Findlay-Brown Ian, Pacita Abad, Exploring the Spirit, exh. cat., National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta, (10 July – 28 July 1996), National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta, 1996→
Guillermo Alice, Pacita Abad: Abstract Emotions, exh. cat., National Museum, Jakarta, (29 April – 17 May 1998), National Museum, Jakarta, 1998→
American Dream, The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington DC, 17 November 1994 – 12 February 1995→
Pacita Abad, Exploring the Spirit, National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta, 10 July – 28 July 1996→
Pacita Abad: Abstract Emotions, National Museum, Jakarta, 29 April – 17 May 1998
Born to parents engaged in politics, Pacita Abad studied political science at the University of the Philippines. In 1969 she was sent to study law in the United States on account of political unrest at the Marcos regime. In 1970 she decided to remain in San Francisco to paint. She later studied painting at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C., (1975) and at the Art Students League of New York (1977). Travels, in particular to Mexico, India, Afghanistan, the Yemen, Mali, Papua-New Guinea and Indonesia, had a powerful influence on her life and provided her with sources of inspiration for her art in terms of ideas, techniques and materials. Her painting is distinguished by constant changes, experimentation and development and her works cover such subjects as socio-political portraits, primitive masks, underwater scenes, tropical flowers and wild animals, as well as including a number of small collages.
Pacita Abad experimented with the surface of her paintings using the trapunto technique (used in sewing and stuffing) which gives her canvases a three-dimensional, sculptural appearance. She transformed the surface of the canvas with various materials, such as fabrics, mirrors, beads, shells, plastic buttons, etc., which she combined with pure colours. She worked with a wide range of supports, like canvas, paper, bark, metal, ceramics and glass. Her colourful works are lively and vibrant, and express her personal experiences and her pursuit of her dreams. She produced more than 3500 works, including a 55-metre bridge in Singapore. An unquestionably complete artist, her work has been shown around the world in some 40 solo exhibitions and 50 group shows.
Pacita Abad, Portrait of Hanuman, 1997, oil on batik cloth with broken glass on stitched and padded canvas, Courtesy of National Archives of Singapore, © Pacita Abad Art Estate
Pacita Abad, Sepik man, 1983, acrylic, cowrie shells stitched on padded canvas, 248 × 143 cm, 98 × 56 in., © Pacita Abad Art Estate
Pacita Abad, These Are Better Days, 2002, oil, painted cloth stitched on canvas, 244 × 180 cm, 96 × 71 in., © Pacita Abad Art Estate
Pacita Abad, To Paint For You, 1992, oil, acrylic, buttons, mirrors on stitched and padded trapunto canvas, 210 × 150 cm, 82 5/8 × 59 in., © Pacita Abad Art Estate
Pacita Abad, African Mephisto, unknown date, lithograph with pulp-painted chine-collé and metallic powder, 109.2 × 76.2 cm, 43 × 30 in., edition of 30, © Pacita Abad Art Estate
Pacita Abad, Anup’s Dinner, 2000, oil, mirrors stitched on canvas, 30.5 × 45.7 × 2.5 cm, 12 × 18 × 1 in., © Pacita Abad Art Estate
Pacita Abad, Because You Are Mine, 2004, oil, acrylic, painted handwoven cloth stitched on canvas, 30 × 30 cm, 12 × 12 in., © Pacita Abad Art Estate
Pacita Abad, Glorious blue, 2003, oil, painted cloth, painted tin stitched on canvas, 91 x 128 cm, 36 x 50 in., © Pacita Abad Art Estate
Pacita Abad, Watching and Waiting, 1979, oil on canvas, 89 × 127 cm, 35 x 50 in., © Pacita Abad Art Estate