Known for her large-scale, colorful ‘trapunto’ works, Pacita Abad (1946-2004) was a Philippine-American artist whose prolific oeuvre spanned continents and ranged from abstract forms to social realist depictions of everyday life in the U.S.A., the Philippines and elsewhere. Having lived and traveled widely across Asia and many parts of the world, Abad’s work is an amalgamation of techniques and subject matter drawn from her lived experiences and mostly worked in her signature trapunto technique of padding and stitching canvas before painting and layering it with textiles, printed objects and other materials such as jewelry, buttons, and shells.
About the Artist
Born in the Philippines in 1946, Pacita Abad studied painting at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Arts Student League in New York. Her work has been featured in numerous solo exhibitions including Life in the Margins, Spike Island, Bristol (2020); Pacita Abad: A Million Things to Say, Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Manila (2018); Circles in My Mind, Singapore Tyler Print Institute, Singapore (2003); Exploring the Spirit, National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta (1996); The American Dream, National Museum for Women in the Arts, Washington D.C. (1994); Masks from Six Continents, Metro Art Center, Washington D.C. (1990); Pacita Abad: A Painter Looks at the World, Museum of Philippine Art, Manila (1984) and Assaulting the Deep Sea, Ayala Museum, Manila (1983). She has participated in numerous group exhibitions, including Minds Rising, Spirits Tuning,13th Gwangju Biennial (2021); SWEAT, Haus der Kunst, Munich (2021); Whose Tradition?, Tate Liverpool (2021); The Crack Begins Within, 11th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art (2020); Asia/America: Identities in Contemporary Asian American Art, a traveling exhibition organised by the Asia Society, New York (1996); Beyond the Border: Art by Recent Immigrants, Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York (1994); La Segunda Bienal de la Habana (1986); and the 2nd Asian Art Show, Fukuoka Art Museum (1985). Her work can be found in the collections of Tate Modern, London; The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C., M+ Museum, Hong Kong, Art Jameel, Dubai, and the National Gallery of Singapore.
About Jameel Arts Centre
Jameel Arts Centre is an independent institution dedicated to exhibiting contemporary art to the public and engaging communities through learning, research, and commissions. Founded and supported by Art Jameel, the Centre is located in Jaddaf Waterfront, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
About Art Jameel
Art Jameel is an organisation that supports artists and creative communities. Current initiatives include running heritage institutes and restoration programmes, plus a broad range of arts and educational initiatives for all ages. The organisation’s programmes foster the role of the arts in building open, connected communities; at a time of flux and dramatic societal shifts, this role is understood as more crucial than ever.
About the Contributors
Nora Razian is Head of Exhibitions at Art Jameel. She has an MA in anthropology and cultural politics from Goldsmiths College, London, and has curated several solo and group exhibitions.
Nadine El Khoury is Assistant Curator at Art Jameel, where she supports in the research, development, and production of exhibitions and publications at the Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai, and Hayy Jameel, Jeddah. She holds a double major in Art History and Studio Arts from Concordia University, Montreal.
Saira Ansari is a researcher and writer who focuses on South Asian art history and publishing.
Pio Abad is an artist living and working 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.
Jack Garrity is the Director of the Pacita Abad Art Estate located in Los Angeles, California. Pacita’s husband and companion for 32 years Jack, was involved in almost all of Pacita’s artistic activities including exhibitions, public art projects, publications, and archival documentation.