HomeExhibitions2020 Exhibitions1/50



OCTOBER 3, 2020


written by Gwen Bautista


The beginning of abstraction in the early 1900s had marked a significant change in the way the world has been represented through paintings. The visibility of movements inside a canvas would declare the arrival of an artist to intervene between the medium and the tradition of image-making. Painting remains to be an intimate and inward manifestation of the artist’s truths, hence, Jonas Eslao’s “1/50” is an introspection of his relationship with this.

Fifty diminutive works on canvas congregate in this exhibition to demonstrate Eslao’s firm control and command of the medium. Every line, gesture, and stroke appearing in each work is a record of the past, thus, a recollection of what the artist has presented over the years of his practice; reflecting on what art-making had set out into the world and what it sends back to the artist. Here, Eslao tries to reproduce, through memory, the paintings that he had made over the years. This venture in contemplation comes at a time when the pandemic forces us to stay inside our homes and ponder in solitude. The decision to produce smaller works during this period is a conscious selection to engage in a more familiar territory where one is free of the consequences and of worries brought by working with a large canvas. It is a response to a more private and ruminative environment; every piece epitomizes a phase in Eslao’s artistic life.

While the series may appear as an activity to audit the artist’s production history, the future belongs here as well. Within the same iterations are the concepts and ideas reserved for another time. “1/50” lets us become privy to the concealed undertaking of art-making that starts with putting together studies, drafts, and, the conceptualization of forthcoming works. Beyond the dynamics of art production, the exhibition encourages us to understand the feelings, the sentiments, and the abstract, but this dramatic seizing of life is expressed in visual forms. Eslao uses the language of abstraction to disseminate honest and candid commentaries about his practice. “1/50” marks a new day for remembering and living in this new world.