2001 (12 x 12 in) Oil, painted tin, painted cloth stitched on canvas


Send me, 2001 (12 x 12 in) Oil, painted tin stitched on canvas


Maybe this, maybe that, 2001 (12 x 12 in) Oil, painted tin stitched on canvas


Purple blind, 2001 (14 x 11 in) Acrylic, painted tin stitched on canvas


Summer in Helsinki, 2001 (37 x 26 in) Oil, painted cloth, painted tin, stitched on canvas


Red springing out of the canvas (detail), 2002 (35 x 52 in) Oil, acrylic, painted tin, painted cloth stitched on canvas


Pacita's lime green, 2003 (14 x 11 in) Oil, painted tin, painted cloth stitched on canvas


Seven pictures, 2003 (14 x 11 in) Acrylic, oil, painted tin stitched on canvas


Purple and green sequins, 2003 (14 x 11 in) Acrylic, painted tin, painted cloth stitched on canvas


The fascination for pink doors, 1998 (35 x 24 in) Oil, painted cloth, painted tin stitched on canvas


The four seasons, 2001 (39 x 27 in) Oil, painted tin, painted cloth stitched on canvas


Blues festival, 2001 (35 x 30 in) Oil, painted cloth, painted tin, stitched on canvas


Red keeps coming on my mind, 2001 (37 x 30 in) Oil, painted canvas, painted cloth, painted tin stitched on canvas


From the window of my studio, 2003 (35 x 24 in) Oil, painted cloth, painted tin, stitched on canvas


I knew you had blues, 2002 (37 x 26 in) Oil, painted cloth, painted tin, stitched on canvas


BARK Pacita was first introduced to barkcloth in 1983 by an artist she knew in Madang, Papua New Guinea. She had never seen the material before, but soon found that it was a major craft tradition used by tribal artists throughout the South Pacific, Australia, Indonesia, Central Africa and the Amazon region. In all of these areas the barkcloth is produced from the soaked and beaten bark from the Muberry tree. The resultant material is used in everyday life, clothes, rituals and art. Pacita was so enamored with barkcloth that she later traded a painting for a large tapa cloth from Tonga to hang over her bed in Jakarta. Years later while traveling in Africa, she encountered barkcloth again and this time brought some back to her studio. As she said, “I began experimenting and used it with oil , acrylic, gouche, tempera and even went to the extent of ripping, cutting, sewing and gluing the barckcloth onto other materials. The more I worked with barkcloth the more excited I became. It is very durablewith interesting patterns, a richness of colorand natural uneven thickness. Much to my surprise, I found I could produce unique paintings which were small intimate and stark with pure and simple colors.� Pacita decided then decided to add a range of different materials to her bark paintings, including cowrie shells from New Guinea and crocodile skin scraps from Zimbabwe and other material that she had picked up during her journeys. Opposite: Tribal blues, 1993 (10 x 13 in) Oil, shell, crocodile skin collaged on bark mounted on board


Cowrie shell, 1993 (12 x 16 in) Oil, cowrie shells stitched on bark mounted on board


Strings attached, 1994 (12 x 16 in) Acrylic, painted threads, oil on bark mounted on canvas


Painted bark cloth, 1993 (12 x 16 in) Oil on bark, crocodile skin collaged and mounted on board


Orange door, 1993 (12 x 16 in) Oil on bark collaged and mounted on board


Highland music, 1993 (12 x 16 in) Oil on bark mounted on board


Spear design, 1993 (12 x 16 in) Oil, acrylic on bark collaged on canvas


Papaya, 1993 (9 x 12 in) Oil on bark collaged and mounted on board


Black and grey, 1993 (9 x 12 in) Gouache, crocodile skin, painted paper collaged on handmade paper


Close encounter, 1993 (16 x 12 in) Oil, crocodile skin on bark mounted on board


Mirrors and beads, 1993 (16 x 12 in) Oil, beads, mirrors stitched on bark mounted on board


Darkness within, 1993 (17 x 13 in) Oil on bark mounted on board


Asmat village, 1993 (15 x 10 in) Oil on bark collaged on board


Dance motifs, 1993 (10 x 14 in) Oil on bark mounted on board


Laplaps, 1993 (9 x 12 in) Oil on bark stitched on canvas


Harlem blues, 1993 (13 x 17 in) Oil on bark collaged on board


Watermelon, 1993 (9 x 13 in) Oil on bark collaged on handmade paper mounted on bark


