Lorina Tayag Capitulo, Soler, Jonathan Joven, Epjey Pacheco, Ronson Culibrina, John Marin, Elmer Borlongan, Jill Arteche, Fernan Odang, Chad Montero, Pinggot Zulueta, Darel Javier, Charlie Co, Daniel Palma Tayona, Peque Gallaga, Cj Tañedo, Ben Albino, Rene Cuvos
14 November 2020
Curated by Elmer Borlongan
Drawing out the Line’s Possibilities
Making a line on a surface may be the oldest form of art—and the earliest mode of communication. For our forebears, to extend this line (to draw it out) meant that they could replicate, transmit, and preserve a world, as conveyed by the Upper-Paleolithic cave drawings that still have the ability to mesmerize with how lucid and radiant they represent the animal kingdom.
Drawing, in its direct application of marks of a usually monochromatic pigment, continues to enthrall for its immediate translation of the artist’s ideas onto any ground they so choose—a continuity of a long, unbroken tradition which began when an early man scratched a piece of ochre onto a cave wall.
In Stretch Marks, a group show curated by Elmer Borlongan, drawing takes on a central focus as still one of the most relevant forms of art-making. Though he has established himself as a painter (and one of the most accomplished there is), Borlongan acknowledges the foundational role of drawing not merely as a preparatory work for painting (from the initial sketches to the grids on canvas) but as a way of imagining the world with its unique vocabulary of densities, shadings, tonalities, hatchings, and rounding of forms in space.
Taking part in the show are Ben Albino, Chad Montero, Charlie Co, CJ Tañedo, Daniel Palma Tayona, Darel Javier, Borlongan, Epjey Pacheco, Odang, Jill Arteche, John Marin, Jonathan Joven, Lorina Tayag Capitulo, Peque Gallaga, Pinggot Zulueta, Rene Cuvos, Ronson Culubrina, and Soler. Tayona and Gallaga are participating posthumously.
A cursory look at the names instantly reveals a group of artists known for a wide variety of material, stylistic, and thematic preoccupations and yet all of them convinced in the distilling capacity of drawing to reveal the essences of things through the quickened action of the wrist—from the silhouette of the female form to the abstract contemplations of geometry.
As a tangential extension of the show, “Take a Line for a Walk,” which Borlongan curated at the UP Vargas Museum three years ago, drawing is presented as both the journey and destination to the imaginative aim of the artist: a complete and self-sustaining work. It seeks to present the ways in which drawing could be executed in contemporary times: from its enduring role of capturing a slice of objective reality, to notating thoughts and ideas, to prompting experimental approaches in the use of material beyond the conventional graphite, ink, and paper.
Stretch Marks orients the attention of the viewer toward the ambition of drawing in a grand scale: not merely as finger exercise but as the gestural record of a world descriptive of both inner visions and external phenomena, fluent in winding lineation or hectic layering, at peace with the white space or in direct subversion of it. The participating artists did not only take the line for a walk: they spin it, they dance with it, and they run away with it as far as the mark could be stretched toward infinity.
-Carlomar Arcangel Daoana