Remembering National Artist Napoleon Abueva on his 91st birth anniversary

Napoleon Abueva

National Artist for Sculpture (1976)
(January 26, 1930 – February 16, 2018)

At 46 then, Napoleon V. Abueva, a native of Bohol, was the youngest National Artist awardee. Considered as the Father of Modern Philippine Sculpture, Abueva helped shape the local sculpture scene to what it is now. Being adept in either academic representational style or modern abstract, he has utilized almost all kinds of materials from hardwood (molave, acacia, langka wood, ipil, kamagong, palm wood and bamboo) to adobe, metal, stainless steel, cement, marble, bronze, iron, alabaster, coral and brass. Among the early innovations, Abueva introduced in 1951 was what he referred to as “buoyant sculpture” — sculpture meant to be appreciated from the surface of a placid pool. In the ’80s, Abueva put up a one-man show at the Philippine Center, New York. His works have been installed in different museums here and abroad, such as The Sculpture at the United Nations headquarters in New York City.

Nine Muses of the Arts

Some of his major works include Kaganapan (1953), Kiss of Judas (1955),Thirty Pieces of SilverThe Transfiguration (1979), Eternal Garden Memorial Park, UP Gateway (1967), Nine Muses (1994), UP Faculty Center, Sunburst (1994)-Peninsula Manila Hotel, the bronze figure of Teodoro M. Kalaw in front of National Library, and murals in marble at the National Heroes Shrine, Mt. Samat, Bataan.


Napoleon V. Abueva

National Artist for Sculpture Napoleon Abueva (Photo credits: Documentary on the story of the Philippine national artist for sculpture, Napoleon Abueva by Katrina Ventura)

National Artist, recognized “Father of Modern Philippine Sculpture” and esteemed alumnus of the UP College of Fine Arts Napoleon Abueva passed away Friday morning, February 16, at the age of 88. Continue reading