Pacita Abad: I Thought the Streets were Paved with Gold | Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai
Known for her large scale, colorful ‘trapunto’ works, Pacita Abad (1946-2004) was a Philippine-American artist whose prolific oeuvre spanned continents and ranged from abstract forms to social realist depictions of everyday life in the U.S.A, the Philippines and elsewhere.
Having lived and travelled widely across Asia and many parts of the world, Abad’s work is an amalgamation of techniques and subject matter drawn from her lived experiences and mostly worked in her signature trapunto technique of padding and stitching canvas before painting and layering it with textiles, printed objects and other materials such as jewelry, buttons, and shells.
Pacita studied painting at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C. and the Arts Student League in New York. Her work has been featured in solo exhibitions at Spike Island, Bristol; Silverlens, Manilla; The Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Manila; National Museum, Jakarta; Hong Kong Arts Centre; Cultural Center of the Philippines, Manila; Bhirasri Museum of Modern Art, Bangkok; The National Museum for Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.; and the National Center of Afro-American Artists, Boston, among others. She has participated in numerous group exhibitions, including: 13 th Gwagju Biennale, Gwangju; Asia/America: Identities in Contemporary Asian American Art, a travelling exhibition organised by the Asia Society, New York (1996); Beyond the Border: Art by Recent Immigrants, Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York (1994); La Segunda Bienal de la Habana (1986); and the 2nd Asian Art Show, Fukuoka Art Museum (1985). Her work can be found in the collections of Tate Modern, London; M+ Museum, Hong Kong and the National Gallery of Singapore. She died in Singapore in 2004.
This exhibition brings together a selection of her ‘trapunto’ paintings and is curated in collaboration with the Pacita Abad Art Estate and London-based artist Pio Abad.
Spider's web, 1985Acrylic, cotton yarn, plastic buttons on stitched and padded canvas70 x 104 in
178 x 264 cm
Liquid experience, 1985Oil, mirrors on stitched and padded canvas59 x 120 in
150 x 305 cm
Filipinas in Hong Kong, 1995Acrylic on stitched and padded canvas106 x 118 in
269 x 300 cm
From Doro Wat to sushi and chicken wings and tings, 1991Acrylic, oil, painted canvas, plastic buttons, beads on stitched and padded canvas96 x 69 in
244 x 175 cm
I thought the streets were paved with gold, 1991Acrylic, oil, wood bristle, painted canvas, painted cloth on stitched and padded canvas94 x 68 in
239 x 173 cm
The village where I came from, 1991Acrylic, oil, painted cloth on stitched and padded canvas96 x 68 in
244 x 173 cm
You have to blend in, before you stand out, 1995Oil, painted cloth, sequins, buttons on stitched and padded canvas116 x 117 in
295 x 297 cm
African Mephisto, 1981Acrylic, rick rack ribbons, tie dyed cloth, painted cloth on stitched and padded canvas106 x 71 in
269 x 180 cm
Bacongo VIII, 1990Acrylic, cowrie shells, plastic buttons, mirrors stitched on silk screened, padded canvas102 x 59 in
259 x 150 cm
African mask (Kongo), 1990Acrylic, colored beads, shells, handwoven yarn, padded cloth, painted canvas stitched on cloth104 x 69 in
264 x 175 cm
Kaunga, 1983Acrylic, oil, cowrie shells, buttons stitched on padded canvas86 x 67 in
218 x 170 cm
Door connects me to the greatest happiness I have known, 1999Oil, painted cloth, buttons stitched on padded canvas65 x 39 in
165 x 99 cm
Life in the margins, 2002Oil, printed cloth, painted cloth stitched on canvas106 x 60 in
269 x 152 cm
Honey and Saffron, 2000Oil, mirrors stitched on canvas12 x 12 in
30 x 30 cm