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Arturo Luz: First Light

Ayala Museum, as part of its continuing exhibition program featuring the works of Philippine National Artists in the Visual Arts, presents the exhibition Arturo Luz: First Light, which opens 14 February 2017 at its Third Floor Galleries.

Curated by historian, scholar, and educator Dr. Ambeth R. Ocampo, this exhibition celebrates the 90th birthday of Arturo Luz last November and his 60th year as a professional artist.

First Light traces an arc from the genre, color, and pictorial representation of Luz’s early works in the 1950s to the muted colors and simplified lines and shapes of the 1960s.

In 1952, Arturo Luz created a series of paintings that marked the beginning of his life as a professional artist. The paintings from this time typically depict scenes from Philippine life.

From this first figurative phase, Luz in the 1960s progressed from exuberance of color and subject to a simplification into line and form.  The transition of his work into having a more minimal and architectural dimension would later become the hallmark of his work.

This exhibition is part of Ayala Museum’s Images of Nation program which showcases works by Filipino artists who have been named National Artists in the Visual Arts. Its primary aim is to share the extraordinary vision and formal excellence embodied in this award. The works are gathered from both institutional and private collections, some of which have never been exhibited to the public.

Arturo Luz
Pencil on paper
42.8 x 29.2 cm
Fernando and Catherine Zobel de Ayala Collection


About the artist

Arturo Luz (b. 1926), as described in his biography in the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) website, has been a painter, sculptor, and designer who was conferred the National Artist Award in 1997. Luz created masterpieces that exemplify an ideal of sublime austerity in expression and form. From the Carnival series of the late 1950s to the recent Cyclist paintings, Luz produced works that elevated Filipino aesthetic vision to new heights of sophisticated simplicity.

By establishing the Luz Gallery that professionalized the art gallery as an institution and set a prestigious influence over generations of Filipino artists, Luz inspired and developed a Filipino artistic community that nurtures impeccable designs.


This exhibition runs until 11 June 2017.

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