TANGENTS & TURNS: On Opening Doors
Approaching six decades of creating art, Francisco M Verano shares his body of work from his first year as an artist up to his recent works in this exhibit entitled TANGENTS AND TURNS: paintings & sculptures from 1959 to present. The selection is comprised of reserved artworks that have long been housed in the artist’s home and studio and are now brought out of the artists’ collection; this represents each series and each period in the artist’s career.
More than a comprehensive compilation of Verano’s art from his years as a student of fine arts at the University of the Philippines, to the years his works were recognized for ingenuity and vision, to years of sustained presence in the art scene and to different directions his career has taken along the way and in between, this exhibit is a laying out of representative works that allows the audience to piece together the artist’s life and practice into a visual biography narrated by important pieces. Consider each series as a room to enter, a chapter to uncover, or an alley to traverse, as so seems the flight of the artist in both discovering and expressing, that only this body of work can articulate.
The directions Verano have pursued in his art are at several times deliberately visible but at times also very subtle and necessitates an actual encounter. There are moments when Verano pushes the boundaries of form as exemplified by the morphing of his landscapes into abstraction and vice versa. At times he searches new materials that eventually have taken his works into visual representations of the culture he represents, just like his creations with bamboo and sawdust. In these moments, we also catch hints of messages in the medium itself, as well as irony and even sense of humor in glamorized portrayals of poverty. And to no surprise from a versatile artist, we also see quiet pieces that seem to bring us to the fragments of imaginations and ponderings as the artist stay deep in thought. Here we, the audience, now are, in probably much deeper thought.
At 80 years old, Verano can utter many things at the same time, talk about countless topics in one conversation and touch on many musings all at once. It is this wisdom that enables a body of work to connect to us. The collection in this exhibit welcomes us, lets us in, and engages us in conversations about diverse topics that altogether speak only one life. Witness directions and evolutions in a visual diary with over 100 works of art by an artist who has that much to offer, both in terms of art and life. And in this act of opening his art, his thoughts, his history, his home, his self and his life, we are truly honored.