Jose Garcia Villa_Self portrait_1949_graphite on paper_21 x 15 cm_Rizal Library Collection

Lines: Pictures and Poems 

by Jose Garcia Villa


presented in cooperation with the Rizal Library

8 February to 26 August 2017

Jose Garcia Villa (1908–97) is best known as a modernist poet in Philippine literature whose experiments and audacity brought him both notoriety and fame. Before he became a poet, however, he was a painter. He considered painting his “first love” and actively painted and drew in the 1920s and 1930s. Tending to abstraction at a time when postcard prettiness was the norm, Villa’s drawings and paintings stood apart from his contemporaries’, just as his poems jolted literary circles. Whether as verses or as figures, his lines were decidedly modern. While poetry eventually took precedence, the visual arts remained a constant in Villa’s life and work—as inspiration, influence, and self-expression.

On the occasion of the twentieth year of his death, “Lines: Pictures and Poems by Jose Garcia Villa” exhibits a selection of his work as a visual artist. In many cases, it illustrates the marriage of the visual arts and poetry. The materials on display are taken from the Jose Garcia Villa collection, donated to the Ateneo de Manila University by the Literary Estate of Jose Garcia Villa in 2012 and deposited at the Rizal Library.

Photo: Antipas Delotavo, Ang Paglalakbay, 1984, Oil on canvas


Ligalig: Art in a Time of Turmoil

8 February to 5 August 2017


Ligalig, a Filipino word for “threat,” encompasses the themes that continue to be relevant to this day — threat to life and freedom brought about by abuse of power, poverty, economic and social inequalities, and environmental degradation.  The range of artworks in this exhibition is quite varied — from paintings, prints, and drawings to mixed media and video works.  Alongside visual expressions, selected poems to provide a literary dimension to the struggle fought.  The exhibit also includes a compilation of documentaries addressing memory, or the lack of, and recent history.

It will feature works by Martino Abellana, Virgilio Aviado, Benedicto Cabrera, Imelda Cajipe-Endaya, Orlando Castillo, Charlie Co, Kiri Dalena, Antipas Delotavo, Alfredo Esquillo, Edgar Talusan Fernandez, Anna Fer, Marciano Galang, Emmanuel Garibay, Ofelia Gelvezon-Tequi, Renato Habulan, Neil Manalo, Alfredo Manrique, Manny Montelibano, J. Elizalde Navarro, Galo Ocampo, Onib Olmedo, Jose Tence Ruiz, Pablo Baens Santos and Lazaro Soriano

Picture of AAG in the 60s


Photo: AAG in the 1960s



AAG in Review:

Bellarmine Hall (1960-1967)

Print and Drawing Room (1997-2005)


8 February to 20 May 2017


As we prepare to transfer to a new home at the Arete, we take this opportunity to look back to our history when the AAG was housed in two different spaces: first, the Bellarmine Hall (from 1960 to 1967) and then the Ground Floor of the Rizal Library (current building, from 1967 to 2009).  The distinct qualities of these two spaces impacted on the directions of AAG programs and the memories of those who frequented its spaces.

This “review” is a re-construction of the Bellarmine Hall exhibition, as how Zobel wanted visitors to engage with art of a new visual language.  Another section recreates the Print and Drawing Room where Emmanuel Torres, former AAG Curator (1960 to 2002), taught art history and art appreciation to generations of Ateneo students.

AAG in Review will be up from the 8 February to 20 May 2017. For more information, you may contact AAG Exhibitions Coordinator. Tricia Raya, at


Ateneo Art Gallery invites you to the opening of the exhibition #LUZ@90 Curated by Ambeth R. Ocampo, on 16 November 2016, Wednesday at 6pm. Featuring recent and early works, the exhibition is a celebration of the 90th birth anniversary of Arturo R. Luz, National Artist for Visual Arts.

Luz was named National Artist for Visual Arts in 1997. Beginning his career with figurative works, he then explored other modes of abstraction and stylized figuration in paintings, sculptures, prints and collages. His works like ‘Bagong Taon’ and ‘City’ (both from the AAG collection) marked a critical development in the history of Philippine modern art. Works in various media, including photography, maintain his aesthetic of linear and geometrical forms and remain true to his visual clarity.

Selected works featured in the exhibition will form part of the Ambeth R. Ocampo bequest to the Ateneo de Manila University.

“My life is to paint. Because I keep working, I could give any show any day of the week.” (Luz, Philippine Tatler, 14 March 2015)

Three visual artists and 2 art writers made up this year’s winners for the Ateneo Art Awards’ Fernando Zobel Prizes for Visual Art and Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prize for Art Criticism.

Martha Atienza (A Study in Reality No. 3), Rocky Cajigan (Museumified), and Nathalie Dagmang (Dito sa May Ilog ng Tumana: A Sensory Investigation on the Contradictory Relationship of Barangay Tumana with the Marikina River) were declared winners for the Fernando Zobel Prizes for Visual Art.  Dagmang was also named recipient of 2 international residency grants:  Artesan Gallery + Studio in Singapore and Liverpool Hope University- Creative Campus in England. Atienza won the La Trobe University Visual Arts Center residency grant in Australia.

