Difference between revisions of "Vicente Manansala"

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More than four decades separated Manansala, however, from the formative years of Cubism. Paris of the Fifties was actually riding the Abstract Expressionist current. Surface presence, the integrity of the pictorial plane and that of the gesture were the cornerstones of the movement. These were the qualities taken into Manansala's Cubist inflected idiom.
 
More than four decades separated Manansala, however, from the formative years of Cubism. Paris of the Fifties was actually riding the Abstract Expressionist current. Surface presence, the integrity of the pictorial plane and that of the gesture were the cornerstones of the movement. These were the qualities taken into Manansala's Cubist inflected idiom.
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==Some Awards==
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*first prize for '''Barong-barong $ 1''' in the 1950 Manila Grand Opera House Exhibition
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*several awards from the Art Association of the Philippines
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*Republic Cultural Heritage Award in 1963
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*Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan Award from the City of Manila in 1970
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*proclaimed National Artist in Painting in 1982
  
 
{{DEFAULTSORT:Manansala, Vicente}}
 
{{DEFAULTSORT:Manansala, Vicente}}

Revision as of 04:53, 7 August 2007

Vicente Silva Manansala (22 January 1910- 22August 1981) was a Philippine cubist painter.

Manansala was born in Macabebe, Pampanga on January 22, 1910. He studied at the U.P. School of Fine Arts (1926-1930). Manansala was given a six-month UNESCO grant to Ecole de Beaux Arts in Banff and Montreal, Canada in 1949 and a nine-month French government scholarship to the Ecole de Beaux Arts, Paris in 1950.

Manansala was part of the avant-garde circle of artists who met at the Philippine Art Gallery in the Fifties. Later, the writer and painter E.A. Cruz would give the group its Neo-Realist tag. For Manansala however, the group meant peer support for a growing perception that painting was more than just doing what one sees. Painting was now above all, allowing one's feelings to shape what was seen. A sunset could be green. A figure exploded out of shape by the intensity of its emotion. What was required was that it must show its own coherence. That it must work. Manansala started exploring slightly abstracted images. He made realistic studies and recast them into variations which became more and more abstract, but never completely eliminating the initial image. Cocks fighting. A still life. Mother and Child. Candle Vendors. Or simply ? a nude. Form and feeling became Manansala's singular pursuit.

No doubt such an attitude was nurtured by his studies at the Banff School of Fine Arts in Canada as a UNESCO fellow in 1949. As Manansala noted, discipline and dedication to art as one would to a religion were the prevailing spirit at Banff.

Another scholarship to Paris a year after further honed Manansala's new vision. Somehow Paris became for him "the most alive segment" of his life: it taught him to see the essence of things, of painting. As he colorfully put it, he learned to discern feeling in a painting and "...let it rock my whole system in the manner that an earthquake rocks the earth". He realized that a good artwork is not just a matter of an apt spatial arrangement or whatever. It must have, above everything else, "a feeling of consecration". Manansala tried to go beyond the surface appearance of things. Reality as truth, a precept drilled into his young mind before, had to be pushed back to the most remote recesses of his consciousness. Even when he looked for lessons from the Masters, he constantly reminded himself: "I must scratch deeper, try to grasp the roots, dip into the mainsprings, and thereby feel the pulse, feel the makings of what drives these creators to create, how much of themselves they give away in their toil, how much of the human being in them they crucify to turn out works of great importance".

Cubism, which reduced reality into planes, sometimes simplifying forms, at other times fragmenting them into a myriad of resonant shapes, became the new idiom through which Manasala saw the world. Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, one of Picasso's earlier exponents, aptly noted that Cubism was essentially the resolution of the conflict between representation and structure.

More than four decades separated Manansala, however, from the formative years of Cubism. Paris of the Fifties was actually riding the Abstract Expressionist current. Surface presence, the integrity of the pictorial plane and that of the gesture were the cornerstones of the movement. These were the qualities taken into Manansala's Cubist inflected idiom.

Some Awards

  • first prize for Barong-barong $ 1 in the 1950 Manila Grand Opera House Exhibition
  • several awards from the Art Association of the Philippines
  • Republic Cultural Heritage Award in 1963
  • Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan Award from the City of Manila in 1970
  • proclaimed National Artist in Painting in 1982


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