Walker Art Center:
Moving from her native Philippines to the United States in 1970 to escape political persecution under the Marcos regime, Pacita Abad went on to have a 32-year career marked by peripatetic travel, living on six continents and journeying to more than 60 countries. Along the way, she interacted with the artistic communities she encountered, incorporating a diversity of cultural traditions and techniques —from Korean ink brush painting to Indonesian batik—into her expansive practice.
Abad’s works range from figurative works on canvas, to large quilt-like trapunto paintings (from the Italian word trapungere, or “to embroider”), to intricate collaged works—like Meandering—which incorporate gestural painting and stitching with selections from her vast collection of textiles. Meandering is a prime example of Abad’s exuberant use of color, which was central to her practice: “I always see the world through color,” she once remarked, “...influenced by new ideas and changing environments. I feel like I am an ambassador of colors, always projecting a positive mood that helps make the world smile.”
Abad studied at the Corcoran School of Art, in Washington, DC, and at the Art Students League, New York. Her work has been featured in many group exhibitions and biennials, and solo exhibitions have been presented at the Jameel Arts Center, Dubai; the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Manila; the National Museum for Women in the Arts, Washington, DC; and the Hong Kong Arts Centre, among others. Her work is in museum collections including the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Tate Modern, London; M+ Museum, Hong Kong; Guggenheim Abu Dhabi; and the National Gallery of Singapore. In 2023, the Walker Art Center presented Abad’s first US retrospective, which will travel to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and MoMA PS1, New York.