Pacita Abad Invited to the 60th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia

Tina Kim Gallery is pleased to announce that Pacita Abad (US, b. Philippines, 1946-2004) is invited to Biennale Arte 2024, curated by Adriano Pedrosa. Stranieri Ovunque - Foreigners Everywhere is the 60th iteration of the International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, and will take place from April 20 to November 24, 2024 (pre-opening on April 17, 18 and 19), at the Giardini, the Arsenale and various venues in Venice.

Pacita Abad was born to a family of politicians and activists in Batanes, the furthermost-north island state in the Philippines. Pacita moved to the United States in 1970 to escape political persecution after leading a student demonstration against the authoritarian Marcos regime. Initially settling in San Francisco where she immersed herself in the local art scene, Pacita embarked on what would be an itinerant, global life spanning over sixty countries.

Widely defined by her use of color and the materiality in her work, Pacita’s oeuvre featured an immense array of subject matter, from tribal masks and social realist tableaus to lush and intricately rendered underwater scenes and abstractions. Accumulating materials, techniques, and subjects from her vast travels, oftentimes within the same composition, Pacita was uniquely positioned to explore modernity's uneven development with the greatest care, as a figure born outside of the metropole. Her work predates contemporary discourses around postcolonial feminisms, globalization, and transnationalism, offering an intuitive understanding of the mutability and heritability of traditions in the places she lived. 

Pacita's first major retrospective in North America will travel to MoMA PS1 in the spring. Organized by the Walker Art Center, where it opened last year and recently exhibited at SFMOMA, the comprehensive exhibition includes works that have never been shown in the United States. It showcases Pacita’s experiments in different mediums, notably her widely celebrated trapunto paintings—a form of quilted painting the artist originated by stitching and stuffing her painted canvases instead of stretching them over a frame. Her work can be found in the collections of Tate Modern, London; M+ Museum, Hong Kong; SFMOMA, San Francisco; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Cantor Arts Center, Stanford; Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C.; and the National Gallery Singapore.
January 31, 2024
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