2015 Ateneo Art Awards




Ma. Victoria T. Herrera
Director and Chief Curator, Ateneo Art Gallery

Joselina Cruz
Director and Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, College of St. Benilde- School of Design and Arts

Neil Fettling
Director, La Trobe Art Institute, La Trobe University, Bendigo, Australia

Fr. Rene Javellana, SJ
Associate Professor, Fine Arts Program, Ateneo De Manila University

Wawi Navarroza
Visual Artist and 2007 Ateneo Art Awards Winner

Dr. Rico Quimbo
Art Enthusiast and Patron

Norberto Roldan
Visual Artist and Founder, Green Papaya Art Projects


“Lakas ng Loob: Re-introducing Cesar Legaspi” on Cesar Legaspi: The Brave Modern

Ayala Museum

Quarries quiver, hands and feet jut out from uneasy limbs, sky and sea jostle with the whirl of bodies in space. There is much music to be played, a consonance between thickets and flesh, gusts of light and dark.

This exquisite kind of strain plays out when looking at the works of Cesar Legaspi: from the bold, angled forms in softened tones rendered in a range of colors to the artist’s earlier, more sober and muted works – – there is an expanse of ideas, both visually and conceptually, that one is able to navigate within Legaspi’s relentless inquiry into “the cubist idiom”. In the artist’s world bodies become part of landscapes, cogwheels and even the atmosphere. His images are always so meticulous in technique and charged with an intensity consistent from Stairway (1949), an early work borne of post-war, pockmarked Manila, to his latter experiments in watercolor such as in Son et Lumiere (1981).



“Rallying to Standstill: A Review of Ethos Bathos, Pathos”

Jorge B. Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research Center

Once upon a time, the visual arts world around these parts had TutoK. The art project most recently manifested itseld as a booth at Art in the Park, but in the past it involved a circle of artists that included social realist Emmanuel “Manny” Garibay. He and his colleagues decided to move on to another art project, feeling that, according to a former colleague, things were moving too slowly.


“Fictions of Word and Image”, A Review of Propaganda

Lopez Memorial Museum and Library

The perception of narratives is sometimes deceiving. Where does the depiction of reality end? Where does the creation of fiction begin? We have been taught to see the world from the reflections of mediated objects: movies, newspapers, book, and paintings. Recently I find them exhibited at the galleries of the Lopez Museum for the Propaganda exhibit. Paintings by Filipino masters and national artists, installations by contemporary artists, heart-gripping multimedia art. And rare historical artifact compose a visually powerful and daunting walk through.


“On Curating Futures”, A Review Propaganda

Lopez Memorial Museum and Library

PRINTED IN BOLD LETTERS as tagline on a movie poster: “Freedom this year is freedom forever.” The contemporary relevance obviously holds. However, the movie is titled “On to Singapore”, a Japanese movie commissioned during World War II to promote Japanese authority and occupation. It is part of “Propaganda”, this year’s museum-space curated by the Lopez Museum and Library in Pasig City.


Ma. Victoria T. Herrera
Director and Chief Curator, Ateneo Art Gallery

Ringo Bunoan
Visual Artist, Writer, and Independent Curator

Tony Godfrey
Art Critic and Writer

Millet Mananquil
Lifestyle Editor, The Philippine Star

Krip Yuson
Art Historian, Writer, and Independent Curator



2015 Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prize in Art Criticism
Ateneo Art Awards 2015


Catalogue Foreword

Greetings from the Ateneo Art Gallery.

Now on its 12th year, the 2015 Ateneo Art Awards continues its role in nurturing emerging Filipino artists as well as art writers through the Fernando Zobel Prizes for Visual Arts and the Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prize for Art Criticism, respectively. These two programs were formally instituted last year with the permission of the heirs of Fernando Zobel and with the generous assistance from the trustees of the Kalaw-Ledesma Foundation, Inc. through its President, Ada Ledesma-Mabilangan. We also extend our gratitude to Millet Mananquil, Lifestyle Editor of The Philippine Star, not only for its continued support for the Awards since its inception, but also for providing the winning writer of the Art Criticism Prize a regular art column for one year. This is and opportunity and responsibility valuable to any art writer.

Moreover, the success of these programs would not have been possible without the participation of the nominators and host galleries and museums of nominated exhibitions. Most importantly, we thank the writers who submitted their entries and the shortlisted artists who had participated in the deliberation. The latter is especially an arduous task for young artists but an experience most have certainly appreciated.

The Ateneo Art Awards has always had a strong outreach and public component made possible through a partnership shared with the Shangri-la Plaza Mall for a two-week exhibition venue and the Metro Society for publicity and promotions. Its exhibition component, which continues in our homebase at the Ateneo Art Gallery, is viable also with the generous assistance from the various lenders.

We acknowledge the support of our residency partners namely the Visual Arts Centre at La Trobe University (Australia), the Artesan Gallery + Studio (Singapore), and The Creative Campus at Lvierpool Hope University, Liverpool (United Kingdom). The residency component of the Ateneo Art Awards has certainly made its impact multiply in various avenues, both for the artists and for the AAG.

Lastly, we thank the Trustees and President of the Ateneo de Manila University for the continued support for our programs and for embarking on a major cultural facility, the Arete, that aims to further strengthen Ateneo’s role in Philippine art and culture. It is with this promising future that I begin my first year as a part of the Ateneo family.

Ma. Victoria T. Herrera
Director and Chief Curator
Ateneo Art Gallery