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The World, My World, in my Eyes


Written by Carl Matthew Rodriguez

Edited by Nina Macaraig-Gamboa

Illustrated by Ingrid Camille G. Tan

Vicente Manansala was born in Macabebe, Pampanga, on January 22, 1910 to Perfecto Q. Manansala and Engracia Silva. As a child, he designed kites and sketched. Ramon Peralta taught him to paint and he started practicing by making signboards for a shop. He graduated from the University of the Philippines School of Fine Arts in 1930. He then received grants to study at three Ecoles des Beaux-Arts in Canada and France.

Manansala worked as an illustrator for The Philippines Herald and Liwayway, and was lay-out artist for Photonews and Saturday Evening News Magazine in the 1930s. He held his first one-man show at the Manila Hotel in 1951. He was a professor at the University of Santo Tomas School of Fine Arts from 1951 to 1958.

As an artist post-World War II, the main theme of his paintings was the Philippines’ poverty and societal problems after the war. Among his famous works from that period are “Madonna of the Slums”, “Barung-Barung”, “Market Vendors” and “Balut Vendors.”

Manansala is considered the country’s pioneer in cubism, specifically transparent cubism, which divides the work into squares forming the whole image. He was one of the Thirteen Moderns led by Victorio C. Edades, and one of the Big Three in the modernist movement, along with Cesar Legaspi and H.R. Ocampo. Moreover, he formed the group of neo-realists with Romeo Tabuena and Anita Magsaysay-Ho.

He won many awards: first prize in the 1950 Manila Grand Opera House Exhibition, and multiple awards from the Art Association of the Philippines. In 1963, he received the Republic Cultural Heritage Award, and in 1970, the Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan, Manila. A year after Manansala died on August 22, 1981, he was posthumously conferred the title of National Artist of the Philippines in Visual Arts (Painting). The museum at the Holy Angel University in Angeles City, Pampanga houses The Vicente Manansala Collection with most of the estate left by the artist.

Copyright © 2015

ISBN: 978-971-569-846-7

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