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Alfonso Ossorio: A Survey 1940 – 1989

The body of work of Filipino-American artist Alfonso Ossorio (1916 – 1990) engaged in a formalism of color and space based on a structuralist study of the world, attributing or inscribing ideological meaning, questions of being, and transcendence to materiality. His imagery is deeply immersed in his Catholic faith and upbringing.

Alfonso Ossorio. Feast and Famine II. 1967

Born in Manila to affluent Filipino parents from the province of Negros Occidental, he received European and American education in the 1940s and 1950s, which placed him in the fortunate position of witnessing pivotal moments in Western modern art. A committed artist and philanthropist, he was one of the earliest patrons of the work of Jackson Pollock, and as well as Jean Dubuffet, and Clyfford Still. Dubuffet was an ardent enthusiast of Ossorio’s work; he published the book Peintures Initiatiques d’Alfonso Ossorio (The Initiatory Paintings of Alfonso Ossorio), which features the wax-resist drawings done by Ossorio in 1950 in Negros Occidental, when he as at work at the mural for the Saint Joseph the Worker chapel.

Alfonso Ossorio. St Marting the Beggar. 1940

This exhibition consisting of surrealist illustrations, wax-resist drawings, and object assemblages looks at his reflective and responsive work over several decades—his personal engagement with religion, sexuality, and humanity, which defined him as a significant artistic figure in postwar American art.

Alfonso Ossorio. A Toi La Gloire. 1950

Alfonso Ossorio: A Survey 1940 – 1989 is the first exhibition of Alfonso Ossorio’s works by a Philippine museum and will be show from 26 February – 17 June 2018 at the 3F Gallery of the Ayala Museum.

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