Thursday, December 6, 2012

Ayala Museum Presents Botong Francisco: A Nation Imagined

In celebration of the birth centenary of National Artist Carlos “Botong” V. Francisco, Ayala Museum and Ayala Foundation, Inc. proudly present Botong Francisco: A Nation Imagined, which opens on December 4, 2012.

Botong Francisco: A Nation Imagined is a rare gathering of over 40 works, including large-scale paintings, by Botong from several public and private collections. Several studies and sketches included in the display were never seen in public before. The exhibition will run from December 4, 1012 to March 31, 2013 at the Ground and Third Floor galleries of Ayala Museum.

A short film by acclaimed director Peque Gallaga was produced specifically to complement the exhibition to be shown exclusively at Ayala Museum during the exhibition period. The film features public murals on display in several government, education, and corporate institutions to provide a cinematic experience of Botong’s work.

The exhibition is part of the Images of Nation program series that features the work of Filipino artists who were named National Artists in the Visual Arts to show the extraordinary vision and formal excellence embodied in this important national award.

A traveling version of the exhibition will be designed and organized after the close of the exhibition at Ayala Museum and will tour Ayala Malls and partner schools nationwide next year.

Botong Francisco (1912-1969) began his artistic career as layout artist-illustrator at the Philippine Herald and the Manila Tribune, where he worked with other young artists like Vicente Manansala, Cesar Legaspi, H.R. Ocampo, and Galo Ocampo.

Victorio Edades, who introduced modern art in the Philippines in 1928, asked Galo Ocampo and Botong Francisco to assist him in a series of murals commissioned for cinema houses and private residences in 1934-1935. Their group was called the “Triumvirate of Modern Art“ and their work during this period attracted more artists to pursue modernism in their painting.

He also collaborated with Manuel Conde in several films in the 1950s as production designer for set and costumes, including in the movie Genghis Khan, selected for competition at the Venice Film Festival in 1952.

His paintings, easel works, and commissioned murals visualize the country’s folk traditions and the nation’s historical narratives. He was named National Artist in 1973.

Botong Francisco: A Nation Imagined is also one of the events in the year-long Carlos “Botong” Francisco Centennial Celebration organized by a consortium that includes the Angono Artists Association, Ayala Museum, Blanco Family Museum, Botong Francisco family, CCP, Far Eastern University, Freeway, National Artists Collectors Series, Lopez Memorial Museum and Library, the Municipality of Angono, Museo ng Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Museum Foundation of the Philippines, Philippine Art Awards, SM Malls, University of Santo Tomas, University of the Philippines Vargas Museum and Yuchengco Museum.

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