When the enfant terrible poet and painter David Cortez Medalla left the Philippines for Europe in the 1960s, it fell to Roberto Chabet to keep the avant garde fires burning. His position as studio arts professor at the College of Fine Arts at the University of the Philippines and his stint as gallery director of the Cultural Center of the Philippines from 1967 to 1970 enabled him to pursue this mission.
Chabet’s works are meditations on space, the transitory nature of commonplace objects and the collisions that occur with their displacement. Chabet’s practice significantly dealt with the notion of repeating or working in a series. Chabet’s installations interrogate anxieties, apprehensions, and disturbances arising from collisions within the commonplace and the contemporary. Chabet sets up precise grids of colored canvases, attached to clipboards, geometries denoting the order underlying materiality, meaning, and meditation.