Hagen music, 1993 (11 x 14 in) Oil, painted bark collaged on bark


Broken heart, 2001 (13 x 16 in) Oil, oil pastel on bark mounted on canvas


Life is full of detours, 1994 (11 x 14 in) Oil on bark, painted cloth collaged on board


Mali village, 1993 (9 x 12 in) Oil on bark mounted on board


PAPER Throughout her artistic career Pacita was always playing with paper and creating abstract collages and assemblages by incorporating a range of found objects such as toothpicks, paper firecrackrers, computer circuit boards, Chinese gold leaf paper, and many others. However, it was during the last few years of her life that she began to focus on her paper abstact assemblages. Although she would never admit it, she was losing physical strength while she was undergoing constant treatments for cancer. With her weakened condition but still robust creative spirit, she focused on creating abstract, cardboard circle assemblages. “On her return to Singapore she continued combining paint with small paper circles, glitter, sequins and fabric she collected on trips to Tokyo, Bangkok and Yogyakarta. Finally, when she began to lose strength, but not her obsession to paint, Pacita just sat on the floor and painted her circles until she could no longer hold her brush.” - Ian Findlay-Brown, excerpt from Pacita’s Artist Statement in Obsession.

Opposite: Sweet ‘n low (detail), 1993 (10 x 13 in) Oil, shell, crocodile skin collaged on bark mounted on board


Lotte hotel, 1987 (9 x 12 in) Acrylic, gouache, painted toothpick packets collaged on paper, mounted on painted handmade paper


Firecrackers, 2001 (24 x 24 in) Oil, painted paper collaged on paper


Melancholy lines, 2004 (14 x 11 in) Acrylic, painted toothpick wrappers collaged on paper


Brown sugar, 1994 (29 x 23 in) Oil, Chinese wax, painted handmade paper collaged on paper


Gold, 1990 (20 x 16 in) Oil, pastel, Chinese gold paper and handmade paper collaged on canvas


Eye witness, 1987 (26 x 20 in) Oil, charcoal, acrylic on handmade paper collaged on paper


Salsa en Cubana, 1987 (16 x 25 in) Gouache, acrylic, printed paper collaged on rice paper


The kid who grew up in Chinatown, 1996 (49 x 33 in) Oil, Chinese and handmade paper, linen, black ink mounted on canvas


Circuit boards and mylars, 2003 (9 x 14 in) Lithograph, mirrors, glitter and mylar collaged on painted canvas


Wild card, 1981 (24 x 29 in) Oil pastel, acrylic, glitter collaged on Manila paper


But you’re nowhere, 1993 (9 x 12 in) Acrylic, painted paper collaged on paper


Semangka, 1993 (12 x 16 in) Gouache, pulp paint and painted paper collaged on canvas


Dim sum delights 3, 2004 (16 x 20 in) Acrylic, painted paper collaged on paper mounted on board


Dim sum delights 5, 2004 (11 x 14 in) Acrylic, painted paper collaged on paper mounted on board


Shoot the moon, 2004 (53 x 28 in) Acrylic, painted canvas and cardboard, mirrors, glitter, cloth collaged on handmade paper mounted on board


Techno-color dreams, 2004 (53 x 28 in) Acrylic, painted cardboard, glitter, cloth collaged on handmade paper mounted on board


Prized possession, 2004 (53 x 28 in) Acrylic, painted cardboard, glitter, mirrors, cloth, buttons collaged on handmade paper mounted on board


I heard it through the grapevine, 2004 (53 x 28 in) Oil pastel, acrylic, painted and printed paper, cloth, mirror, woven paper collaged on handmade paper mounted on board


Play it again, 2004 (53 x 28 in) Acrylic, glitter, sequins, cardboard collaged on handmade paper mounted on board


Scream against the sky, 2004 (53 x 28 in) Oil pastel, acrylic, corrugated board, cloth, mylar collaged on handmade paper mounted on board


Morning rising, 2004 (53 x 28 in) Acrylic, painted cardboard, glitter, mirrors, cloth, painted canvas collaged on handmade paper mounted on board


Take me to the water, 2004 (53 x 28 in) Oil, oil pastel, acrylic, glitter, cloth collaged on handmade paper mounted on board


