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Printmakers bring art to more people

Pasay-based hotel mounts a 34-piece exhibit

The 15th edition of Pasay-based five-star hotel Conrad Manila’s “Of Art and Wine” exhibit highlights the craftsmanship of printmaking featuring works by 24 printmakers.

Entitled “Thrive,” the show, which opened on Jan. 19 and runs until Feb. 19 at Gallery C, showcases 34 pieces from the Association of Printmakers (AP) made using various printmaking techniques including rubbercut, woodcut and collage, mixed media, etching, monotype, relief print, serigraph, and more. 

PRINTS ON WALL. The Gallery C at Conrad Manila showcases the works of 24 printmakers at the ongoing Of Art and Wine ‘Thrive’ exhibit.
It trains the spotlight, not only on the finished works, but also on the complexities in the different methods of an artistic process sometimes regarded as relatively easy as photocopying an image. 

“They’re not copies or reproductions because they’re handmade, printed by the artist, not mechanically reproduced,” explains AP board member, noted printmaker, and one of the featured artists, Ambie Abaño. 

Nestor Jardin and Ambie Abaño at the Of Art and Wine ‘Thrive’ virtual press launch.
Recognizing the common misconception among the uninitiated, Abaño admits, “there are simpler techniques.” “But,” she clarifies, “it still requires certain mastery and skills in the way you apply the ink and how much ink you put.”

Yas Doctor, also one of the featured artists in the show, seconds Abaño, explaining the challenge of creating multiple prints from one design. “All editions have to be same, from the paper to the look of the print.”

‘Re-silence’ (1998) and ‘Deterioration’ (1999) lithographs by Ronald Ventura.
Instead of painting directly on the canvas, printmaking uses a matrix or a template that could be made of wood, glass, or metal, on which the design is created using tools or chemicals. The matrix is then inked in order to transfer the design onto the surface—usually paper, but fabric is also used. 

According to the Met Museum, “one of the great benefits of printmaking, save for monotype, is that multiple impressions of the same design can be printed from a single matrix.”

‘The Tree When We Were Born’ (2016), monoprint with watercolor by Kristen Cain.
Or as Abaño puts it, “printmaking can give more people access to art,” as original works can reach many.

“Art is for everyone; we want to reach as many people as we can.”

As a unit, all 34 artworks on display intend to convey the message of surviving and thriving, especially timely as the world battles a pandemic.  

‘Mag-Ina’ (2019), mixed media by Virgilio Aviado.
“Very few of the works were done in 2020, but if you look at them as a collection they can reflect what we’re going through, the kind of spirit that we have right now,” says Abaño. 

Conrad Manila general manager Linda Pecoraro, an art enthusiast, shares, “The exhibit’s theme, ‘Thrive,’ resonates perfectly with Conrad Manila’s commitment to stay strong and resolute for the institution, the industry, and the country. It’s a perfect reminder for us to remain focused on what is important to transform our future.”

‘Which Way?’ (2019), drypoint by Benjamin Torrado Cabrera.
Some of the works on display and also for sale include Ronald Ventura’s “Deterioration” and “Re-silence,” both of which already sold; Abaño’s “Introspection (1a)” and “mulier de terra” woodcut on handmade paper; Doctor’s “Vague Signs: Nais Ko Lang Nam—” and “Vague Signs: Notary, Affidavit, Thesis, Feasibility, Case Study” relief print on rice paper; and Jun-Jun Sta. Ana’s “Tirada” mixed media and “Mano A Mano” polyester lithography. 

‘Intensity’ (2020), monotype by Hershey Malinis.
Other featured artists include Iwan Effendi, Jess Flores, Rhoda Recto, Virgilio Aviado, Kristen Cain, Jose Delima, Hershey Malinis, ND Harn, Angelo Magno, Su Chin Teoh, Caroline Ongpin, Ibarra Dela Rosa, Mars Bugaoan, Janos Delacruz, Justin Sanz, Noel El Farol, Anton Villaruel, Jone Sibugan, Charito Bitanga, and Benjamin Torrado Cabrera. 

‘Life Floats’ (2018), rubbercut by Rhoda Recto. 
The exhibit is open to the public and can also be viewed online via a digital brochure on www.yumpu.com. Prices range from P4,000 to P250,000. Call (02) 8833-9999 or email [email protected] for complete price list and more information. 

Topics: Conrad Manila , “Of Art and Wine” exhibit , Thrive , Association of Printmakers
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