MARKING, MAKING AND SEEING
ARGIE BANDOY NILO ILARDE BERNARDO PACQUING
Marking, Making and Seeing presents the work of three contemporary Philippine artists working in abstraction: a glimpse at current trajectories that nonfigurative art has taken in this side of the region. As a post-war artistic phenomenon (both globally and locally), the exploration with nonrepresentation has taken on various turns with each generation: from being overtly influenced by abstract expressionism and automatism to a tenuous fascination with the how non-representation can be used as a critique of painting itself. The exhibit offers a selection of works by these artists who started their forays into abstraction starting from the 1980s to the 1990s—likewise attesting to their steadfast exploration of this mode up to the present. What is common to all three artists and their works, it seems, is less of a physical demonstration of how abstraction can serve as a transparent outburst of primal and pure energy, and more of a conceptual preoccupation with the physicality of non-figurative form itself. Argie Bandoy’s series of paintings, for instance, reflect his continuing exploration with abstraction as a means of expression following experiments with Pop, Abject and figurative art over the years. The works in the exhibition are unapologetically raw and rough in their execution of form, hinting at the visceral and entropic in the ways the artist allows spontaneity and gut feel to take over the production of form. Yet all is not really left to randomness nor chance: Bandoy makes use of the wandering, meandering line as a unifying
element throughout the collection, appearing either as a strong focal point or unobtrusive element in his compositions. He also draws out startling, almost graphic, contrasts between the dominance of gray and neutral tones with darker, deeper hues marking a more ominous stain, shape and presence. Bandoy exhibits a certain measured restraint here: never resorting to unnecessary visual clutter even while maintaining a gritty sense of spontaneity in these works. Nilo Ilarde, on the other hand, shares a running series of objects produced by appropriating the tools of the painters’ trade: discarded frames and trays are painted over using pigments squeezed straight out of the tube. Known for his large-scale installation works often designed to alter and interact with the exhibition space, Ilarde also alternates these visual projects with exhibitions of smaller paintings and collage-based works. Ilarde’s smaller works for this show demonstrate how paint as a physical material can straddle two-dimensional and sculptural form. In painting, he does not limit himself to the use of a brush, using daubs and strokes to flatten and dilute the viscous quality of paint. Instead, tubes are directly wielded as painting implements: squeezed to expel pigment all over the frame in seemingly random patterns. These experiments yield works with a sense of raw, whimsical pleasure: begging the question of whether art’s historic fascination with the faithful representation of illusionistic reality is not, in essence, an extension of this basic act of letting unformed pigment loose on the picture plane.
These pieces are also an intriguing counterpoint to Ilarde’s other series of larger installation works comprised of empty paint tubes: collections that have been consumed, collected and discarded over the years by generations of visual artists. Collectively, these works construct a self-reflexive narrative on the means, nature and processes of artistic production. Finally positioned in stark contrast to Ilarde’s use of vivid and even acid paint hues is the subdued yet strongly balanced palette of Bernardo Pacquing’s works. Pacquing’s paintings convey the subdued surfaces of abject and banal spaces: the obscurity of walls and woodwork, nuanced transitions between plane and surface, the small surprises left behind by random markings and scribbles. An artist who has explored various means of non-representational expression over the past two decades, Pacquing now exhibits a sense of ease with the physicality of surfaces. Exhibiting a sparseness of space and texture, text and image, the works convey the artist’s comfort and confidence with the material itself: smoothing out tensions between distressed textures and void, between free and finite form, gesture and measure. The works of the three artists offer the viewer a look at the patterns of non-representation that Philippine artists are currently exploring: how the aesthetics of abstraction have increasingly moved away from formalist concerns over “purity of form” towards a more expressive and conceptual bent.
