Lot #025

Pacita Abad

Inside the Saulog Bus
signed and dated 1981 (lower right)
oil on canvas
33” x 35” (84 cm x 89 cm)
Starting Bid : Php 300,000
HP + BP : Php 443,840
Provenance Private Collection, USA
Exhibited Museum of Philippine Art, “Pacita Abad: A Philippine Painter Looks at the World”, 16 February – 15 April, 1984
“Inside the Saulog Bus” was the first painting that Pacita did after her return to the Philippines in 1981. Her original idea was to create a series of social realism paintings about the Philippines, much as she had done in previous years during her stays in Bangladesh, Sudan / South Sudan, Thailand / Cambodia and the Dominican Republic. This painting came about after Pacita took the Saulog Bus from Manila to Baguio and sketched people waiting at the terminal and passengers sitting on the bus. When she returned from Baguio she then translated her sketches onto this canvas. This painting was later exhibited in 1984 at Pacita’s retrospective show “A Philippine Painter Looks at the World” curated by Arturo Luz at the Museum of Philippine Art (MOPA). Over the next few years Pacita continued her social commentary, street scenes series on both canvas and paper with titles like “Sampaguita Girl”, “Santo Domingo”, ”Manila’s Fashion Show”, “Madonna”, “Sampaloc Boys Taking a Shower”, and “Nora”. She followed this series with figurative and landscape paintings of her native Batanes, which were exhibited and curated by Ray Albano at CCP in 1985. However, with the growing political unrest in Manila, Pacita's paintings also became more political with titles like “Mendiola Bridge”, “Globe Steel Factory Strike”, “Political Prisoner”, “Malaya - Freedom of the Press”, and the "Death of Ninoy”. A number of these paintings were shown as part of the “Recent Figuration” exhibit curated by Agnes Arellano and her husband Michael at the Pinaglabanan Gallery in 1985. Her last figurative paintings were called “Pacita and Her Friends” which were shown at the Luz Gallery curated by Arturo Luz in late 1985. After Pacita left the Philippines in 1986, she focused on exploring her abstract, mixed media trapunto paintings and never returned to social realism painting again.