THE COLLECTION OF JANE RYAN & WILLIAM SAUNDERS

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Jorge B. Vargas Museum, in cooperation with Silverlens Gallery, presents The Collection of Jane Ryan and William Saunders, a major solo exhibition by artist Pio Abad.



Abad employs strategies of appropriation to reveal the social and political significations of objects, unraveling the circumstances in which artworks and commodities are made, presented and exchanged.

A large concrete sculpture of primeval folklore stands at a tangent to its diminutive source, rendering it a figurine of an original. An array of postcards of a seized and sequestered collection is finally for the taking. And a painting on a miracle of fishes, supposedly by Tintoretto, hangs on a panel papered over by the image of a repeating octopus.

The folklore is Malakas at Maganda, the first man and woman of the Philippine earth, claimed by Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos as their doppelgangers, the genesis itself of a new nation. The artist is Anastacio Caedo, a sculptor of classical bent known for historical monuments and commemorative busts. The disputed trove consists of exceptional Regency silver and eclectic European art peddled at Christie’s in 1991.

The painting is The Miraculous Drought of Fishes by the Renaissance master Tintoretto, auctioned and then returned on account of uncertain authenticity. And the motif of the hideous mollusk comes from a book titled Some Are Smarter Than Others, which details the breathtaking property of the Marcoses by way of what its author calls “crony capitalism.”

Pio Abad choreographs these things and the tales animating them to initiate a critical conversation on the discourses of singularity, surplus, and semblance. He looks at them as traces of something sordid, a body of evidence that exhibits morbid symptoms of a possible psychopathology of power.

The Collection of Jane Ryan and William Saunders is presented in partnership with Gasworks, London where Abad will have his first major UK solo exhibition from September 12 to November 9, 2014.

Born in 1983, Abad grew up in Manila, Philippines and lives and works in London. He began his art studies at the University of the Philippines before receiving a BA from Glasgow School of Art and an MA from the Royal Academy Schools, London. Abad was a finalist for the Ateneo Art Awards 2013 and 2014, the Whitechapel Gallery/Dazed and Confused Emerging Artist Award 2012 and a recipient of the Deutsche Bank Art Awards. He has recently exhibited at the Mackintosh Museum, Glasgow; Osage Gallery, Hong Kong; the Zabludowicz Collection and Whitechapel Gallery, London.

For more information, please contact Vargas Museum at (63 2) 928-1927 (direct line), (63 2) 981-8500 loc. 4024 (UP trunkline) or send an e-mail to vargasmuseum@gmail.com.

Jorge B. Vargas Museum is located at the University of the Philippines, Roxas Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines

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