National Artist for Visual Arts Arturo Luz passed away on Wednesday night, May 26. He was 94.
His daughter, former actress Angela Luz, confirmed the news in her post on social media.
“It is with deep sorrow that I announce the passing of my father, our beloved National Artist, Arturo Luz. He peacefully joined his Creator at 8:45 this evening.”
Angela said she was beside his father when he took his last breath.
Luz’s granddaughter, Paulina Sotto-Llanes took to Instagram to share a loving tribute to her “second dad.”
“I’ve always been a Lolo’s girl,” said Paulina, who is also a painter.
“We had such a strong bond, which only grew stronger when I followed in his footsteps as an artist.”
Luz studied painting at the University of Santo Tomas’ School of Fine Arts in Manila. He further expanded his knowledge at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, then at the Brooklyn Museum Art School in New York, and at the Academie de La Grande Chaumiere in Paris.
With a career spanning over six decades, Luz delved into different art forms such as painting, sculpture, printmaking, and design.
He was famous for his minimalist, geometric abstracts, from the earlier Carnival series to the recent Cyclist series, which theNational Commission for Culture and the Arts said, “elevated Filipino aesthetic vision to new heights of sophisticated simplicity.”
Luz was conferred the National Artist award in 1997.
He described his paintings as “semi-representational [and] semi-abstract”.
Among his significant works include “Bagong Taon,” “Vendador de Flores,” “Skipping Rope,” “Candle Vendors,” “Procession,” and “Night Glows.”
His mural painting “Black and White” is displayed in the lobby of CCP’s Bulwagang Carlos V. Francisco (Little Theater). Another Luz mural, “River of Life,” was painted on the terrazzo floor of the newly restored UP Chapel.
As with his paintings, his sculptures also heavily featured geometric shapes.
His metal sculpture “Cubi,” originally commissioned for Benguet Mining Corp.’s headquarters in Pasig, remains an attraction in The Podium Complex.
Luz was one of the pioneers of the modern Neo-realist school in Philippine art. He served as a founding director of the Metropolitan Museum Manila from 1976 to 1986. He also established the Luz Gallery which showcased works of local artists and those from other Asian countries.