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Gus Albor opens his origins in kamarin

In celebration of the National Arts Month , Naga-born visual artist Gus Albor is set to open his new exhibition for 2023 at the Kamarin Art Gallery this coming Saturday, February 4, 2023. The exhibit runs until March 15, 2023, according to John Sherwin Acampado, the assistant creative director of Savage Mind Bookshop.

Entitled, Origins, Tito Genova Valiente, the resident art critic of Kamarin, writes in his social media page, that Albor, “is honoring the city of his birth with an exhibit on a limited run in the Kamarin Art Gallery. As the curator of this exhibit, there is simply nothing to curate; there is only that humble act to re-present an artist known for his modesty and humility.”

In an entry found in the website of Miaja Gallery, Albor’s brief biograohy states that he was born in 1948, and is widely known as a painter and sculptor recognized for his minimalist abstraction works and has been a stalwart of the Philippine art scene since the 1970s. A graduate of the University of the East School of Music and Fine Arts and a recipient of a British Council study grant to the West Surrey College of Fine Art, his works have been shown in exhibitions in Germany, Italy, Japan, France, and the United States to name a few. Albor’s distinct partiality for minimal color registers, with extreme subtlety, soft transitions, and muted harmonies, creates a sensual experience. While many abstract artists may contend that they are creating artworks as objects, Albor regards his paintings as emanations of his conviction and concepts, indeed an exposition of his existence.

Origins, features some of the early works of Albor including a self-portrait he created when he was 29 years old. Other major pieces include his Temple and Binhi series which reflect what his elect audience cites as philosophical and contemplative. Writing for Philippine Daily Inquirer, art and film critic Lito Zulueta praised the ‘elemental abstraction’ of Albor.

Zulueta writes, “In a way, Albor’s abstraction, even when tackling the highly worrisome subject of environmental degradation, remains contemplative. As it should be. As Rachel Carson says in “Silent Spring,” one of the bibles of contemporary environmental activism, Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature -- the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter. Albor’s abstraction is confident and self-assured. It is an art that is attuned to the rhythms of nature.”

Albor whose parents are both Bikolnon was an early winner of the Thirteen Young Artists of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, he would eventually become one of the most recognizable names in Philippine contemporary art. National Artist for Visual Arts, Arturo Luz, said, that “Albor is quite simply the best the Philippines has to offer.”

After the opening, there will be scheduled art lecture with faculty and students from Ateneo de Naga University, Central Bicol State University for Agriculture (Calabanga Campus), Universidad de Santa Isabel, and the Holy Rosary Major Seminary. Kamarin is open from 6PM to 8PM, except Monday. There is a regular entrance fee of P 100.00 and P 75.00 (for students, senior citizens and PWDs). The address is 5 Peninsula St. Mayon Avenue, Tinago, Naga City.


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