ARTIST PROFILE The internationally known Philippine-American painter Pacita Abad (19462004) was born on Batanes, a small island in the South China Sea. Her 32-year painting career began when she had to leave the Philippines in 1969 due to her student political activism against the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos, and traveled to the United States to study law. However, a few years after receiving a Master of Arts degree in Asian History from the University of San Francisco she switched careers to dedicate her life to art. She then studied painting at the Corcoran School of Art, Washington, D.C. and The Art Students League in New York City. Since that time Pacita never stopped being a gypsy artist and painted the globe while working on six different continents and traveling to more than 50 countries. During her career Pacita created over 5,000 artworks and her paintings were exhibited in more than 200 museums and galleries around the world. Pacita’s travels significantly impacted her life and artistic style and were the inspiration for many of the ideas, techniques and materials that she incorporated in her paintings. Her journeys were also a tremendous crosscultural learning experience that made her acutely aware of the difficult lives that most women lead around the globe. They also heightened her sensitivity to the severe political, social, economic and environmental challenges she encountered across Asia, Africa and Latin America. Not surprisingly, as a socially concerned artist Pacita’s early socio-political paintings were of urban poor, displaced people, political violence, refugees


and immigrants in countries where she worked such as Bangladesh, Sudan, Dominican Republic, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines and the U.S. After her early social realism paintings, Pacita rejected the painterly emphasis on surface flatness, and sought ways to expand her painted canvases and make her work more sculptural. With the help of her sewing skills Pacita developed a unique, innovative painting style which she called trapunto painting, that fused her painted surfaces collaged with hand-stitched traditional materials, buttons, sequins, shells, mirrors and other found objects to blend with her signature strong colors. Her first series using this technique she called “Masks and Spirits” drawing on her travel experiences. Pacita created over 50 large, vibrantly colored, hand stitched and embellished trapunto paintings depicting masks and spirits from New Guinea, the Philippines, Indonesia, Africa and the Americas. Her next artistic plunge was literally underwater, as Pacita created very large and colorful trapunto painting series based on her deep-sea scuba diving experiences throughout the Philippines. Inspired by nature’s beauty she simultaneously worked on a extensive series of flora and fauna paintings from the Australian Outback and Asia’s tropical gardens. Throughout her career her work was characterized by color, constant change and experimentation. Her most comprehensive and extensive body of work, which she focused on during the second half of her career are vibrantly colorful abstract, mixed-media painted textile collages and assemblages inspired by her stays in Indonesia, Singapore, India and Yemen. Many are very large canvases, but also a number of small collages on a range of surfaces, as she continuously explored new mediums, techniques and materials including prints, paper, bark cloth, glass ceramic, steel and other mediums. Pacita also created a number of noteworthy public art installations such as her six-piece, Masks from Six Continents, in the main Washington, D.C. Metro Station; batik canvas collage titled Celebration and Joy installed at the Singapore Expo; large hand-stitched Zamboanga wedding tent adorned with native textiles called 100 Years Of Freedom: from Batanes to Jolo to celebrate


the Philippine Centennial; and just before she died the 55-meter long Singapore Art Bridge which she covered with over 2,000 colorful circles while undergoing treatment for cancer. Pacita's paintings were featured in solo exhibitions at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.; Hong Kong Arts Center, Hong Kong; Museum of Philippine Art and the Metropolitan Museum in Manila; Bhirasri Institute of Modern Art, Bangkok, Thailand; Altos de Chavon, Dominican Republic; Art Museum of Western Virginia, Roanoke; National Center of AfroAmerican Artists, Boston; National Museum and the National Gallery of Art, Jakarta, Indonesia and the Hadeland Museum in Norway, among others. Pacita's work also appeared in numerous group exhibitions including: Beyond the Border: Art by Recent Immigrants, Bronx Museum; Asia/America: Identities in Contemporary Asian American Art, Asia Society, New York; Olympiad of Art (in conjunction with the 24th Olympics), National Museum of Contemporary Art in Seoul, Korea; 2nd Asian Art Show, Fukuoka Art Museum, Japan; La Bienal de la Habana, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Habana, Cuba; Art for Africa, traveling exhibition to Oslo, Cologne, Algiers, London and Rome; UNESCO: 40 Years, 40 Countries, 40 Artists, traveling exhibition to 15 museums around the world; Filipino Artists Abroad, Metropolitan Museum of Manila; and At Home and Abroad: 21 Contemporary Filipino Artists, traveling exhibition to the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston among others. Pacita’s paintings are now held in museum, public, corporate and private art collections in over 70 countries, and are regularly included in auctions by international auction houses. Among the museums that have collected Pacita’s paintings are: the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum in Japan, Singapore Art Museum in Singapore, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, National Museum of Contemporary Art in Korea, National Museum of the Philippines, Metropolitan Museum of Manila, Museum Nasional of Indonesia, Museo de Bellas Artes in Havana, Smithsonian American Art Museum, National Museum for Women in the Arts in Washington, Bronx Museum in New York and Zimmerli Art Museum in New Jersey.


