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August 09, 2004

Roberto M.A. Robles defies and disturbs boundaries between painting and sculpture in his latest exhibition at the Galleria Duemila entitled “Rekindling – 47 Compositions of Colors And Forms in Relief Space” starting August 3. Featuring an array of large to small scale works done in acrylic and canvas, Robles’ autobiographical works attempt to cross lines separating the two and three dimensional forms of art, defying accepted notions of what constitutes both.

This exhibit, to paraphrase the artist’s statement, is not an array of mere paintings, pictures depicted on flat surfaces. It conceptually attempts to replicate the processes and principles of sculptural relief, producing paintings using three-dimensional principles. Thus, for instance, Robles paints over the sides of the painting as part of the space occupied by the entire work, viewing the painting as a type of relief work, where overlapping surfaces and planes are to be considered as three-dimensional, instead of two-dimensional, qualities.

In “Rekindling – 47 Compositions of Colors And Forms in Relief Space I”, for instance, the three-dimensional qualities of the painting plane are highlighted: texture here is more evident as thick dabs of dried acrylic paints imbue it with a semblance of movement. The intensity and concentration of the work’s colors, seemingly applied straight from the tube sans the nuances of mixing an entire palette from primaries, imbue a sense of solidity to the work. “Rekindling – 47 Compositions of Colors And Forms in Relief Space II” also draws along this same line, combining actual and implied surfaces. The work is separated by binary divisions of warm and cool colors. The picture plane is divided into two color places; one combining muted tones of burnt sienna, blues, and greens, while the other side contains warm colors such as crimson, ochres, yellows. At the center of the work, a blue rectangle is surrounded by swaths of warm tones, giving off an illusion of three-dimensionality – of being embossed — even though the surface is actually flat.

The artist’s series of rectangular works primarily painted in red tones, such as “Rekindling – 47 Compositions of Colors And Forms in Relief Space IV, V and XI”, are similarly imbued with an intense, compact aura, of being an entire sculptural work instead of a flat surface. Meanwhile, “Rekindling – 47 Compositions of Colors And Forms in Relief Space XII, ” when viewed from a distance, seems to be a staid and dark monochromatic, flat rod. Upon closer inspection, however, the viewer will perceive that the surface is actually a mixture of nuanced blues, purple, and the like. In other smaller works, literal reference to three-dimensionality are more evident, such as the use of actual strip of canvas attached to the plane and painted over, or the production of actual texture through this daubs of paint.

A former Dean of the University of the East (UE) College of Fine Arts, Robles completed his Master of Fine Arts, Major in Sculpture at the University of Tsukuba Institute of Art and Design, Japan. Robles has likewise served as a faculty member of the UE and the University of the Philippines Fine Arts Departments.

“Rekindling – 47 Compositions of Colors And Forms in Relief Space” opens at 6 p.m. on August 3, 2004 at the Galleria Duemila, 4/L, SM Megamall Bldg. A, Ortigas Complex, Mandaluyong City. For inquiries call Sheryll Torres or Edward Anda at 634-3261 or Silvana Diaz at 831-9990, telefax 633-6687/833-9815 or / You may also visit