Tuesday, May 06, 2014

In today’s world of Google Maps, Google Earth and satellite images, Aldrino Abes sees his visual art practice as charting out the recesses of his own imagination. His latest exhibition, “Urban Cartography,” is an exploration of the near-limitless potential and capabilities of the human mind. Works that look like abstracted maps of streets, alleys, and buildings but do not point to any single place form the bulk of his current body of works.

The exhibition is a look at the artist’s role as an urban explorer and the works on display are, in essence, a recording of what is in his mind’s eye.

Vieux Metropolis

Noted American geographer Alan MacEachren once said, “A well-designed map is convincing because it implies authenticity.” This implication of familiarity also denotes an intimate connection to the area a cartographer attempts to map out.

Upward Patterns

Herein lies the uniqueness of Abes as an artist as the area in consideration does not exist on any physical plane, but lives within the confines of his highly fertile imagination. The viewer is drawn into Aldrino’s world and made privy to how he presents his own rules of measurement, depiction and scale. The exhibition becomes a positive vista of Abes’ panoramic view of the world.

Urban Vantage

Aldrino Abes, came to Manila in 1995 at the young age of 20. He first worked as a sign maker and later apprenticed with renowned painter Carlo Magno, who exposed him to realistic interiors and facades of old houses before his mentor went into abstraction.

Rhythmic Pulse

Abes eventually abandoned this subject and found alternative expression in the simplicity of strokes, lines, and forms that abstract art provides. His profile has seen increased prominence in the local and international art scene.

Crimson Earth

His works in his latest exhibition reflects an evolution of this approach. Mapping out portions of an imagined city, he constructs lines and forms that reflect landscapes of urban environments. Using earth palettes of red, black, brown, and gold hues, Abes finds beauty in the urban form, while retaining the aesthetic sensibilities of an abstractionist.


These new works represent what is undoubtedly a new direction for abstraction. In this way, Abes adds a variant dimension to Philippine art by bringing in the layout of cities as opposed to a focus on rural landscapes.

Center of Gravity

The exhibition opens on May 8, 2014, Thursday, at Galerie Joaquin, The Podium Mall and will run until May 18, 2014.

Linear Growths

Galerie Joaquin-Podium is at Unit B12-B13, Lower Ground Level, The Podium, ADB Avenue Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City.

For information, call 634-7954, 0917-8337191 or e-mail at

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