“I have a horror of so-called abstract paintings. When one sticks colors next to each other and trace lines in space that don’t correspond to anything, the result is decoration.” Thus the master Picasso, whose Cubist discovery of space drove him to a corner, with nowhere else to go but…abstraction. Such is the claim of art historian Abigail Cain. Still remonstrating in a later interview, Picasso was even more emphatic: “There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterwards you can remove all traces of reality. There’s no danger then…because the idea of the object left an indelible mark.”
Picasso’s Cubism influenced the two pioneers of geometric abstraction, the Russian Kazimir Melvich and the Dutchman Piet Mondrian. That other pioneer abstractionist, Wassily Kandinsky, however, owes his expressionist tendency to music, which does not represent physical reality but pure emotion, as may be ascribed by his series titles, “Improvisations”and “Compositions.”
Both strains of abstraction are vibrantly represented in Galerie Roberto’s all non-objective show, titled “Transcending.” Participating artists are Sam Penaso, Binong Alvin Javier, Michael Pastorizo, Fitz Herrera, Jay Ragma, Josep Pascual, Dennis Morante, Fonz Recto, Faye Pamintuan, Clarence Eduarte, Andre Baldovino, Jonathan Olazo, Genesis Romero, Jayson Muring, Ejanda Rey, Arley Carig, and Nestor Vinluan.
“Transcending” adverts to the various ways in which the artists transform color, form, shape, line, and space, distending them to rise above their expected limits of communication, their capacity to Affect the human spirit, and ultimately, to attain a spiritual reach. In some of these works, colors are brought to their utmost luminescence or made to vibrate in rhythmic patterns. Form and shape assume variegated imagery alluding to natural phenomena. Line is led to harmonious or disruptive movements, like bodily gesticulation, while space is opened up to illusions of a deep, calm and vast universe.