Filipino abstract-expressionist Edwin Wilwayco will mount his latest exhibit, “Circles, On and On at the Walter,” at Walter Wickiser Gallery in New York Sept. 3-28. Opening reception is on Sept. 8, 6 p.m.
Josephine Fatima Martins, an art critic for the New England magazine Artscope, writes the following review of the artist’s eight paintings for the New York show:
In “Circles, On and On,” Edwin Wilwayco achieves and continues, with determination, another chapter in his expansive and fluid visual oeuvre.
Progressing and evolving from his “Fractals” series in 2015, his new “Circle paintings” reveal and place focus on his constant explorations with curvilinear gesture, movement, repetition, spatial depth, and abundant layered-textural-color relationships.
Wilwayco’s intent is to explore conceptually the emotion and physical awareness of containment and expansion and the ever present struggle between order and chaos into infinity.
Within the series, Wilwayco groups the compositions by color. Theres’s numbered sets of blue, green, red, and orange visual narratives, each slightly different from the next or last, yet all connected to each other as chapters within the larger body of work.
In all the compositions, the fullness of Wilwayco’s solid signature and unique vocabulary is observable: bombastic color palettes as well supremely varied paint viscosity applications, some thick others thin and watery, achieve voluminous arrangements and complex interiors.
For Wilwayco, working with and adding a defined geometric form to already dynamic gestural spaces builds another layer of engagement. His circles live within or are transitioning in and out of chaos space; they are the most important component or the higher level singularity within a fractal environment—the source point. Wilwayco is trying to integrate the rules of hard-edge formalism with the potency and spontaneity of action-derived mark making.
By tackling an observable object—circle, ring, sphere, globe, dot—he is placing more emphasis on the tangible and solid instead of the ephemeral and irregular.
This isn’t the first time Wilwayco, who is defined mostly by his vibrant lyrical forms, has used preexisting defined shapes as source material. In previous compositions, such as “Fractals,” he has deconstructed geometric design and floral environments to highlight the physical reality of expanding/contracting “shift” and the impermanent quality of permanent properties.
In his garden and watery paintings, for example, Wilwayco documents his observations that nature is in constant repetitive flux within constructed spaces.
We see the idea and reality of flux again in “Circles, On and On.” There is a powerful sublime fluidity, massive bubbling, and an anxious dichotomy between safety and imprisonment. Within the familial circle all is safe and gestating, but it is also restrained and constricted. Wilwayco is asking: How much order do we want? How much order is healthy? Also, what happens when the circle is broken?
Always attempting to find balance, he bravely confronts and examines artificial and natural constructs as his main theme; this time, using the circle motif, as metaphor, with its myriad symbolistic earth and sky-bound meanings to guide and project questions and engage in dialogue about concerns outside of painting and art.
For Wilwayco, a painting isn’t a simple object to be admired, it’s communication. He is interested in establishing via the plastic properties of paint quality as well as line, form and color placement, the condition of “web connection” which is nirvana-istic holism, and the singularity of Enso/Zen/Void where order and chaos battle for supremacy, when the mind is uninhabited allowing the body its natural condition to be freeform expressive and creative.