signed and dated 1983 (lower left)
oil on board
28" x 25" (71 cm x 64 cm)
Provenance: Private Collection, Manila
Alfredo Roces wrote that the late Cesar Legaspi was “a painter who was an important part of an informal school of artists who became known as the moderns in the ‘40s and ‘50s but who then continued to paint through rapidly changing chapters in Philippine history from the ‘60s to the early 90s when he triumphantly gained recognition as National Artist.”
Showing a nude figure without sexualizing it—just the pure abstracted nature of bodies—is rare in art. Legaspi’s nudes, full-body or partial, ranged from the representational to abstractions.
Here, the colors are in a palette of earthy tones—black, brown, ochre, red, and orange. Here the colors and form of the figure suggest that it is undergoing such tension and torment, spontaneously executed and conveying more abstract thoughts. The artist’s peculiar approach tends to lapidify his forms because of a central allegory operating in his works: man against nature is a struggle which often results in man and nature merging as one, as in stone sculpture depicting human forms.