Biodata Born: Batanes, Philippines, October 5, 1946 Died: Singapore, December 7, 2004 Studied at: Art Students League of New York, NY, 1977 Corcoran School of Art, Washington, D.C. 1975 University of San Francisco, M.A. 1972 University of the Philippines, B.A. 1968 SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS Pacita held over 40 solo exhibitions at museums and galleries in Asia, the U.S., Europe, Africa and Latin America 2006 “Pacita: Through the Looking Glass”, Esplanade-Theatres on the Bay, Singapore 2005 “A Passion to Paint”, The World Bank Galleries, Washington, DC “A Special Tribute to Pacita Abad - A Philippine-American Artist”, School of Economics, Singapore Management University, Singapore 2004 “Circles in My Mind”, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Manila, curated by Prof. Rubén Defeo of the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts (catalogue) “Genomic Medicine and Population Health”, Artist-in-Residence with GENOME Institute of Singapore 2004 “Pacita’s Painted Bridge”, Robertson Quay, Singapore (catalogue) “Circles in My Mind”, AndrewShire Gallery, Los Angeles, California (catalogue)


2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998

“Batik Dinnerware Collection”, Senayan Cafe, Jakarta “Circles in My Mind”, Singapore Tyler Print Institute, Singapore (catalogue) “Endless Blues”, Hadeland Museum, Hadeland, Norway (catalogue) “Endless Blues”, Galleri Stockgard, Siuntio, Finland (catalogue) “Endless Blues”, Artfolio Gallery, Singapore (catalogue) "The Sky is the Limit”, Pulitzer Art Gallery, Amsterdam, Netherlands (catalogue) "The Sky is the Limit”, Gallery Stockgard, Siuntio, Finland (catalogue) "The Sky is the Limit”, Artfolio Gallery, Singapore (catalogue) "The Sky is the Limit”, Finale Art Gallery and SM Art Center Manila, Philippines (catalogue) “Palay” Montclair State University Art Galleries, New Jersey (catalogue) “Wayang Dinnerware Collection”, Koi Gallery, Jakarta (catalogue) “Door To Life”, Artfolio Gallery, Singapore (catalogue) “Door To Life”, Luz Gallery, Manila (catalogue) “Door To Life”, Bomani Gallery, San Francisco (catalogue) “Door To Life”, Gibson Creative, Washington, DC (catalogue) “Abstract Emotions”, National Museum, Jakarta (catalogue)


1998 1996 1995 1994 1994 1993 1992 1991 1989 1988 1986

“Abstract Emotions”, Hiraya Gallery, Manila (small works) “Exploring the Spirit”, National Gallery of Indonesia (catalogue) “Thinking Big”, curated by Cora Alvina, Metropolitan Museum of Manila “Postcards from the Edge”, Galleria Duemila, Manila “Twenty-four Flowers”, Liongoren Art Gallery, Makati, Philippines “Wayang, Irian and Sumba”, National Museum, Jakarta (catalogue) “The American Dream”, curated by Angela Adams National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC (brochure) “Assaulting the Deep Sea”, curated by Mark Scala Art Museum of Western Virginia (brochure) “Assaulting the Deep Sea”, curated by Deborah McLeod Peninsula Fine Arts, Norfolk, Virginia (brochure) “Flower Paintings”, Philippine Center, New York, NY ”Abstract Emotions”, Philippine Center, New York, NY “Wild At Art”, Ayala Museum, Makati, Philippines “Trapunto Paintings”, Franz Bader Gallery, Washington, DC “Asian Abstractions”, Fables Gallery, Cambridge, Massachusetts “Oriental Abstractions”, curated by Michael Chen Hong Kong Arts Center, Hong Kong (catalogue)


