Vicente Silva Manansala (22 January 1910-22August 1981) was a Filipino modern painter known for popularizing Cubism. In 1981, he was posthumously recognized as one of the National Artists of the Philippines in Visual Arts. His signature style is based on Cubism, but rather than breaking down figures, shows them through transparent angular forms.
Manansala was born in 1910 in Macabebe, Pampanga, the second of eight children. The year before he started college, he worked as a painter of movie posters. He married Hermengilda Diaz in 1937. He died in 1981 in Makati.
He studied at the UP School of Fine Arts for 1926-1930 . He went abroad for further studies on 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. In 1960 he received a U.S. Dept. of State Specialist grant to study the making of stained glass in New York. He also took further studies at the Otis Art Institute in 1967. In 1970, he received a German grant and went to study in Zurich.
Manansala was a billboard painter and laborer at the Ipo Dam Construction in 1930. He also worked as a an illustrator in 1941 for the Cultural Office of the Japanese Occupational Government. In 1941 he won first Prize in UST’s National Art Exposition for "Pounding Rice". His first one-man show was in 1951, at the Manila Hotel. This was subsequently followed by 7 others. He became one of the Thirteen Moderns and with Hernando Ocampo and Cesar Legaspi formed the triumvirate of neo-realists.
Manansala taught at the UST School of Fine Arts from 1951-1958. He made numerous murals, including the fifteen stations of the Cross for. U.P.’s Church of the Holy Sacrifice; the mural in the Philippine Heart Center; and a fresco mural for the National Press Club.
- 1951 First Prize, Republic Exposition
- 1951-58 Professor, UST School of Fine Arts
- 1957 Outstanding UP Alumnus
- 1963 Republic Heritage Award
- 1970 Araw ng Maynila Award
- 1981 National Artist
- Duldulao, Manuel. A Century of Realism in Philippine Art. Quezon City:Legacy Publishers, 1992.
- Timeline of Manansala’s Life
- Hernandez, Eloisa P. “The American and Contemporary Traditions in Philippine Visual Arts.”