Ofelia Gelvezón-Téqui’s approach in making images (prints and paintings) emanates from her profound knowledge of literary and visual arts which are culled from medieval manuscripts illustrations and biblical texts. Family life and losses, greed and corruption, the turbulent political climate, nature, and beauty of life actuates her subtle art works that even eccentric and political personas appreciate her art. The exhibit entitled Allegories and Realities Ofelia Gelvezón-Téqui: In Retrospect will open on February 22, 2020 at the Bulwagang Juan Luna (Main Gallery) of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) at 4:00pm. The exhibition runs until May 24, 2020 as part of the CCP’s 50th anniversary program.

One of my favorite pieces on display is the etching viscosity prints of the four horsemen of apocalypse as her take from the biblical texts. What I like on the pieces is that she takes reference on Philippine history and auspiciously embodied it in this particular art pieces. A more striking history in the Four Horsemen pieces is the way Ofelia Gelvezón-Téqui mirrors the martial law era in a profound form that I have never seen before. I have noticed how beautiful the colored print images tends to float in this art pieces.

Ma. Victoria T. Herrera, the exhibit curator, explains the 1980-etching, viscosity color printing of The First Horsemen.

Another pieces that caught my attention is about Anting-Anting. Ofelia Gelvezón-Téqui also incorporates folk religion in her works in which I myself quite fond of. What is interesting in her works on folk religion is how she vividly describes it that makes you wonder stories about Nardong Putik and the likes. The Anting-Anting is a print representation of a cloth vest that filipino warriors uses to protect themselves in battles believing that the Orasyon printed on the cloth deflects any weapon therefore making them invincible.

Paintings in the exhibits that touch my shallow heart is Ofelia Gelvezón-Téqui paint works on “Visions change, life evolves, age set in, and one learns to rim down.”

Ma. Victoria T. Herrera and Ofelia Gelvezón-Téqui

One of the earliest work of Ofelia Gelvezón-Téqui  was also on display. The photo below is a 1969 print work entitled “Target.” It won the Arts Association of the Philippines Award for Graphic Arts Category in 1969.

Altogether, there are diverse social convention and moral domain issues immortalized in a form of prints and paintings in this exhibit. I would like to say thank you to Ofelia Gelvezón-Téqui for providing us a copy of her work as a souvenir (shown below) and to CCP for inviting us in the press launch of Allegories and Realities Ofelia Gelvezón-Téqui: In Retrospect. I would like to invite everyone to visit the exhibit. It opens on February 22, 2020 and runs until May 24, 2020 as part of Cultural Center of the Philippines 50th

Text and Photos by Alvin Palanca.