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Pacita Abad

 (1946 - 2004)
Pacita Abad was active/lived in California, New York / Philippines, Singapore.  Pacita Abad is known for painting-abstract figurative,large-scale underwater, tropical florals, installations.

Pacita Abad

Biography from the Archives of askART

Biography photo for Pacita Abad
Pacita Abad was born in Basco, Batanes, a small island in the northernmost part of the Philippines, between Luzon and Taiwan. Her more-than-thirty-year painting career began when she traveled to the United States to undertake graduate studies. She had over 40 solo exhibitions at museums and galleries in the U.S., Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America. She also participated in more than 50 group and traveling exhibitions throughout the world. Abad's work is now in public, corporate and private art collections in over 70 countries.

Abad earned a BA in political science at the University of the Philippines in 1967. In 1970, she went the United States intending to study law, but instead earned a degree (MA) in Asian History at Lone Mountain College (University of San Francisco) in 1972. While in California, she married a Stanford MBA student, Jack Garrity, who became an international development economist. Abad studied painting at the Corcoran School of Art* in Washington, D.C. and The Art Students League* in New York City. She lived on five different continents and worked in more than 80 countries, including Guatemala, Mexico, India, Afghanistan, Yemen, Sudan, Mali, Papua New Guinea, Cambodia and Indonesia.

Her early paintings were primarily figurative* socio-political works of people and primitive masks. Another series was large scale paintings of underwater scenes, tropical flowers and animal wildlife. Pacita's most extensive body of work, however, is her vibrant, colorful abstract work - many very large scale canvases, but also a number of small collages* - on a range of materials from canvas and paper to bark cloth, metal, ceramics and glass.

Abad created over 4,000 artworks. She painted a 55-meter long Alkaff Bridge in Singapore and covered it with 2,350 multicolored circles. During the last five years of her life, she lived and worked in a studio house on 28 Temenggong Road in Singapore, which currently houses the Visual Arts @ Temenggong.

Abad developed a technique of trapunto painting (named after a quilting technique), which entailed stitching and stuffing her painted canvases to give them a three-dimensional, sculptural effect. She then began incorporating into the surface of her paintings materials such as traditional cloth, mirrors, beads, shells, plastic buttons and other objects.

Artist Quote
"I always see the world through color, although my vision, perspective and paintings are constantly influenced by new ideas and changing environments. I feel like I am an ambassador of colors, always projecting a positive mood that helps make the world smile."

"Pacita Abad", Wikipedia, // (Accessed 6/28/2013)

* For references for these terms and others, see AskART Glossary

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About  Pacita Abad

Born:  1946 - Basco, Batanes, Philippines
Died:   2004 - Singapore
Known for:  painting-abstract figurative,large-scale underwater, tropical florals, installations