The art world is mourning the death of National Artist for Sculpture Napoleon C. Abueva who passed away today, Feb. 16, at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute in Quezon City. He was 88.
Daughter Amihan Abueva told Inquirer her father died at 5:30 a.m. of pneumonia.
“We shall miss him tremendously,” said Lay Ann Orlina, wife of sculptor Ramon Orlina. “We are so glad we managed to visit him on his birthday last Jan. 26 while he was in the ICU.”
Artist and critic Cid Reyes paid tribute to Abueva and called him “the sole Filipino vanguard for modern sculpture.”
“With his now sad demise,” Reyes added, “Abueva has entered immortality, but he leaves behind an incomparable legacy: a great, stunning body of modernist works–counting over 600 known works!–created through many decades and executed in a diversity of mediums, both organic and industrial.”
“The Philippine art and cultural community thus grieves at his passing,” Reyes said. “Fittingly, with his release from this mortal coil, Napoleon Veloso Abueva has become… an enduring monument unto himself.”
[Related story: Napoleon Abueva, National Artist for Sculpture, 88]
Wake will be at the Delaney Hall of the University of the Philippines Catholic Chapel in Diliman, Quezon City.
The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) said that it would await for final details on the burial from Abueva’s family before it could schedule the state necrological ceremonies at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
The NCCA said that as National Artist, Abueva would also be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.