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Two Halves of a Whole

Two Halves of A Whole
Juvenal Sansó. Untitled (1950s). Crayon and tempera on paper. Fundacion Sansó Collection.

Patronage and patriotism in Philippine art

1 September – 23 December 2016

Two Halves of a Whole is the 5th exhibition from the multi-sited retrospective commemorating Juvenal Sansó’s 70 years of art practice. The show puts together the personal collection of Sansó which he donated to the Lopez Museum and Library in 1989 and those that formed the collection of Fundacion Sansó.

Of Spanish descent, Sansó arrived in the Philippines at a young age of 4. His eventually foray into studying the arts was diverse, with his instruction spanning from being a special student at the University of the Philippines (1948 – 1951), to L’Ecole des Beaux Art in Paris where he learned Fresco and Print Making. A considerable chunk of his life was spent in Manila, with him flying-in with some regularity, even while he was based in Paris.

A familiar figure in the arts early on, the artist had his first print retrospective at the Lopez Museum in 1989, a few months after a book was made under the initiative and support of Roberto M. Lopez. The book Sansó: Art Quest Between Two Worlds was written by eminent artist and writer Dr. Rod Paras-Perez, and was the first of a series of art book collaborations between Robby Lopez and Dr. Paras-Perez. These publications complemented exhibitions of Fernando Amorsolo and Lee Aguinaldo, among others.

Roberto M. Lopez is the youngest son of Eugenio Lopez Sr. He would have celebrated his 68th birthday last August 28. “Robby” as he was fondly remembered was a friend and supporter of Sanso in his earlier practice. This act of generosity was paid forward by Sanso in his donation of more than fifty prints and paintings from the 1950s to the 1970s.  Honoring the role of patronage and patriotism in the making of institutional collections, personal narratives and impassioned works come together to create a visual account that speaks of the generosity not only of the artist but also of his patron.