Jose Joya

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Jose Tanig Joya (1931-1995) was a pioneering Filipino abstract artist and a 2003 National Artist of the Philippines awardee (posthumous).


Profile of the Artist

Joya was a mixed media artist, printmaker, multimedia artist, and a former dean of the University of the Philippines' College of Fine Arts. He pioneered abstract expressionism in the Philippines with paintings characterized by the vigorous and spontaneous strokes of action and gestural painting. He typically made use of impasto, sweeping brushstrokes and rice paper collage in his powerful and vibrant works.

The color schemes of his works were strongly influenced by the tropical landscapes of the Philippine Islands. Among his masterpieces are the Nanking (a collage rendered with Asian calligraphy and forms and patterns resembling rice paddies), the Granadean Arabesque (his large landmark work, 1958), Space Transfiguration, Hills of Nikko, Dimension of Fear, Torogan, Cityscape. He represented the Philippines in the 1964 Venice Biennial, a recognition which showed the high level of acceptance of Philippine modern art had by then attained.

Joya influenced younger artists in making use of multimedia in art. He also worked on ceramics and in printmaking and other graphic arts. His works, especially his mixed-media abstracts, continue to be known for their distinctive style and consistent excellence.

Awards and recognitions

  • The Ten Outstanding Young Men award for Painting
  • Republic Cultural Heritage Award
  • One of the Ten Outstanding ASEAN Artists, 1992


See also



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