_ PATTERNS OF NON-REPRESENTATION
LISA ITO ESSAY
Argie Bandoy (b. 1973) studied Fine Arts at the University of the East. In 1996, Bandoy started joining group exhibitions and was affiliated with Surrounded by Water, a group that set up among the countryâ€™s pioneering artist-run spaces. In 2004, he held his first one-man exhibition and started his first artist residency at the Big Sky Mind artist-run space in Quezon City, Philippines. In 2008, he worked with Filipino-American artist Manuel Ocampo on a collaborative exhibition, Problems with Styles. In 2011, he received the TARP residency at TAKSU Kuala Lumpur.
Argie Bandoy previous page; Dead Conditions oil, enamel on canvas / 153 x 140.5 cm / 2013 left; Damage Done oil, enamel on canvas / 73.5 x 63.5 cm / 2013 right; Kojack oil, enamel on canvas / 73.5 x 63.5 cm / 2013
Argie Bandoy left; Road Kill Pile Of Shit And Abstract oil, enamel on canvas / 153 x 140.5 cm / 2013 right; Untitled oil, enamel, spray paint on canvas / 153 x 140.5 cm / 2013
Bernardo Pacquing (b. 1967) has been publicly exhibiting his works since 1993. He was twice awarded the Grand Prize for Non-Representational Painting at the 1992 and 1999 Open Art Competitions of the Art Association of the Philippines (AAP). By 2000, he received and completed the Freeman Fellowship Grant at the Vermont Studio Center, United States. In 2004, Pacquing was named as one of the Cultural Center of the Philippinesâ€™ (CCP) Thirteen Artists Awardees.
Bernardo Pacquing Curious World Of Probability 04 wooden collage / 56 x 134.5 cm / 2013
Bernardo Pacquing left; A Mechanical Drawing of a Flower oil on canvas / 184 x 138 cm / 2013 right; Gestation #04 oil on canvas / 184 x 138 cm / 2013
Nilo Ilarde (b.1960) entered the Philippine art scene in the early 1980s by being commended during the Young Arts in Asia Now exhibition held at the Hong Kong Center in 1980 and winning the AAP annual national competition (Painting) in 1981. He started exhibiting his work as part of group exhibitions since 1983 and held his first one-man exhibition in 1987. Alongside painting and installation work, Ilarde has served as an exhibition director and curator of numerous shows of contemporary Philippine art for various art institutions and galleries over the past three decades.
Nilo llarde Paint Things 1 (Tell Tail Signs) oil and collage on pegboard / 53.5 x 40.5 cm / 2013
Nilo llarde Paint Things 2 (Emerald Green Abstract) / oil and collage on pegboard / 53.5 x 40.5 cm / 2013
Paint Things 3 (The Curvature Of Large Bodies) / oil and collage on pegboard / 53.5 x 40.5 cm / 2013
Nilo llarde Paint Things 4 (Yellow Ziggurat) / oil and collage on pegboard / 53.5 x 40.5 cm / 2013
Paint Things 5 (Bells And Thought) / oil and collage on pegboard / 53.5 x 40.5 cm / 2013
Nilo llarde Paint Things 6 (Primal Ooze And Squirm) / oil and collage on pegboard / 53.5 x 40.5 cm / 2013
MARKING, MAKING AND SEEING
ARGIE BANDOY NILO ILARDE BERNARDO PACQUING ISBN 978 - 981- 07-7988-7
TAKSU is a leading contemporary art gallery and specialist in Southeast Asia. Representing selections of fine art with distinctive urban edge, we are at the forefront of contemporary art in this region. TAKSU works to forge a platform for established and emerging artists to share their pool of creativity and knowledge through its residency programs and exhibitions. Encapsulating the true meaning of the word TAKSU; divine inspiration, energy, and spirit.
978 - 981- 07-7989-4
Suherwan Abu Director, TAKSU Galleries
front cover detail; Argie Bandoy Alabaster oil, enamel on canvas / 73.5 x 63.5 cm / 2013 back cover detail; Bernardo Pacquing Curious World Of Probability 03 wooden collage / 48 x 126.5 cm / 2013
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