27 Aug 1924 - 2 Jun 1984
Described as a transnational artist, Spanish-Filipino painter Fernando Zóbel (1924-1984) thrived in different cities in diverse continents. He witnessed and was influenced by major art movements as they were occurring in the Philippines, the United States and Spain—the beginnings of modern art in the work of Filipino artists, the rise of Abstract Expressionism in New York, and the growth of abstract painting in Spain. In Manila where he was born, Zóbel was one of the key figures in the introduction and education of modern art, especially in non-objectivism in the 1950s. When he settled in Spain in 1960, he found collegiality and identity in the company of his generation of Spanish artists. The Spanish Ministry of Culture awarded Zóbel with the Gold Medal for Merit in the Fine Arts in 1983; and, in 2006 the Philippine government paid homage with a posthumous Presidential Medal of Merit. With these honors, both countries celebrate and recognize the contributions and legacy of Fernando Zobel to generations of Filipino and Spanish artists.
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