Pacita Abad: “I Thought the Streets Were Paved with Gold”

Italiano (Italian)

Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai 
8 September 2021-13 February 2022

‘Pacita Abad: I Thought the Streets Were Paved with Gold’ (until February 13, 2022), is the Middle East’s first solo exhibition by the revered, late Filipina artist and includes her exuberant signature works – from the colourful trapunto embroideries to major paintings, with a focus on four main bodies of work: Masks and Spirits series, the Immigrant Experience, the Door to life series and abstract works, plus archival material that plot her travels and practice.

The exhibition is accompanied by a range of free Tagalog resources available online and a series of ‘Mindful Making’ workshops that harness the wellness benefits of hands-on art-making. Ti Seymour leads two beginner’s sessions inspired by Abad’s textile-rich artworks: Saturday September 25 and Saturday October 16, 2021.

Known for her large scale, colorful ‘trapunto’ works, Pacita Abad (1946-2004) was a Philippine-American artist whose prolific oeuvre spanned continents and ranged from abstract forms to social realist depictions of everyday life in the U.S.A, the Philippines and elsewhere. Having lived and travelled widely across Asia and many parts of the world, Abad’s work is an amalgamation of techniques and subject matter drawn from her lived experiences and mostly worked in her signature trapunto technique of padding and stitching canvas before painting and layering it with textiles, printed objects and other materials such as jewelry, buttons, and shells.

This exhibition brings together a selection of her ‘trapunto’ paintings and is curated in collaboration with the Pacita Abad Art Estate and London based artist Pio Abad.

Born in the Philippines in 1946, Pacita Abad studied painting at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C. and the Arts Student League in New York.Her work has been featured in numerous solo exhibitions including: Life in the Margins, Spike Island, Bristol (2020); Pacita Abad: A Million Things to Say, Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Manila (2018); Circles in My Mind, Singapore Tyler Print Institute, Singapore (2003); Exploring the Spirit, National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta (1996); The American Dream, National Museum for Women in the Arts, Washington D.C. (1994); Masks from Six Continents, Metro Art Center, Washington D.C. (1990); Pacita Abad: A Painter Looks at the World, Museum of Philippine Art, Manila (1984) and Assaulting the Deep Sea, Ayala Museum, Manila (1983).

Her work can be found in the collections of Tate Modern, London; The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C., M+ Museum, Hong Kong, Art Jameel, Dubai and the National Gallery of Singapore.

She died in Singapore in 2004.


Pacita Abad, source: Jameel Arts Centre