My Favorite Shows of 2009

It turns out, I chose one per quarter.  These are personal favorites, exhibits in commercial spaces I found unforgettable. I don’t  expect universal approval.  Feel free to disagree.   Here goes (in chronological order):

1. Juan Alcazaren/Bernardo Pacquing at Finale Art File, 13 January to 9 Febuary 2009

Juan Alcazaren, "Casting Aspirations"

Juan Alcazaren's paintings with Bernardo Pacquing's hanging sculpture "Perfect Storm"

Working with curator Nilo Ilarde, Johnny Alcazaren and Bernie Pacquing showcased   monumental, site specific sculpture, paintings, and installations that made perfect use of the gallery’s space.  It was a great way to start the year, with art beyond the usual.  Too bad that Manila does not have a contemporary arts museum. This show could then have been acquired in its entirety and we would have had the pleasure of seeing these pieces remounted again and again.

2.  Stormy Weather, Felix Bacolor at MO’s Space, 23 May to 28 June 2009

Simple, creative, fun!

Felix Bacolor, "Stormy Weather"

3.  Butterfly’s Tongue, Geraldine Javier at West Gallery, 17 September to 16 October 2009

The Philippine art scene will always have figurative paintings at the top of the commercial heap.  Geraldine Javier proves she’s the best of the best in this genre. In this show,  her larger-than-life canvases incorporated her interest in taxidermy as she embedded preserved insects in glass vitrines onto her oil paintings.   She imbued West Gallery with the gothic ambiance of a Victorian sitting room.

Geraldine Javier, "Temple of My Familiar"

4.  Katas ng Pilipinas God Knows Hudas Not Play, Kawayan De Guia at The Drawing Room, 21 November to 12 December 2009

I ♥ those jukeboxes!

Kawayan de Guia, "Rock And Roll Jukebox"

By all means, list your own favorites.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!


8 Responses to My Favorite Shows of 2009

  1. vita says:

    1, 2, 3 I agree! I missed seeing 4, but must surely be beautiful!

  2. OYao says:

    Apart from what you’ve mentioned, the following exhibits are worth noting based on the shows I’ve seen this year:

    – Joel Alonday, Art Informal
    – John Santos, Art Informal
    – Pam Yan Santos, Art Informal
    – Lee Roy New, Art Informal
    – SBW Reunion, Blanc Compound
    – Lara delos Reyes, Magnet Ayala
    – Himas MAs (Capati, de Castro, Geraldo), Art Informal
    – Rodel Tapaya Diorama, Drawing Room
    – Mariano Ching, SLAB

  3. cris says:

    Since you mentioned ‘low brow’, I couldn’t help contain my excitement! I don’t want to steal the thunder away from Dex Fernandez so I’m leaving my comment here instead. I was trying to avoid playing the ‘favourites’ game in fear of offending artists that I have become friends with in my, so far, brief(meager resources factoring in mostly, but I do what I could) period of collecting. Also, I didn’t get to see all the shows last year so my choices might be a tad unfair. But from what I did see, these are my favourites of 2009 (one of which is ‘low brow’, which triggered me to respond and play this ‘favourites’ game along now with you).

    1. Butterfly’s Tongue, Geraldine Javier, West Gallery – masterful, mysterious and simply magical.
    2. {Un}Common, John Santos, ArtInformal – turning the ordinary into extraordinary. Sublime.
    3. The Midnight Lullaby, Luis Lorenzana, SLab – the little show that could.

  4. yeyey villame aka ur art moma says:

    i also liked that alcazaren’s and pacquing’s show at finale. it was the show that really related with and utilized that cavernous space of finale, whose bland fluorescent lights still can not dispel the industrial feel of the space, amplifying even more the “factory mindset” or its assembly-line like way of how they churn out their shows.

  5. yeyey villame aka ur art moma says:

    re:kawayan’s jukebox pieces, i can not help but be reminded of bose’s and justiniani’s jeep pieces most especially. kawayan should also be written about in terms of how his works relate with bose who appears to be his artistic predecessor.

    • manilaartblogger says:

      I recently came across several of Mark Justiniani’s jeepney pieces displayed all in one space, and you are right! One forgets that he had created art using the jeepney as his reference many years ago. And to not so great commercial acclaim. But I still love those Kawayan jukeboxes!

  6. Hans says:

    I concur….in saying that Juan Alcazaren’s “Casting Aspirations” is a work of genius. I thought he’d make it to the Ateneo Awards because of this work. As to Geraldine’s works, I think she is really ensuring that her works are worth millions with the concept and technique she invested into the works. I like also Kawayan’s exhibit at the Drawing Room…both the jukeboxes and paintings. As to jeepneys, there is also Aquilizan to contend with and possibly many other artists. As to Justiniani, i like that he is so adept in so many media, both conceptually and technically. As to the other exhibits mentioned, I missed them…and I regret most not seeing SBW’s reunion exhibit at Blanc.

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