Published by Walker Art Center.
Edited with text by Victoria Sung. Text by Pio Abad, Julia Bryan-Wilson, Ruba Katrib, Nancy Lim, Matthew Villar Miranda, Xiaoyu Weng.
A comprehensive survey of Abad's visually dazzling and politically prescient works blending fabric and painting
This volume surveys three decades of Pacita Abad’s multifaceted practice. Published on the occasion of her first-ever retrospective, it includes new research and writing by Julia Bryan-Wilson, Ruba Katrib, Nancy Lim, Matthew Villar Miranda, Victoria Sung and Xiaoyu Weng, an edited oral history about the artist’s life and work by Pio Abad and Victoria Sung, and never-before-seen artworks and archival materials.
Over the course of her career, Abad made an exuberant, wide-ranging body of work that was ahead of its time in promoting a transcultural worldview. Moving between the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore and the US—while also spending extended periods in dozens of countries on six continents—she interacted with the many artist communities she encountered on her travels. Drawing on her knowledge of global fiber traditions, Abad innovated a hybrid art form that she called “trapunto” painting (from the Italian word trapungere, “to embroider”). Made by stitching and stuffing her painted canvases as opposed to stretching them over a wood frame, the resulting works’ portability speaks to her peripatetic existence, while their association with textiles evokes female, non-Western forms of labor that have historically been marginalized as craft.
Pacita Abad (1946–2004) was born in Batanes, Philippines. Because of her activism against the Marcos regime, she was forced to leave for the US in 1970, where she studied Asian history at the University of San Francisco and painting at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, DC, and the Art Students League in New York City. Abad created more than 5,000 artworks and had over 60 solo exhibitions in the US, Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America.