Pacita Abad : I Thought the Streets Were Paved with Gold

Pacita Abad

I Thought the Streets Were Paved with Gold

Known for her large scale, colorful ‘trapunto’ works, Pacita Abad (1946-2004) was a Filipino artist whose prolific oeuvre spanned continents and ranged from abstract forms to social realist depictions of everyday life in the U.S.A, the Philippines and elsewhere. Having lived and travelled widely across Asia and many parts of the world, Abad’s work is an amalgamation of techniques and subject matter drawn from her lived experiences and mostly worked in her signature trapunto technique of padding and stitching canvas before painting and layering it with textiles, printed objects and other materials such as jewelry, buttons, and shells.

This exhibition brings together a selection of her ‘trapunto’ paintings and is curated in collaboration with the Pacita Abad Art Estate and London based artist Pio Abad.

Born in the Philippines in 1946, Pacita Abad studied painting at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C. and the Arts Student League in New York.Her work has been featured in numerous solo exhibitions including: Life in the Margins, Spike Island, Bristol (2020); Pacita Abad: A Million Things to Say, Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Manila (2018); Circles in My Mind, Singapore Tyler Print Institute, Singapore (2003); Exploring the Spirit, National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta (1996); The American Dream, National Museum for Women in the Arts, Washington D.C. (1994); Masks from Six Continents, Metro Art Center, Washington D.C. (1990); Pacita Abad: A Painter Looks at the World, Museum of Philippine Art, Manila (1984) and Assaulting the Deep Sea, Ayala Museum, Manila (1983).She has participated in numerous group exhibitions, including: Minds Rising, Spirits Tuning,13th Gwangju Biennial (2021); SWEAT, Haus der Kunst, Munich (2021); Whose Tradition?, Tate Liverpool (2021); The Crack Begins Within, 11th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art (2020); Asia/America: Identities in Contemporary Asian American Art, a travelling exhibition organised by the Asia Society, New York (1996); Beyond the Border: Art by Recent Immigrants, Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York (1994); La Segunda Bienal de la Habana (1986); and the 2nd Asian Art Show, Fukuoka Art Museum (1985).Her work can be found in the collections of Tate Modern, London; The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C., M+ Museum, Hong Kong, Art Jameel, Dubai and the National Gallery of Singapore.

She died in Singapore in 2004.

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