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Cesar Legaspi: The Brave Modern at Ayala Museum

MAKATI — Ayala Museum opens December with a new major exhibition featuring the works of a Philippine master of Cubism and National Artist in the Visual Arts for Painting, Cesar Legaspi, under its program Images of Nation.

Cesar Legaspi: The Brave Modern includes the artist’s works from the pre-war period, which show lessons in Cubism; to the ascendancy of Neo-Realism in the 1950s and 1960s; and select large-scale works from the 1970s to the 1980s. The exhibition will run from December 2, 2014 to April 15, 2015, at the Third Floor Gallery of Ayala Museum.

The exhibition includes select paintings from the Ateneo Art Gallery, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, BenCab Museum, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Kalaw Ledesma Foundation, Inc., Jorge B. Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research Center, UCPB, and from the private collections of Felix and Grace Ang, Louie and Liza Bate, National Artist Ben Cabrera and Annie Sarthou, Stanley and Abby Chan, Senator Nikki M.L. Coseteng, Silvana Diaz, Dr. Ambeth Ocampo, Lawrence Ong, Jonathan and Stella Que, Manuel and Alice Que, Mario and Mimi Que, Paulino and Hetty Que, Mikee and Sheila Romero, and Kirk and Joanne Young.


In the halcyon and heady days in pre-war Philippines, a group of young artists were paving the way to a brave new world of modern art. Learning from the acknowledged Father of Modern Art, Victorio Edades, the young artists, who called themselves the Thirteen Moderns, which included Cesar Legaspi, were eager in finding new ways of visual expression.

The work of Cesar Legaspi shows the progression and development of Philippine painting in the twentieth century—from the rigorous intellectualism of Cubism in his early paintings to the harmonious unity of stylized figuration and tropical chromaticism at the peak of Neo-Realism.

His fragmented pictorial style, intense color, and stark social commentary contributed significantly to the acceptance of Philippine modern art, earning his place in the pantheon of Filipino National Artists.

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