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Artist Collection in Retrospect
Abstract artist Norberto Carating shares his life story

(July 2)–Norberto Carating: Artist Collection in Retrospect opens July 5 at Bulwagan ng Dangal at the University Library in UP Diliman.

The exhibition features the private collection of artist Norberto de Guzman Carating spanning 45 years of his painting career.

An icon in Philippine Non-Representational Art, Carating is best known for his large, square canvases and the use of the medium acrylic, more recently in metallic.

The collection comprises some 50 works that are “a signpost in the traffic of his life.” Prof. Ruben D. F. Defeo, in the accompanying book-catalogue writes:  “In making public his collection, Carating desires his viewers to accompany him as he walks through the depots and detours in his personal and professional life. He purposely selected and kept the pieces in the collection to point to the various axes of his journey.”

The exhibition’s curator-writer, Defeo is a professor at the College of Fine Arts and concurrent head of the UPD Information Office and the Office of Initiatives for Culture and the Arts (OICA).

The collection comprises works from Carating’s student days to his most recent works. The oldest is Bodegon, a 1967 student painting when he was at the UP College of Fine Arts (UP-CFA), to various works from his one-man and group shows, both local and international. Also featured are winning entries such as Lamanlupa 12, which was awarded the Grand Prize in the 26th Annual Competition of the Art Association of the Philippines (AAP) in 1973 and Barong-Barong, which garnered a 2nd Honorable Mention from the AAP in 1974.  Kulimlim, a pentatych he created in 1990 when he was named one of the Thirteen Artists by the Cultural Center of the Philippines, is also part of the collection.

Carating obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts major in Advertising from the CFA in 1970. Later, he became a voice scholar of the Music Promotion of the Philippines at the University of the East School of Music until 1979. At the peak of his career, Carating played key roles in musical productions as Minda Mora and Le Boheme that played not only to local audiences but toured Canada and the Unites States as well. His farewell performance was in 1985 as a lead baritone in the opera La Loba Negra at the CCP.

Returning to painting, he rediscovered acrylic, which became his preferred medium, and using it in non-traditional techniques. “…he would literally do away with brushes to apply pigment on canvass, squeeze them onto the canvass directly from the tube, or in a very playful and physical manner, throw the paint at the canvass, allowing accidents to happen and actually splatter myriad shapes and forms, texturizing the entire surface of the canvass,” Defeo writes.

The exhibit, which is dedicated to the memory of the artists parents—Rafael de Guzman Carating and Susan del Rosario de Guzman—is jointly undertaken by the Bulwagan ng Dangal and OICA and runs until September 30.