1986 1985 1984 1982 1981 1980 1979 1978 1977

"Assaulting the Deep Sea", Underwater installation at Ayala Museum, Manila, Philippines “Batanes – Landscape and People”, curated by Ray Albano Cultural Center of the Philippines “A Painter Looks at the World”, curated by Arturo Luz Museum of Philippine Art (catalogue) “Scenes From the Upper Nile”, curated by Harriet Kennedy Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists, Boston, Massachusetts “Portraits of Cambodia”, curated by Amy Lighthill Boston University Art Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts (catalogue) “Streets of Santo Domingo”, curated by Isabel Caceres de De Castro Altos De Chavon, La Romana, Dominican Republic (catalogue) “Portraits of Cambodia”, curated by Daeng Chatvichai Promadhathavedi Bhirasri, Institute of Modern Art, Bangkok, Thailand “Recent Paintings of the Sudan”, curated by Abdullah Shibrain Exhibition Hall, Khartoum, Sudan “Paintings of Bangladesh”, Dhaka, Bangladesh “Recent Paintings”, 15th Street Studio, Washington, DC


SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS Pacita participated in more than 50 group and traveling exhibitions throughout the world. 2012 “BEAT” Exhibit, Lopez Memorial Museum Library, Pasig City, Philippines 2008 “The Sum of its Parts”, Lopez Memorial Museum Library, Pasig City, Philippines 2007 “The Big Picture Show“, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore 2006 “The Shape That Is“, Jendela Gallery, The Esplanade, Singapore 2004 "Crossings: Philippine Works from the Singapore Art Museum ", Ayala Museum, Manila, Philippines 2004 “Global Entrepolis” by Singapore's Economic Development Board at Suntec City Singapore, Singapore “SingArt - A Brush With Lions”, Raffles Hotel, Singapore “TOYM Art Exhibit", Manila, Philippines (catalogue) 2003 “The Third Asia Women Art Exhibition”, Seoul, Korea “Seoul International Women’s Art Fair”, Seoul, Korea "Brown Strokes on a White Canvas, 2003" Eight Filipino-American Artists at George Mason University, Arlington, Virginia and Harmony Hall, Fort Washington, Maryland “Philippine Exhibit”, Martin Luther King Library, Washington, DC


2002 2001 2001 2000 1999

"Sino-Filipino Contemporary Art", Asia World Hotel, Taipei, Taiwan (catalogue) “Spirited Faces: Painting in the Woman”, Gallerie Belvedere, Singapore “Singapore Art Fair 2002, “Suntec City, Singapore “Sky is the Limit installation”, curated by Valentine Willy The Esplanade, Singapore (catalogue) “Brown Strokes on a White Canvas”, World Bank Gallery and Foundry Gallery, Washington, DC “The Studio Portrait, A collaborative project by Carol Sun”, Bronx Museum, New York, NY “Mask: The Other Face of Humanity”, Sonobudoyo Museum Yogyakarta, Indonesia “Conversations with the Permanent Collection”, Bronx Museum, New York, NY "ARTSingapore 2000”, First Contemporary Southeast Asian Festival, MITA, Singapore “Luna: comic drama and art to wear”, directed by Gilda Cordero Fernando, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Manila ”Handmade: Shifting Paradigms”, curated by Tay Swee Lin, Singapore Art Museum (catalogue) "Women Beyond Borders”, a traveling exhibit organized by Lorraine Serena, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Southern California, Akino Fuku Museum, Japan, Tin Sheds Gallery University of Sydney,


Australia; Manly Art Gallery and Museum, Sydney; Gallery Saigon, Vietnam; Gallery One, Tokyo, Japan 1999 1998 1997

"Global Woman Project 1999-2000”, curated by Claudia De Monte, traveling exhibit in the United States "Histories (Re)membered: Selections from the Permanent Collection”, Paine Webber Art Gallery, New York, NY "V'spartio (Very Special Arts)", Artfolio, Singapore and Osaka, Japan "At Home and Abroad: 21 Contemporary Filipino Artists”, traveling exhibition to Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, Metropolitan Museum of Manila (Catalogue) “Woman”, Institute of Contemporary Art (PS.1), New York, NY “Bayan”, Metropolitan Museum of Manila, Philippines “The Gallery Artists, Part 2”, Brix Gallery, Manila, Philippines “New Asian Art”, Hong Kong Visual Arts Center, Hong Kong “World Batik Exhibition”, Ardiyanto Gallery, Yogyakarta, Indonesia “Filipino Artists Abroad”, Metropolitan Museum of Manila, Philippines “National Craft Acquisition Award”, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin, Australia “Talk Back! The Community Responds to the Permanent Collection”, Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, New York, NY


