Sansó turns 83, heralds ‘New Day’By Camille Joaquin
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The break of dawn is an experience that symbolizes optimism. Dawn is about new life, a new beginning.
For the sensitive dreamer, it is an apt metaphor for renewed vigor—a new chance to draw from his emotions to create new worlds. It is synonymous with hope, life, optimism, new discoveries.
Modernist icon and Presidential Medal of Merit awardee Juvenal Sansó has long been that dreamer. He has left behind all the angst that characterize his earlier works and tapped into the primal happiness and calm of his emotions, and the past few decades have seen a kaleidoscope of forms, figures and colors.
The effect is a journey that he shares with his audience—a uniquely personal and highly emotive adventure into the highs of a distinct and renowned artistic practice.
The artist’s life—from his nightmarish experiences of Japanese Occupation during the Second World War to his many summers in the quaint French countryside where he learned to find peace—is mirrored in his oeuvre. A survey of his decades-long practice shows an artist who has run the gamut of media, reaching the heights of critical recognition through a combination of expressionistic sensibilities, technique, and a mind that refuses to rest on its laurels. From still-lifes to landscapes, to abstracts, there is nothing out of reach for the prolific master.
To celebrate his 83rd birthday and over 50 years of artistic brilliance, Galerie Joaquin will be hosting an exhibition of new Sanso works, “Paintings of a New Day.”
The exhibit signals the dawning of another phase in the artist’s productive career. It formally opens Nov. 27, 6:30 p.m., at the Art Center of SM Megamall in Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City. It runs until Dec. 9.
“As Cascading Waters Flow” shows the convergence of technique and expression, the bubbling stream in the foreground and the skyline in the background perfectly rendered. The mix of colors, descending from the bluish-white glow of the background—with the famous Sanso moon—to the lush green of vegetation and the brown and red of the surrounding valley and stream, indicates an artist at peace with himself and the world. The calm it brings to its audience is inherent in the composition.
Another fantastic piece is “A New Day, a New Dawn,” demonstrating Sansó’s brilliance as a painter of landscapes. In this piece, he transitions the coastline sky from night to dawn. The waves that crash beneath the reflection of a craggy shore are luminescent with the subtle mixing of colors, from the blackish purple of night to the yellow light of a rising sun, hinted with red and orange streaks. Movement is the key element here, and the focus on transition is marvelously depicted.
The opposite of this adherence to movement is “Forthcoming and Steady,” aptly transporting us from the ebb and flow of the coast to the steadiness of a mountainous desert landscape. The colors of dust and rust—red and brown—rest under the watchfulness of Sansó’s moon, a vision of fortitude and calm.
Sansó is one of the best-known members of the Philippine Modernist movement. Among his contemporaries were National Artists Victorio Edades, Vicente Manansala, José Joya, Federico Aguilar Alcuaz, Napoleon Abueva (his batchmate in UP). His teachers were National Artists Fernando Amorsolo and Guillermo Tolentino.
A foremost master, Sanso has had a long and stellar career capped by a number of awards and recognition including a King’s Cross of Isabella knighthood from the King of Spain; membership into the Order of Chevalier from the French government; and a Presidential Medal of Merit from the Republic of the Philippines.
His works are represented in the collections of some 40 museums in the world, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art; San Francisco Museum; Art Institute of Chicago; Cleveland Museum of Art; Smithsonian Institute; Museum d’ Arte Moderne in Paris; Rosenwald National Gallery of Washington; Cultural Center of the Philippines.
His collectors include the Rothschild family, Nelson Rockefeller, Vincent Price, Elsa Schiaperelli, Jean Cocteau.
Call Galerie Joaquin at tel. 632-7239418 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.galeriejoaquin.com.