For the Purita Kalaw Ledesma Prize for Art Criticism, Pristine de Leon won for her essay “Owning the Image: Exploring Lopez Museum’s Political Cartoons and the Pleasures of Residence.” Part of de Leon’s prize is a regular column at the Arts and Culture section of The Philippine Star that will be published twice a month for a year.

For his entry “Chambers of Reflection: A Critique on Mark Justiniani’s ‘Reverb,” Dominic Zinampan was declared the first winner of the Purita Kalaw Ledesma Prize- ArtAsiaPacific Magazine. Zinampan received a writing engagement with the magazine and will contribute 6 articles for a year.

In his welcome remarks, Ateneo de Manila University President Fr. Jose Ramon Villarin, SJ, expressed his gratitude to all the artists.

“Thank you for generating light, for generative waves and moving us to see your world and transforming us with your art,” he said during the Ateneo Art Awards rites on September 15, 2016 at the Grand Atrium of Shangri-la Mall in Mandaluyong.

The 2016 Ateneo Art Awards yielded 74 nominated exhibitions and 22 writing entries.

“It is heartening to know that on its 13th year, the Ateneo Art Awards continue to grow in depth and breadth,” said Ateneo Art Gallery Director Ma. Victoria Herrera.

Jurors who screened the Fernando Zobel Prizes for Visual Art were sculptor Agnes Arellano; visual artist and Ateneo de Manila University Fine Arts professor Fr. Jason Dy, SJ; multi-awarded visual artist Edgar Talusan Fernandez; independent curator and Bandung Institute of Technology professor Agung Hujatnikajennonh; visual artist, curator and lecturer Angel Velasco Shaw; visual artist and 2005 Ateneo Art Awards winner Eric Zamuco; and Ateneo Art Gallery director Ma. Victoria Herrera. The jurors screened the nominations and came up with the 12 shortlist artists and winners.

The other shortlisted artists were Buen Abrigo, Romina Diaz, Ian Fabro, Ian Carlo Jaucian, Leeroy New, Jose Luis Singson, Ryan Villamael, Liv Vinluan, and Paulo Vinluan.

Jurors who screened the Purita Kalaw Ledesma Prize for Art Criticism were University of the Philippines Art Studies professor Dr. Cecilia de la Paz; Ateneo de Manila University Fine Arts professor Fr. Rene Javellana, SJ; The Philippine Star Lifestyle Editor Millet Mananquil; ArtAsiaPacific editor-in-chief Elaine Ng; and Ateneo Art Gallery director Ma. Victoria Herrera.

The other shortlisted artists were Mariel Aglipay, Jasmine Cruz, Par Patacsil, and Carlos Quijon, Jr.

From October 10 – December 3, 2016, all 12 shortlisted artworks be on display at the Ateneo Art Gallery in Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City.

The exhibition explores the founding of the Ateneo Art Gallery (AAG), the first institution of its kind in the Philippines, in the context of modern art after the Second World War and the unspoken utopian vision that underpins its development. Bookended by the destruction of Manila and the contemporary themes represented by select artists, the exhibition immerses the viewer in modern art as it highlights the utopian context of the AAG from the period of decolonization, which saw the emergence of a new postcolonial state, to the current times of economic meltdowns and environmental crises, which demand brave new futures. The exhibition consists of fourteen sections illuminating key historical moments in modern art in the country from the last half century. At its heart lies the hope to reexamine the paths that Filipino art has taken to envision a modern nation in pursuit of freedom.


The Ateneo Art Gallery presents Stirring the Ashes by Leslie de Chavez, opening on Saturday, 23 July at 4pm. De Chavez was one of the three winners of the 2014 Ateneo Art Awards and the recipient of the Ateneo Art Gallery – Liverpool Hope University Residency Grant. De Chavez won the award for his works in the 2014 Lopez Museum exhibition Complicated which investigated the complex relationship of the Philippines with its former colonizers, the United States and Spain.

Through his paintings and installations, de Chavez reflects on the power structures of the past and present, giving visual form to the disparities that have persisted throughout history. Using powerful images and text, De Chavez captures your attention and forces you to reflect upon his subjects. These continue to haunt you beyond your physical encounter with them.

Stirring the Ashes opens on Saturday, 23 July 2016 at 4 pm. Artspeak : Leslie de Chavez in conversation with Fr. Jason Dy is on Thursday, 18 August at 4 pm. For more information visit or call the exhibition coordinator, Tricia Raya at 4266488.

Badong: Salvador Bernal Designs the Stage opens at the Ateneo Art Gallery on 21 April, Thursday.  A touring exhibition organised by the Cultural Centre of the Philippines (CCP), it honors the late Salvador F. Bernal (1945-2011), National Artist for Theater Design, in a retrospective that highlights his various design projects in ballet, opera, theater, and film from the 1970s until 2011.

Acknowledged as the “Father of Theater Design in the Philippines”, Bernal was instrumental in elevating theater and production design as a fine art and a profession.  He helped establish the Production Design Center (PDC) as a division under the then CCP Performing Arts Department which he headed from 1981-1994.  The PDC building was inaugurated in 1993, a three-story building designed with facilities to execute large-scale theater props and fabricate and store costumes.  Bernal also initiated the founding of the Kapisanan sa Pilipinas ng mga Production Designer or KAPPROD, which later became the Philippine Association of Theater Designer and Technician (PATDAT).

