First-of-its-kind retrospective of Filipino artist Pacita Abad opens at the Walker

First-of-its-kind Filipino artist retrospective stops in MN

MINNEAPOLIS -- Visitors to the Walker Art Center will soon experience a never-before seen exhibit highlighting the colorful work of a world-renowned artist.

It's a first-of-it's-kind retrospective of Filipino artist Pacita Abad. The collection is on a U.S. tour, but the first stop is in Minnesota.

Abad, who was born in 1946 in the Philippines, is known for her use of vibrant colors. From buttons to beads to shells, the canvas comes to life with materials Abad collected on her travels. Throughout her life, she visited over 60 countries and lived in many of them. 


Some pieces feel like photographs capturing a moment in time; often in countries where people of color lived a life of struggle.

"The way she translated the madness of the world into these incredibly exuberant paintings is really an experience," said Pio Abad, Pacita Abad's nephew and curator of her estate.

According to Pio Abad, the exhibit is the biggest exhibition devoted to a Filipino artist in the country. For him, it's lead to a lot of pride and gratitude - not only in sharing his aunt's history and talent - but how she viewed the world from the Philippines and beyond.

"Every single one of Pacita's paintings is an archive of the third world experience - the material, the chaos," said Pio Abad. "So to have all of them here is a real real treat."

Abad's exhibit opens to the public on Saturday, and it will be on display until early September.

For more information and to see special events related to the exhibit, click here.

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