To Be Continued : Roberto Chabet
Roberto Chabet’s To Be Continuedis a landmark survey exhibition of Chabet’s plywood works that was first presented in the Institute of Contemporary Art, Singapore - La Salle College of the Arts last January 2011. The exhibition returns to Manila as the final installation of Chabet: 50 Years, a year-long series of exhibitions organized by King Kong Art Projects Unlimited to celebrate Chabet’s fifty years of pioneering conceptual work as an artist, teacher and curator.
The exhibition gathers seminal works such as, ‘Russian Paintings’(1984)and ‘Cargo and Decoy’(1989), as well as other works that utilizeplywood boards, a material, which has become not only the surface and support of his paintings and installations, but to a large extent their subject matter and content. He first used plywood in his early kinetic sculptures in the 1970s, but it was in the 80s when he adapted the material to painting. Breaking away from the rigid formalism of Modernism, his seemingly ‘purely’ geometric and abstract plywood constructions are often juxtaposed with particular everyday objects that would appear and re-appear in his other installations and become part of his familiar inventory of anxious objects. Highlighting process and the provisional nature of theseworks, the exhibition illuminates a key aspect of Chabet’s practice, which gives precedence to the fugitive and contingent nature of art.
Also included in the CCP mounting are a selection from Chabet’s‘China Collages’ (1980 – 1990), a series of large collages done over a ten-year period; ‘Bakawan’ (1974), a closed door installation in the CCP Small Gallery; the ‘Apple Painting Lesson’ (1983), an early collaborative work with over forty artists; and ‘Day and Night’ (2011), the artist’s most recent installation. The CCP Little Theater Curtain, which was designed by Chabet, will also be highlighted.
Roberto Chabet was born in 1937 in Manila and held his first solo exhibition at the Luz Gallery in 1961, the same year he graduated from the University of Sto. Tomas with a degree in Architecture. He was the founding Museum Director of CCP where he initiated the Thirteen Artists in 1970, supporting young artists whose works show “recentness and a turning away from the past”. After his brief tenure in the CCP, Chabet led the alternative artist group Shop 6, and taught for over thirty years at the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts in Dilimanand at key artist-run spaces in Manila. Since the 70s, Chabet has been curating landmark exhibitions of vanguard works by young and emerging Filipino artists. He is the recipient of the JD Rockefeller III Fund Grant (1967- 1968), the Republic Cultural Heritage Award (1972), the ArawngMaynila Award for the Visual Arts (1972), and the CCP Centennial Award of Honors for the Arts (1998).
Roberto Chabet’s To Be Continued will open on January 19, 2012, 6pm in the Main Gallery of the Cultural Center of the Philippines and will be on view until March 31, 2012. A walk-through of the exhibition by Ringo Bunoan, one of the lead curators for the Chabet:50 Years series, will be held on January 24, 2012 from 4 – 5pm.
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The exhibition is organized by King Kong Art Projects Unlimited in collaboration with the Cultural Center of the Philippines.