By Krizette Chu
National Artist for Sculpture Napoleon Abueva, 88, passed away yesterday morning.
The modernist sculptor, considered as the “Father of Modern Philippine Sculpture,” was the youngest National Artist awardee at 46.
He is widely credited for shaping the Philippine sculpture scene, using local and indigenous materials from hard wood like molave, acacia, ipil, and kamagong, to other more modern resources like metal, steel, cement, marble, bronze, and brass.
In 1951, he introduced an early innovation called buoyant sculpture, jutting out from the surface of a pool, and in 1980, was one of the first Filipinos to put up a one-man show at the Philippine Center in New York City, United States.
One of his pieces, “The Sculpture,” is at the United Nations headquarters in New York City.
Some of his major works include Eternal Garden Memorial Park, University of the Philippines Gateway (1967), Nine Muses (1994), UP Faculty Center, and Sunburst (1994) at the Peninsula Manila Hotel in Makati City.