1997 1996 1996

1995

“8th International Biennal Print and Drawing Exhibit”, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan (catalogue) “Book Art IV”, Luz Gallery, Makati, Philippines ”7th International Biennal Print and Drawing Exhibit”, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan (catalogue) ”National Craft Acquisition Award”, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin, Australia “Memories of Overdevelopment: Philippine Diaspora in Contemporary Visual Art”, curated by Yong Soon Min and Alan de Souza, traveling exhibit to University of California Art Galleries, North Dakota Art Museum; Plug-In Gallery, Canada “Looking at Ourselves: The American Portrait”, curated by Laura Vookles, Hudson River Museum of Westchester in New York (brochure) “Eight Paths to a Journey: Cultural Identity and the Immigration Experience”, curated by Mel Watkin, Ellipse Gallery, Arlington, Virginia “Defining Ourselves”, curated by Anna Fariello, Radford University Galleries, Radford, Virginia “Contemporary Art of the Non-Aligned Countries”, curated by G. Sheikh T.K. Sabapathy, A. Poshyananda and Jim Supangkat, National Gallery of Indonesia (catalogue) “AKO, Filipino Self Portraits”, curated by Cora Alvina, Metropolitan Museum of Manila, Philippines


1995 1993 1993

1992

“disOriented: Shifting Identities of Asian Women in America”, curated by Margo Machida Steinbaum Krauss Gallery and Henry Street Settlement Abrams Art Center, New York, NY “Beyond the Border: Art by Recent Immigrants”, curated by Betti Sue Hertz, Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York, NY (catalogue) “Asia/America: Identities in Contemporary Asian American Art”, curated by Margo Machida and organized by the Asia Society Galleries, NY - traveling to the Tacoma Art Museum, Washington; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Honolulu Academy of Fine Arts, Hawaii; Center for the Arts at Yerba Buena, San Francisco MIT List Visual Arts Center, Massachusetts and Blaffer Gallery, University of Houston, Texas (catalogue) “TOUCH, Beyond the Visual”, curated by Angela Adams and Paula Owen - a traveling exhibitions organized by the Hand Workshop, Richmond, Virginia to include Sawtooth Center for the Visual Arts, Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History, Danville, Virginia; Piedmont Arts Association, Martinsville, Virginia (catalogue) “Women’s Spirit with Pacita Abad, Hung Liu, Amalia Mesa-Bains, Howardena Pindell, Joyce Scott”, Bomani Gallery, San Francisco, California “Washington Project for the Arts at the Hemicycle”, curated by Marilyn Zeitlin Alan Prokop, Judy Jashinsky and Sammy Hoi, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC “Crossing Over/Changing Places”, curated by Jane Farmer, sponsored by USIA, a traveling exhibit in the United States and Europe including Zagreb Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb; Helsinki City Art Kunstmuseum, Denmark; National Gallery of Art, Athens; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (catalogue)


1991 1991 1990 1988 1986 1984

”Fiber: The State of the Art”, curated by Rebecca Stevens, Meyerhoff Gallery, Maryland Institute and College of Art, Baltimore, Maryland “Nine Paths to a Journey: The Immigrant Experience”, curated by Mel Watkin Ellipse Gallery, Arlington, Virginia (brochure) “Day of the Dead”, curated by Geno Rodriguez, Alternative Museum, New York, NY (brochure) “Art for Africa”, curated by Andre Parinaud, traveling exhibition to museums in Paris, Oslo, Cologne, Algiers, London and Rome ”Olympiad of Art”, curated by Ante Glibota, Pierre Restany, Thomas Messer and Uske Nakahara, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea (catalogue) “La Bienal de la Habana”, Museo Nacional de Belles Artes, Habana, Cuba (catalogue) “UNESCO: 40 Years, 40 Countries, 40 Artists”, curated by Andre Parinaud traveling exhibit in museums of 40 member countries (catalogue) “First International Print Bienale”, curated by Huang Tsai-lang, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan (catalogue) “Asian Art Biennale”, curated by Syed Jahangir, National Museum, Dhaka, Bangladesh (catalogue) “Second Asian Art Show” curated by Nonon Padilla, Fukuoka Art Museum, Japan (catalogue) “Three Faces in Philippine Art”, curated by Rod Paras Perez, BMW Gallery, Munich, Germany (catalogue)


