colourful mask

Pacita Abad, European Mask , 1990. Acrylic, silkscreen, thread on canvas. Tate: Purchased with funds provided by the Asia Pacific Acquisitions Committee 2019. Courtesy Pacita Abad Art Estate and Tate. Photo: At Maculangan/Pioneer Studios.

Pacita Abad

October 9, 2024 – January 19, 2025

Exclusive Members' Access starts October 9 - 11, 2024
Annual Pass Holder & Public Access starts October 12, 2024

Admission is always FREE for AGO Members, AGO Annual Pass Holders & Indigenous Peoples. Learn more.


The exuberant and wide-ranging works of the late Philippine-born artist Pacita Abad make their Canadian debut as part of her first retrospective. This acclaimed exhibition includes more than 100 artworks showcasing Abad's experiments in different mediums: textiles, works on paper, paintings, prints, and a range of archival material and studio ephemera. Much of Abad’s work is defined by her engagement in social justice and her exploration of materials. She is best known for her large-scale hanging trapuntos, a form of quilted painting made of stitched and stuffed canvas.

Fleeing the Marcos regime in the Philippines, Abad arrived in the United States in 1970. Largely self-taught, her work resonates with the various artistic communities she encountered on her global travels, incorporating a diversity of cultural traditions and techniques—from Korean ink brush painting to Indonesian batik. Under-recognized in her lifetime, her work is defined by her engagement with social justice and evolving material exploration. Organized by the Walker Arts Center in collaboration with Abad’s estate, the exhibition is curated by Victoria Sung, Phyllis C. Wattis Senior Curator at Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA), and former associate curator, Visual Arts, Walker Art Center; with Matthew Villar Miranda, curatorial associate at BAMPFA, and former curatorial fellow, Visual Arts, Walker Art Center. The AGO presentation will be organized by Renée van der Avoird, Associate Curator, Canadian Art.

Pacita Abad is organized by the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.


Pacita Abad (1946–2004) has been the subject of recent solo exhibitions, including I Thought the Streets Were Paved with Gold at the Jameel Arts Center, Dubai (2021); Life in the Margins at Spike Island, Bristol (2020); and A Million Things to Say at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Manila (2018). Her work has been featured in group exhibitions, including the 58th Carnegie International (2022); the Kathmandu Triennale 2077 (2002); the 13th Gwangju Biennale (2021); and the 11th Berlin Biennale (2020). Her work can be found in the collections of Tate Modern, London; M+ Museum, Hong Kong; and National Gallery of Singapore, among others. Her art and archives are managed by the Pacita Abad Art Estate in Los Angeles. 





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