Painter VC Igarta dies at 89
- Juaniyo Arcellana () - June 3, 2000 - 12:00am

Expatriate Filipino painter Venancio C. Igarta died June 1 in New York City.

Born in Sinait, Ilocos Sur, VC Igarta came to the US as a migrant worker in the 1930s. He was of the same generation as the poet Jose Garcia Villa, who also died in New York four years ago. On the wall of the painter's studio/apartment hangs a note from Villa encouraging him to send his works to a New York gallery.

Perhaps best known for his 1940 painting "Northern Exposure," which evoked memories of the home country. Fortune magazine described the painting as "exceptional (and) which shows mastery of line, with a fresh romanticism of colors."

Writer Eileen Tabios described VC Igarta as "one of the geniuses in Filipino and American art history-- a master painter and colorist ... long touted as the only Filipino who exhibited at the New York Metropolitan Museum."

She adds: "VC Igarta has used up to a dozen color fields which he overlays against each other to create a 'transparency of effect'."

VC Igarta was known to shun the openings of his own art exhibitions, fearing that the viewer might judge his paintings by the color of his skin. He has exhibited with the likes of Leger, Man Ray, Ben Shahn, Rufino Tamayo and perhaps De Kooning.

At one point, there were reports that he had burned all his paintings. But this was proven to be just a rumor when all his old paintings, including "Northern Exposure," were discovered months ago as dirty, rolled up canvasses buried in his studio when some writer friends did some spring cleaning.

On the day of his death, VC Igarta had another show scheduled to open at the American Arts Centre with James Kuo, Ted Kurahara and Seong Moy. Entitled Milieu Part III, the show runs through July 15.

One of the last things he wrote addressed to Tabios was: "Perhaps Life is a Dream. After all we Dream endlessly till the End."

AMERICAN ARTS CENTRE BEN SHAHN DE KOONING EXPATRIATE FILIPINO IGARTA ILOCOS SUR JAMES KUO JOSE GARCIA VILLA MAN RAY NEW YORK
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with