ArtSpeak: Fernando Zobel And The Making Of The Ateneo Art Gallery

Thursday, 01 Sep 2016, 4 PM to 6 PM

Leong Hall Auditorium, Ateneo de Manila University

The Ateneo Art Gallery, in cooperation with the Departments of Interdisciplinary Studies, English, and Philosophy, presents ArtSpeak with Charlie Samuya Veric, curator of FIGURING FILIPINO UTOPIA.

The talk is titled "Fernando Zobel and the Making of the Ateneo Art Gallery: Modern Art, Postcolonial State, and the Utopian Imagination in Mid-20th-Century Philippines."

His abstract reads: "Fernando Zobel de Ayala y Montojo is a towering figure in modern Filipino art and criticism. An award-winning artist and an astute theorist, he founded the Ateneo Art Gallery in 1960. Six years later, he established the Museum of Spanish Abstract Art in Cuenca, Spain. Art histories in the Philippines and Spain are, indeed, unimaginable without Zobel. Yet very little has been written about him. With the exception of a handful of articles, not much art historical discussion of Zobel exists, especially in the context of the rise of Filipino modern art and the development of Philippine postcolonial state as utopian phenomena. The lecture fills this gap. In particular, I will argue that an understanding of Zobel and his influence must consider the mutual emergence of modern art and postcolonial statehood, events that cannot be dissociated from utopian sentiments defining the historical project of decolonization in the middle of the twentieth century. Moreover, I will argue that Zobel may be considered as a decolonizing voice, a touchstone in postcolonial Filipino art criticism. This lecture not only fills a significant gap in the scholarship on Zobel, but also hopes to reframe our understanding of modern art in the Philippines."

Poet, scholar, and curator Charlie Samuya Veric has a doctorate in American Studies from Yale University. He is the author of Histories, a collection of poems, and the editor of Anticipating Filipinas: Reading Bienvenido Lumbera as Critic. His second book of poems, Boyhood, is forthcoming from Ateneo de Manila University Press.