Art Basel 2021: with Silverlens Gallery, 'Feature' exhibition, Messe Basel, Switzerland

24 - 26 September 2021



Empathy deeply informed Pacita Abad’s life, practice, and interactions with others.


Born in Batanes, Philippines, Pacita travelled continuously, connecting with diverse groups of people along the way. Her journeys around the world strengthened her compassion for difference, and rooted her art in reality.


Pacita's Endless Blues series is this culmination of being in the world; her abstraction facilitates the ambiguous space for difference to manifest and thrive. Initiated in response to global and personal plights in the early 2000s, the Endless Blues series are overwhelmingly paintings of joy despite this solemnity. These compositions, in their depictions of life’s vicissitudes and interpersonal relationships, tell us that being is colourful and bright.


Endless Blues is Pacita’s final body of work, created at a time of personal and political upheaval.
She talked about the series as having been shaped by three events: the 9/11 terrorist attack in New York, the subsequent US-led war in Afghanistan and her cancer diagnosis. 
Afghanistan and New York were significant places in her life. It was her visit to Afghanistan - as part of a 12-month journey across Asia and the Middle East - that shaped her artistic life and commitment to celebrating the traditions and materials of communities on the margins.
Blues music was a constant accompaniment and became even more important when the illness prevented her from traveling. Confined to her studio and worked ceaselessly amidst chemotherapy treatments, Pacita was accompanied by the music of Etta James, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Ray Charles.
Installation Views