Galleria Duemila caps its calendar year with a solo show by Edwin Wilwayco, one of the country's most notable lyrical abstract painters.
"In Nature’s Realm" assembles the latest works of the Rhode Island-based painter, featuring 36 abstract paintings that had their beginnings from his countless immersions in New England's woodlands. It follows his show titled “Second Nature” at Galleria Duemila in 2011, which elaborates his thoughts of man’s interactions with nature.
From his daily walks across Providence to visits the forests of Vermont and Massachusetts, the area’s landscape has become a point of departure for his recent ventures on canvas.
Oak, red pine and spruce: the trees of this celebrated territory have shaded his meditative walks. They may not completely figure into his paintings, but the trees - caught at the moment of change at the turn of the seasons - do establish the contemplative atmosphere in his works. The soothing, calmness evoked is palpable in works such as "Night of the North Wind" and "Misty Mountain" and "So Quietly the Earth". Others such as “Loon Lake Arising” and “Secret Pond” put forward quiet musings on the banks of the woodlands’ hidden waters.
Recalling the forest's very own strata - canopy, understory, floor and undergrowth - Wilwayco lays down his images onto burlap, layer upon layer, slow stroke upon stroke, in an array of gestures - brushing and swabbing, lining and combing - to generate its multi-dimensional, many textured quality. Graphic details such as lines and light spots suggest sunrays breaking through the leaves which accentuate the pensive mood of his work.
What results are hallmarks of self-reflective exercise, an encounter with the spiritual from seed to finish. But more than records of Wilwayco's own prayerful journeys, here are reminders for us who are held captive by the hustle and bustle of the workaday world.
This affinity for nature comes as no surprise for an abstractionist such as Wilwayco. As art critic Cid Reyes notes, these paintings “are emanations of his ardor and passion for nature, rooted in the landscape paradigm of so many abstractionists, from Hans Hoffman … to Jackson Pollock.” As such, Wilwayco can with authority implore a revisiting of the still and the spiritual. Indeed, this latest suite of works reminds us to keep open a space for contemplation and to let the quiet come in. Perhaps it does not require a lot. One may begin by simply just stepping out the door.
About the artist:
Edwin Wilwayco (b. 1952, Guimba, Nueva Ecija) is a Filipino artist currently based in Providence, Rhode Island, USA where he lives with his wife and only daughter. He studied fine arts at the University of the Philippines in Diliman and was British Council scholar for painting at West Surrey College of Art. He is also a CCP Thirteen Artists Awardee. His work has been shown extensively in galleries in the Philippines and overseas, including Germany, Sweden, the Baltics, Singapore and the United States. In September 2013, he is scheduled to exhibit at Chabot Fine Art Gallery in Providence.