Ayala Museum showcases a Filipino master of Cubism, Cesar Legaspi: The Brave Modern in this month’s Images of Nation exhibit.
Legaspi belonged to the pre-War “Thirteen Moderns” who sought new ways of visual expression and later on, refined Cubism in the local context, pioneering Neo-Realism in the Philippines.
Known for his fragmented pictorial style, weaving social comment and juxtaposing the mythical and modern into his overlapping, interacting forms with disturbing power and intensity, he paved the way for the acceptance of modern art in the country and was recognized as a Filipino National Artist for Visual Arts in 1990.
An art director prior to going full-time in his visual art practice in the 1960s, Legaspi’s early (1940s-1960s) works, alongside those of his contemporary, Hernando Ocampo, depicted the dehumanization of urban beggars and laborers.
These include Man and Woman (alternatively known as Beggars) and Gadgets’.
In effect, he reconstituted Cubism’s unfeeling, geometric ordering of figures into social expressionism by interacting forms filled with rhythmic movement
The Ayala Museum’s exhibit, which runs until April 15, 2015, includes the artist’s Cubist works from the pre-war period, to his Neo-Realist opuses in the 1950s and 1960s, along with his select large-scale canvases from the 1970s to the 1980s.