1984

“Sino-Filipino Modern Art”, Asia World Hotel, Taipei, Taiwan “Association of South East Asian Countries”, curated by Rod Paras Perez, a traveling exhibition to museums in South East Asian countries

COSTUME DESIGNS Pacita was involved as a costume designer for a number of collaborative Asian theater groups • “Luna: Comic Drama and Art to Wear”, theater extravaganza for the New Millennium with an all star cast of Filipino artists, models and performers produced by Gilda Cordero Fernando and directed by Manny Chaves, Cultural Center of the Philippines, 2000 • “Long After Love”, Pacific Bridge Theater, Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian, 1992 • “Folktales of Lola Ita”, sponsored by Amauan, Applecore Theater, New York, NY 1988 WORKSHOPS AND LECTURES Pacita constantly gave workshops and artist talks to children, women and students across the world during her 32-year artistic career. 2004 “Painting the Globe” Artist Talk, Singapore Tyler Print Institute, Singapore "ArtSingapore 2004: Asian Contemporary Art, Where Are We Going From Here?" Artist Talk, Suntec City, Singapore "Paper Pulp and Print" Workshop for Globe Quest guest, in conjunction to the "Circles in My Mind" exhibition at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Manila


2004 2003 2002 2001

"Paper Pulp and Print" Workshop for Singapore Airlines guest, in conjunction to the "Circles in My Mind" exhibition at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Manila "Make-A-Wish Workshop" with Klein, a 9-year old PhilippineSingaporean boy who suffers from cancer “Collage Painting” Workshop, Tanglin Trust School, Singapore “Finns in Singapore Trapunto Painting” Workshop, Singapore “Contemporary Trends of Philippine Art Overseas”, talk given to docents at Singapore Art Museum “Trapunto Painting” Workshop, given to Scandinavian community in Singapore ”Trapunto painting”, Asian Civilization Museum Singapore “Collage Painting” Workshop, Tanglin Trust School, Singapore “Collage Painting” Workshop, Singapore Art Museum “Asian Contemporary Art”, Artist Talk, Singapore Art Museum “The Philippines: Prospects in Business and the Arts”, sponsored by Philippine Cultural Society at Hilton Hotel, Singapore “Trapunto Painting” Workshops given to members of Singapore Art Museum, Tanglin Trust students, talk and slide presentation given to American Club members in Singapore “The 9/11 Phoenix Project”, a collaborative Trapunto Workshop at the Southwest School of Arts and Crafts that created a three muralinstallation with local artists from San Antonio, Texas


2000 1999 1998 1996 1995 1994

1993

"Wayang Influences on Art”, lecture given to Indonesian Heritage Society, Jakarta, Indonesia Trapunto Painting workshops at the Tanglin Trust School, Singapore; Metropolitan Museum of Manila Artist Talk, Singapore Art Museum and LaSalle College of Art, Singapore Artist Talk, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco Trapunto Painting Workshop, University of the Philippines and Metropolitan Museum of Manila Trapunto Painting Workshop, National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta Trapunto Painting Workshop, Metropolitan Museum of Manila and British School in Jakarta, Indonesia "Artist + Community”, trapunto painting workshop given to schools in Maryland and Washington, DC (Savoy Elementary School, Thompson Elementary School, Oyster Bilingual School, Mabuhay Group) sponsored by the National Museum for Women in the Arts "Exploring America's Cultures: Asian American Art & Culture”, Columbia University Teacher's College, New York, NY "Cultural Identity: Evaluating Otherness”, Crafts and Ethics Symposium, Sawtooth Center for Visual Arts, Winston-Salem, North Carolina Textile Museum mask-making workshop for Oyster Bilingual Elementary School students, Washington, DC


1993

1992 1991 1991 1989

"Light in the Labyrinth”, painting workshop with patients with Alzheimer's to sharpen their remaining abilities, help maintain mind and motor skills and encourage independence, work with the Meridian Healthcare's FOCUS program “Potomac Craftsmen”, lecture on trapunto paintings, Washington, D.C Asian-American Pacific Heritage Council Conference, "Impact of Arts, Culture and Media on the Politics and Economics of Asian Pacific”, panel, Arlington, Virginia Philippine Arts, Letters and Media, Washington, DC trapunto painting workshop Pyramid Atlantic, "Asian Festival”, mural workshop for Asian children University of the Philippines, Trapunto Painting Workshop University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Art To Wear workshop Textile Museum, Washington, DC "Celebration of Textiles”, workshop George Washington University, Dimock Gallery in relation to the show, "Temples of Gold, Crowns of Silver”, lecture Art In Public Places, MetroArt II, Washington DC, Artist Talk MetroArt in Washington, Washington, DC, Artist Talk Imagination Celebration-Kennedy Center Mural Workshop New York State Council on the Arts, Lincoln Community Center, New York, NY, Trapunto Painting Workshop for Amauan members


