Work by Tabuena at Charlie’s Art Gallery

BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO

Pamela Valderrama, Sally Estrella, Ruby Su and Lidia Arbolario (lr)*

A collection of works by Filipino painter and printmaker Romeo Villalva Tabuena is on display at Charlie’s Art Gallery in Italia Restaurant, Brgy. Mandalagan, Bacolod City from September 21.

Tabuena was born in Iloilo City but moved to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico in 1955. However, he always retained his Filipino nationality.

He majored in painting at the University of the Philippines and studied architecture at the Mapua Institute of Technology in Manila. He continued his training by studying with the American artist Will Barnet at the Art Students League in New York in 1952 and with Henri Goetz at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris in 1954.

Tabuena’s work typically consists of figures that are assembled from restrained, monochromatic outlines despite his use of a wide variety of subjects and materials. His aesthetic is often inspired by cubism, imposing fractal-like geometric patterns on recognizable geometric subjects.

Thomas de Luzuriaga, Chris Tad-y and Gérard Lacson (lr)*
Nacho and Jackie Zayco, Carmelie Bantug and her husband (lr)*
Ed Zayco and Pamela Valderrama; on the right, fashion and art photographer Vincent Gotti and Pamela Valderrama*

While his earlier works retain a sense of translucency and flowing form and are frequently rendered in jewel-toned colors and interlocking forms influenced by Cubism, those of his later “Mexican” period are more opaque and have a geometric quality. stylized which seems to intersect the works. of fellow Filipino artist Hernando Ocampo and the aesthetics of Mexican muralists.

By this time in his career, Tabuena had moved away from austere landscapes and pure modernism, and his figures had taken on a more naturalistic rendering and emotional intimacy.

Many honors have been bestowed on Tabuena for his service, including the 2007 Philippine Presidential Merit Award. He attended his eighth biennial in Sao Paulo, Brazil as the official representative of the Philippines in 1965.

Tiano Beto and Thomas de Luzurriaga (lr)*
Jay Barrios, Donex Baliguat, Vhong Mondejar, Ricci Sioco, Jessie Magno and Mario Gerson (lr)*
“Spanish Farmer”; in the middle, “Mother and child”; on the right, “The girl with the star”*
“Blue Night”; on the right, “La Familia”*

He also had solo exhibitions in Manila in 1973, Mexico City in 1975, and at Manila’s Blue Galleries in 1981. In 1995, the Instituto de Bellas Artes, Centro Cultural Ignacio sponsored a major exhibition of his art in San Miguel de Allende.

Tabuena died on October 15, 2015 in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

The collection of his works is presented by Charlie’s Art Gallery, in cooperation with Galeria Lienzo.*