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 Napoleon V. Abueva - Father of Modern  Sculpture
  by:
Visitacion R. de la Torre

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LATEST WORKS

At present Abueva’s works are in the good company of other world-renowned artists like Fernand Lager, Henri Matisse, Barbra Hepworth, the Mexican Rufino Tamayo, the English Henry Moore and the Spaniards Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali.

            Among his latest works is Sunburst, a 12-meter sculpture of 21 rays and 33 spears in copper, bronze and stainless steel. This he created in 1994 when the Peninsula Manila Hotel was renovated. It now adorns the ceiling of the Pen lobby where habitués are often amazed by the sunburst crowning their vision. The historic Carriedo Fountain has been moved from the MWSS headquarters in Quezon City to the plaza fronting Sta. Cruz Church in Manila; Abueva had a hand in restoring it. In 1996, he did the Tamaraw with Wings at the U.P. Los Baños, fronting the library; the Three Women Weaving the Filipino Flag behind the U.P. Administration Building and Nine Muses in front of the U.P. Faculty Center.

            Abueva has also created historic-heroic pieces that serve as landmarks, like his murals in marble at the National Heroes Shrine on Mt. Samat in Bataan; the bas-relief in concrete at the gateways of the U.P. campus; the huge radial panel of modern sculpture at the main entrance of the Insular Life Assurance Company Building on Ayala Avenue in Makati City, the bronze figures of Teodoro M. Kalaw I front of the National Library; and the “Eternal Flame” in stainless steel and the bamboo cup at the Pamintinan Cave in Montalban, Rizal where Andres Bonifacio used to meet his revolutionary leaders.

            What makes or characterizes an Abueva sculpture? The artist himself makes no bones about it: “It’s the simplification of the design – a direct expression of the subject matter with the least use of unnecessary elements, I go to the basic concept of the subject matter.” After a thoughtful pause, he remarks, “Sometimes the subject matter blends well with the specific material through the use of simplified and significant forms.”

            Abueva intends to put up in the near future a small sculpture garden in his hometown, Duero, Bohol. He says he already has replicas of the busts of Guillermo Tolentino; of Borden, one of the early Thomasites who had come to their town; and that of a woman in a trance. All these shall be placed in the “Tolentino Circle” of the sculpture garden.

            Meantime, the compleat sculpture hammers and chisels away. That his most important contribution to Philippine art has been to produce a body of works imbued with uncommon power and ingenuity is a given. As the leading light in contemporary Philippine sculpture, Abueva has blazed a trail that new generations of local artists have followed, explored, deviated from – all with the sum total of enriching the world of sculpture.

 

MAJOR WORKS OF NAPOLEON V. ABUEVA
 

Plating Rice
Baby Moses Floating Sculpture
Family Group
The Rice Planters
Moses
Kaganapan
Kiss of Judas
Alma Mater
Crucifix
Bird
Pres. Carlos P. Garcia Statue
Allegorical Harpoon
Flight
Tribute to Higher Education
U.P. Gateway
Divider and Reception Desk
Born Free
Water Buffalo
Play Sculpture
Ceremonial Urn at Dambana ng Kagitingan Cross
Dambana ng Kagitingan Reliefs
High Reliefs at Dambana ng Kagitingan Cross
Structure
Consummate Embrace
Tribute to the Filipino Entrepreneur
Ilohan
Bridge of Love
Woman’s World
Ring of the Gods
Torso
Homage to D.M. Consunji
The Vanishing Nobility of Man
Bagong Buhay
Family Group
Sculptured Bench
See Your Profile
Magtanim Hindi Biro
Three Graces
Transfiguration
Spirit of Business
Goodbye to Lateral Thrust
Column
Oblation
Mother and Child
Water Catapult (For the Burning Books of Alexandria)
Roses, Wine and a Woman to Dance in My Boat

Bench
Kalesa
Sunburst
Nine Muses
Tamaraw with Wings

Three Women Weaving
  The Filipino Flag


 
Narra
Wood
Wood
Wood
Albaster
Marble
Wood
Concrete Cast
Wood
Wood
Bronze
Wood
Molave
Concrete
Concrete
Wood and Metal
Wood and Iron
Marble
Reinforced Concrete
Reinforced Concrete
Marble
Reinforced Concrete
Wood and Iron
Bronze
Steel
Wood, Stone & Bronze
Reinforced Concrete
Marble
Stainless Steel
Adobe
Reinforced Concrete
Mulawin
Marble
Stainless Steel
Wood
Wood and Glass
Narra
Narra
Welded Brass
Concrete and Metal
Mixed Media
Wood
Concrete Cast
Marble
Wood, Bronze & Copper
Wood, Steel & Polymer
Fiberglass
Wood
Various Materials
Metal
Reinforced Concrete
Reinforced Concrete and
Fiberglass
Concrete and Marble
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