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National Artist Arturo Luz’s sculptures live on in public spaces

National Artist Arturo Luz’s sculptures live on in public spaces

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  • National Artist for Visual Arts Arturo Luz passed away at 94, but his Modernist creations live on in spaces accessible to everyone

National Artist for Visual Arts Arturo Luz, 94, died on May 26, Wednesday evening, according to daughter Angela’s Facebook post.

A painter, sculptor, and designer for more than 40 years, Luz was the foremost figure in the modern neo-realist movement in Philippine art. He also served as a founding director of the Metropolitan Museum of Manila from 1976 to 1986, and established the Luz Gallery. The National Commission on the Culture and the Arts (NCCA) says the gallery “professionalized the art gallery as an institution and set a prestigious influence over generations of Filipino artists.”

He was a graduate of the University of Santo Tomas Fine Arts program, the Art School of Brooklyn Museum in New York, and the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere in Paris. In 1997, he was named National Artist for Visual Arts for his significant contribution to the development of Philippine arts.

“Luz produced works that elevated Filipino aesthetic vision to new heights of sophisticated simplicity. By establishing the Luz Gallery that professionalized the art gallery as an institution and set a prestigious influence over generations of Filipino artists, Luz inspired and developed a Filipino artistic community that nurtures impeccable designs,” NCCA’s profile on Luz reads.

The National Artist’s works are a fixture in museums, galleries, private art collections, as well as various government structures and public spaces. To this day, you can walk around Metro Manila and be able to spot one of his unmistakable Modernist sculptures that add character to these spaces. Here are some of them.

“Anito” at the Batasang Pambansa Complex

Photo courtesy of John Paul “Lakan” Olivares

“Black and White” mural at Bulwagang Carlos V. Francisco, CCP

“Double Reclining Form” at Greenbelt 1

“Figura,” “Sempere,” “Tapies,” “Zobel,” “Tribal,” “Rueda,” and “Anito” at the National Museum of the Philippines Complex

Tribal by National Artist Arturo Luz

Posted by National Museum of the Philippines on Thursday, January 21, 2021

“Anito” and other works at the Philippine International Convention Center

“Anito” at the PICC courtyard. Photo courtesy of PICC

“Cubi” at The Podium Complex

Mosaic floors at UP Diliman Parish of the Holy Sacrifice

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