The exhibition is a homecoming of sorts and will reintroduce Badong Bernal to a younger generation of Ateneans.  He is one of the school’s illustrious alumni and was instrumental in strengthening the humanities program and theater practice in the university.  He taught under the Interdisciplinary Studies Department and Fine Art Program.  Guest curators for this exhibition include Dr. Nicanor Tiongson, Gino Gonzales, and Ricardo Cruz, all Ateneo graduates and close friends and collaborators of Bernal.  They provide an insightful perspective to the artist’s professional practice as well as his personal life.

Tiongson, former CCP Artistic Director, authored the book on Bernal published in 2007.  He and Bernal worked together in the 1990s for productions such as Pilipinas Circa and Realizing Rama. Under Tiongson’s term as CCP Artistic Director, Bernal’s long-time dream of setting up the Production Design Center was realized.

Gino Gonzales was a student and apprentice of Bernal, who encouraged him to pursue further studies in Set and Costume Design. He completed his MFA in Theater Design at the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University in 2001. Gonzales has since designed sets and costumes for various theater productions in Manila, Singapore, Japan and New York.   Gonzales’ general design brief for the exhibit was further developed by the creative team of B+C Designs, headed by Baby and Coco Anne.

Ricardo Cruz, head of the CCP Production Design and Technical Services Division and lead coordinator of this project, also trained under Bernal.  He assisted Bernal in many projects at the CCP from the 1980s to the 1990s.  Since taking over the post of Bernal at the CCP, Cruz has continued on the advocacy to promote and professionalize theater design practice.

The exhibit features scale models, drawings and sketches, costumes, and digital images of Bernal’s many projects, among them created for Ballet Philippines and Tanghalang Pilipino where he was then CCP resident designer.  He collaborated closely with theater stalwarts of these two CCP resident companies such as Alice and Denisa Reyes and the late Rolando Tino.

Dr. Nicanor Tiongson will give a curator’s lecture on 21 April, Thursday at 4:00 pm and will be followed by the official opening of the exhibition.

The exhibit will run until 23 July 2016.  Viewing hours are 8 am – 7:30 pm, Mondays to Fridays; 8 am – 6 pm, Saturdays.  The Ateneo Art Gallery is open to the public. Individual visitors, Ateneo students, faculty, and staff may tour the galleries free of charge.  For groups larger than 20, there is a fee of Php 30.00 per head.  For more information, contact the Curatorial Office at 426.6488.


Badong: Salvador Bernal Designs the Stage

Curated by Dr. Nicanor Tiongson, Gino Gonzalez and Ricardo Cruz

21 April – 23 July 2016

Artspeak with exhibition curator Dr. Nicanor Tiongson | 4 pm

Opening Reception | 5:30 pm

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Now in its twelfth year, the Ateneo Art Awards was established to honor the memory of the founding benefactor of the Ateneo Art Gallery, Fernando Zobel (1924-1984). Originally conceived to shine the spotlight on young and emerging artists, the Ateneo Art Awards is now a venue to recognize outstanding achievements in art writing as well, with the 2014 inauguration of the Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Art Criticism Prize.

Shortlists of 12 artists and 4 writers have been drawn up by their respective juries. The Fernando Zobel Prizes for Visual Art are awarded to three Filipino visual artists, below the age of 36, for outstanding works exhibited between 2 May 2014 and 1 May 2015 . The Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prize is awarded to the author of a review of an exhibition selected by the representatives from the Ateneo Art Gallery, the Kalaw-Ledesma Foundation, and The Philippine Star.

In alphabetical order, the 12 shortlisted visual artists are:

  • Pio Abad, for The Collection of Jane Ryan and William Saunders, a solo exhibition at Jorge B. Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research Center;
  • Catalina Africa, for her solo show Reverse Boomerangs and Other Exercises for Pleasure, shown at 1335 Mabini;
  • Charles Buenconsejo for Unending Void, a solo exhibition at ArtInformal;
  • Frank Callaghan for Dead Ends, a solo show at Silverlens Galleries, Manila;
  • Buen Calubayan, for “Eternal Landscape”, shown at the Ayala Museum as part of the exhibition, The Triumph of Philippine Art;
  • Ian Carlo Jaucian for his work in In the Year 2000, a joint exhibition mounted at Silverlens Galleries, Manila;
  • Lui Medina for her solo, Lui Medina, shown at ArtInformal;
  • Veronica Pee for the solo, Pocket Universe, shown at ArtInformal;
  • Luis Santos for Measuring Distances, shown at Silverlens Galleries, Manila;
  • Maria Taniguchi for her “Untitled” works, shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp, as part of the group show Don’t You Know Who I Am?;
  • Derek Tumala, for Sacred Geometry, a solo show by The Drawing Room for Art Fair Philippines 2015;
  • And Ryan Villamael for the solo exhibition Isles, shown at Silverlens Galleries, Manila.