Pacita Abad

Pacita Abad (October 5, 1946 – December 7, 2004) was born in Basco, Batanes, a small island in the northernmost part of the Philippines, between Luzon and Taiwan. Her more than 30-year painting career began when she traveled to the United States to undertake graduate studies. She exhibited her work in over 200 museums, galleries and other venues, including 75 solo shows, around the world. Abad's work is now in public, corporate and private art collections in over 70 countries.




Her early paintings were primarily figurative socio-political works of people and primitive masks. Another series was large scale paintings of underwater scenes, tropical flowers and animal wildlife. Pacita's most extensive body of work, however, is her vibrant, colorful abstract work - many very large scale canvases, but also a number of small collages - on a range of materials from canvas and paper to bark cloth, metal, ceramics and glass. Abad created over 4,500 artworks. She painted a 55-meter long Alkaff Bridge in Singapore and covered it with 2,350 multicolored circles, just a few months before she died.





Abad developed a technique of trapunto painting (named after a quilting technique), which entailed stitching and stuffing her painted canvases to give them a three-dimensional, sculptural effect. She then began incorporating into the surface of her paintings materials such as traditional cloth, mirrors, beads, shells, plastic buttons and other objects





Pacita had also received numerous awards during her artistic career in which her most memorable award was her first. Pacita had received the TOYM Award for Art in the Philippines in 1984. Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) is an award that has always been given to men for the last 25 years until in 1984 where Pacita Abad became the first woman ever to receive this prestigious award. In Pacita receiving this award it had created a public uproar where angry letters sent to editors of published newspapers from men and male artists who thought that they, not Pacita, should have received the award. Despite such uproar Pacita was thrilled that she had broken the sex barrier in which she stated in her acceptance speech that “it was long overdue that Filipina women were recognized, as the Philippines was full of outstanding women” and referred proudly to her mother.Wikipedia



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