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.