Written by: Pepper Teehankee
Date: June 9, 2017
The publication of a coffee table book devoted to the lifetime body of works by a single artist is always a cause for celebration.
For artist Edwin Wilwayco, a coffee table book on him simply titled Edwin Wilwayco is an affirmation of all that he has worked for. For the reading public, the tome is an opportunity to view and appreciate the achievements of one of the country’s leading abstractionists.
The book launch gathered Wilwayco’s family, friends and collectors who have supported and appreciated his longstanding artistry.
A special exhibition of selected works from each of Wilwayco’s series coincided with the book launch. The event was emceed by Bianca Valerio, who wore a dress by fashion house Septiemerebelle, with painted-on art by Wilwayco himself.
It took more than four years for the Fatima University Gallery Foundation Inc., spearheaded by its treasurer Robbie Santos, to conceptualize and coordinate, and finally publish and launch the book.
Authored by award-winning critic Cid Reyes, the book brings to the fore the struggles of a young artist, who decided early on that abstraction was the idiom in which he could best express himself, despite his graphic facility and fluency in representational art. Absorbing the inevitable influences of his college mentors and enlightened by the entire history of abstraction, from Wassily Kandinsky down to Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, Wilwayco synthesized, distilled and drew from his own experimental alchemy his own trademark characteristics of brushstrokes, gestural marks, floral motifs and vibrant chromatics.
The book also traces the progression of his many thematic series, each one a rich exploration of expressions reflective of local culture, nationalism, spirituality, the varying seasons, music, geometric symbolisms and the mysterious gifts of nature. These are all manifested in harmonious but inexplicable array of designs and patterns. Down to his years of maturity and seniority, Wilwayco has never wavered from the restless enrichment of his vocabulary of form and color.
Lavishly arranged by Aman Santos with numerous photographs by Randy Rodriguez and Lovella Uy of Photoholict, culled from nearly a thousand works in different media, the book is a distinct evidence of Wilwayco’s prolific production. Edwin Wilwayco proves that inspiration comes not from thin air, but from passion, determination and commitment to the vocation, which Wilwayco has dedicated his life to: painting. *
(The Edwin Wilwayco book is sold at Leon Gallery. To purchase, call 856-2781. For more information about the artist, visit www.edwinwilwayco.com.)
(Follow me on Instagram @pepperteehankee.)
source: The Pepper Mill by Pepper Teehankee (The Philippine Star)