1988 1986

1979

Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, taught two, three-month courses on trapunto painting Lectures given to students at schools and universities: Boston University; University of Massachusetts; College of Arts, Sudan; Dhaka College of Fine Arts in Bangladesh; public schools and colleges in Metropolitan Manila Lectures given to museums and other organizations: Shilpakala Academy of Fine Arts, Bangladesh; Bhirasri Museum of Modern Art, Thailand; Museum of Philippine Art; Cultural Center of the Philippines; Ayala Museum; World Affairs Council of Northern California; Jaycees and Rotary Clubs in the Philippines; and various women's organizations

AWARDS, GRANTS / FELLOWSHIPS Pacita received many awards, fellowships and artist residencies during her career • ALIWW “Parangal” Ateneo University, Manila, Philippines • GENOME Institute of Singapore, Singapore, artist-in-residence, 2004 • Centre d’Art Marnay Art Centre, Marnay, France, artist-in-residence, 2003 • Singapore Tyler Print Institute, Singapore, artist-in-residence, Visiting Artists Program, 2003 • Southwest School of Art and Craft, San Antonio, Texas, artist-in-residence, 2001 • Montclair State University, New Jersey, artist-in-residence, 2001 • Lindshammar, Sweden, Glass painting, Indra technique, artist-in-residence, 2001 • PAMANA NG PILIPINO Award for outstanding achievement in the arts, given by the President of the Philippines, Manila, 2000


• "Filipina Firsts”, a compendium of 100 Filipino women who have broken ground in their fields of endeavor organized by the Philippine American Foundation in Manila and Washington, DC, 1998 • Likha Award marking the Centennial of Philippine Independence, given in recognition of outstanding achievement, 1998 • Excellence 2000 Awards for the Arts, given by U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce in Washington, DC, 1995 • Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Artist Workshop Program, 1993-94 • OPUS B, a production company in Maryland creating collaborations between elders, inner-city youth and artists, artist-in-resident, 1993 • Virginia Center for Creative Arts, artist-in-resident, 1992, 1994, 1996 • Rutgers Center for Innovative Printmaking, artist-in-residence, 1991, 1992 and 1993 • Gwendolyn Caffritz Award, Pyramid Atlantic, artist-in-residence, 1991 and 1992 • MetroArt II Award, mural installed at Metro Center, Washington, DC 199095 • National Endowment for the Arts, Visual Arts Fellowship, 1989-90 • DC Commission on the Arts, GIA Grant, 1988-89, 1989-90, 1991-92 • New York State Council on the Arts, Visiting Artist Program, 1988-89 • TOYM Award for the Most Outstanding Young Artist in the Philippines, 1984 • Altos de Chavon, Dominican Republic, artist-in-residence, 1982


WORK IN MUSEUM COLLECTIONS • Ayala Museum of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines • Bhirasri Museum of Modern Art, Bangkok, Thailand • Bronx Museum of the Art, Bronx, New York • Cultural Center of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines • Eugenio Lopez Museum, Manila, Philippines • Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan • Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, New Brunswick, New Jersey • Jordan National Gallery of Fine Art, Amman, Jordan • Lopez Memorial Museum, Manila, Philippines • Metropolitan Museum of Manila, Philippines • Museo de Arte Moderno, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic • Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana, Cuba • Museum and Art Gallery in the Northern Territory, Darwin, Australia • Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists, Boston, Massachusetts • National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia • National Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C. • National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C. • National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea • National Museum, Colombo, Sri Lanka • National Museum, Dhaka, Bangladesh • National Museum, Jakarta, Indonesia • Singapore Art Museum, Singapore • Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan


Fundaciรณn Pacita, Batanes

Abstract Assemblages by JK Garrity  

This e-monograph discusses Pacita Abad's colorful mixed media stitched assemblages. This is the third part of her series, “One Thousand Stit...

Abstract Assemblages by JK Garrity  

This e-monograph discusses Pacita Abad's colorful mixed media stitched assemblages. This is the third part of her series, “One Thousand Stit...