By Albino C. Gamba Jr., photo by Jefferson Villacruz
(FEB. 26)— National Artist for Visual Arts Benedicto Cabrera, more popularly known as BenCab, formally turned over a painted metal sculpture to UP’s University Art Collection (UAC).
The sculpture, Variations on Sabel, is made of eight pieces of painted aluminum panels arranged in three groupings. The arrangement of panels overlaps to create new patterns or openings.
The donation was BenCab’s response to the clarion call of UP College of Fine Arts (UPCFA) retired professor Rubén D.F. Defeo to UP alumni artists and friends to endow the UAC with significant works, which the artists themselves would select.
Defeo, the resident curator of the Bulwagan ng Dangal, and Dannie Alvarez of the BAFI facilitated BenCab’s donation to UP.
The turnover was held at the UP Theater Lobby on Feb 16 coinciding the celebration of the UP Diliman Month and the National Arts Month. UP President Alfredo E. Pascual and UPD Chancellor Michael L. Tan received the sculpture and the deed of donation.
The event also marks BenCab’s 50th year as a visual artist. Various exhibitions of his works were lined up by the BenCab Art Foundation Inc. (BAFI) in the leading museums within Metro Manila such as the Cultural Center of the Philippines, UP Vargas Museum and the Metropolitan Museum. BenCab attended the UPCFA from 1959 to 1963. He was conferred the degree of Doctor of Humanities, honoris causa by the University on Jun 19, 2009.
The permanent site for the sculpture will be at the front lawn of the UP Theater. The University, in close coordination with BenCab, will design a shelter/cover for the outdoor installation of the artwork to protect it from the damaging effects of the elements.