Red Mansueto’s Walls of Transition at OWG Art Gallery Café
Cocktail opening at 6:30PM, July 22, 2008
Long before the terms “ecology” and “environment” became buzzwords, Red Mansueto was already alluding to it in his greenhorn days as an artist in the early 70s. As part of the legendary and seminal avant-garde group Shop 6, Mansueto incorporated discarded objects into his art pieces and used photography to document areas of environmental forms of artistic concerns.
In his 14th one-man exhibit “Walls of Transition”, at the OWG Art Gallery, running from July 22 to August 22, he continues exploring environmental issues in a new set of adventurous paintings. Once again, the wall is his focus, both as a literal surface and as a metaphor.
Walls have many meanings and uses: barrier, fortification, fence, enclosure, precipice. They can be taken literally and figuratively.
As a motif, walls offer a rich lodestone for texture, mood, effect, symbolism and lyricism.
Mansueto defines this series of paintings as part of a transition because he takes a journey into new realms, synthesizing experiences and galvanizing materials (metal, plywood, found objects) into mood pieces that suggest a cityscape in flux. He even goes further, calling some of his pieces “sculpturals” because they project volume, a solid physicality.
A viewer cannot help but see vestiges of graffiti, architectural details and rough surfaces in his works; at the same time one can feel the artist’s passion for the environment, albeit conveyed poetically.
Mansueto’s walls can be those that man builds around him, separating him from the rest of the world. They can also dramatize age and decay. They can be a cry of silence in an indifferent universe.
Stone and cement surfaces meld with bold colors of black, brown, red and ochre. Critic Alice Guillermo writes that a Mansueto painting often “conveys an atmosphere and mood one can call lyrical.” She adds, “He paints his abstractions after nature, like landscapes.”
Indeed, the titles of his works “Walls of Venice”, “Syquia Wall” and “Numeric Summer Wall” are suggestive of a particular place and time.
Mansueto is a veteran of many one-man shows and group exhibits. As a student, he was mentored first by Martino Abellana in Cebu when he was still taking up Architecture and then by Florencio Concepcion when he moved to Manila to take up Fine Arts at the University of the East.
Gallery hours are from 10am to 7pm except Sundays. The OWG Art Gallery is located on the ground floor of La Fuerza Plaza II, Don Chino Roces Ave. corner Sabio St., Makati City.