Silverlens participated at the recently concluded Art Basel Miami Beach for the first time, showcasing in a solo booth the works of Filipino artist Norberto Roldan.
The presentation delivers a “powerful story of imaginative retelling” with the artist’s centerpieces from the series titled 100 Altars for Roberto Chabet, made between 2014 and 2023.
Roldan serves as the artistic director of the country’s longest-running independent and multi-disciplinary platform, Green Papaya Art Projects, which he cofounded at the turn of the millennium. In 2008, the building that housed the group’s archival materials and artworks burned in a tragic fire incident. Roldan managed to recover a few of the works, which he then restored and renovated with second-hand materials and architectural debris, specifically for Art Basel Miami Beach.
Showcased in the prestigious art event were altars inspired by the abstracted collages from the 1970s-80s of Roberto Chabet, recognized as the father of Filipino conceptual art. The mixed-media altars come alive in multiple layers of textures and symbols, “reflecting the spirit and struggles of the locales embedded in them.”
The presentation of the Roxas City native also included two large-scale tapestries, which take the form of Catholic ceremonial banners. The intricate imagery and found amulets reveal themselves as symbols of Filipino resistance, as the artist pays tribute to revolutionaries who used Catholic iconography as a disguise during the Philippine Revolution against the Spaniards, as well as a battle symbol during the subsequent Philippine-American War.
The theme aligns with Roldan’s practice that delves into the post-colonial conditions of the Philippines. He’s known to have a penchant for reflecting on the tumultuous historical and sociopolitical landscapes of his homeland, with his artistic journey characterized as a “profound exploration” of the liberation struggle.
Roldan’s presentation precedes his gallery show opening at Silverlens New York in May 2024, which will mark the artist’s maiden US solo exhibition.
This year’s Art Basel Miami Beach ran over the weekend. Tagged as North America’s most comprehensive international contemporary art fair, the annual event returned for its 21st edition, gathering art dealers, artists, collectors and art aficionados to celebrate modern and contemporary art from 277 galleries.
The venue for the 2023 Art Basel Miami Beach, the Miami Beach Convention Center in Florida, was divided into several sections, each with its curatorial focus. Silverlens’ Roldan showcase formed part of the Nova section, which featured 22 presentations from 22 galleries.
According to Artnews.com, art dealers reported robust attendance and strong sales at the 2023 Art Basel Miami Beach. Swiss contemporary and modern art gallery Hauser & Wirth, for one, was said to have sold on the first day of the fair a Philip Guston piece for $20 million.