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FOREMOST GENRE ARTIST Mario Parial opens one of the most important exhibits of his career on July 7, 6:30 p.m., at the Atrium on the second floor of The Podium mall in Mandaluyong.

Titled ?Legacy Series: Mario Parial,? the show is the opening salvo of a series of exhibits by modern masters of major works.

Parial is exhibiting 16 large new works that he has been working on for over a year now. In ?Legacy Series,? he revisits the themes he has explored over the past 40 years of his career but this time he presents them with newfound energy, creativity and vision. He has dug deep into his influences, mainly Marc Chagall and Pablo Picasso, but has given them his own particular vision in order to present themes that have endeared him to art lovers for over four decades?the folk imagery, festivals, local traditions, harlequins, kites and the day-to-day activities of common folk. But this time, with a new and bold rendition.

?Viewers will see a stylistic shift in my works: In my approach to the subjects I render, the composition and even the colors. There is more movement now and the colors are entirely new combinations. I used a different palette with these works,? says Parial, a former University of Santo Tomas and University of the Philippines professor.

Art historian Reuben Canete says that ?like wine, Parial is certainly getting better through the years. If exhibits can be considered like movies, ?Legacy Series: Mario Parial? is a blockbuster.?

Art critic Cid Reyes says, ?Mario Parial has remained creatively restive. What is striking is the fecundity of the artist?s vision, the intensity of creative fervor being at full-throttle. It is as if Parial were delighting peeling layer after layer of the folk sensibility, in his now distinctive style of figuration.?

Among the works being presented by Parial in this unprecedented exhibit are: ?Calla Lily Harvest,? ?La Musique,? ?Carnival,? ?Higantes Festival,? ?Ligawan? and ?Saranggola Festival,? among others.

Parial?s work comes from what Reyes calls ?an authentic tradition in Philippine art.? His artistic forbears are Simon Flores, Fabian de la Rosa, Fernando Amorsolo, Carlos ?Botong? Francisco, and, his own personal hero, Vicente Manansala, who were known as ?genre? painters. They depicted everyday activities and local customs such as harana, planting rice and harvest, festivals, and stales of Philippine life such as still life?s of fruits, flowers and fishes, birds; as well as sundry characters like the sabungero, the clown or harlequin, among others.

Other genre painters and modern masters will be featured in Galerie Joaquin?s ?Legacy Series.? After Parial, there will be exhibits of major works of Angeliro Antonio, Antonio Austria and Norma Belleza.

Parial has won numerous awards. He was still a student at UST when he won first prize in the 1966 Art Association of the Philippines art competition. He received the Benavides Award for Outstanding Performance for University Prestige from UST in 1967. In 1972, he received the much-coveted Thirteen Artists Award of the Cultural Center of the Philippines and in 1978 he received the Outstanding Thomasian Award, also from UST.

Parial has exhibited in Hong Kong, China, Germany and in key cities of Canada, Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan and the United States. He has participated in over 160 group shows and has had 25 one-man shows to his credit. His works have been featured at Sotheby?s auctions on Southeast Asian Art.

The show runs until July 16 with a preview, which starts July 5. For more information, call Galerie Joaquin at 7239418, 7239253 or 6347954; visit www.galerie joaquin.com.