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Pacita Abad

April 4, 2024 - September 2, 2024


A MThe first retrospective of artist Pacita Abad (b. Philippines, 1946–2004) will unfold across MoMA PS1’s third-floor galleries. Spanning the artist’s 32-year career, the exhibition includes more than 50 works—most of which have never been on public view in the United States prior to this exhibition—showcasing her experiments across mediums, including textiles, works on paper, costumes, and ceramics. Largely self-taught, Abad is best known for her trapuntos, quilted paintings made by stitching and stuffing her canvases as opposed to stretching them over a wood frame. After moving to the United States in 1970 to escape political persecution from the authoritarian Marcos regime, Abad sought to give visibility to political refugees and oppressed peoples through her work. “I have always believed that an artist has a special obligation to remind society of its social responsibility,” she said. Organized by the Walker Art Center in collaboration with Abad’s estate, the presentation celebrates the multifaceted work of an artist whose vibrant visual, material, and conceptual concerns push forward salient conversations around globalization, power, and resilience.

Pacita Abad is organized by the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. The exhibition is curated by Victoria Sung, Phyllis C. Wattis Senior Curator at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive and former Associate Curator, Visual Arts, Walker Art Center, with Matthew Villar Miranda, curatorial fellow, Visual Arts, Walker Art Center. The presentation at MoMA PS1 is organized by Ruba Katrib, Curator and Director of Curatorial Affairs, MoMA PS1, with Sheldon Gooch, Curatorial Assistant, MoMA PS1.

The exhibition is accompanied by the first major publication on Abad’s work, produced by the Walker. The volume is edited with text by Victoria Sung and includes contributions from Julia Bryan-Wilson, Nancy Lim, Ruba Katrib, Xiaoyu Weng, and Matthew Villar Miranda, as well as a comprehensive oral history by Pio Abad and Sung.


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Portrait of Pacita Abad taken during the opening of At Home And Abroad: 20 Contemporary Filipino Artists at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. 1998. Courtesy Pacita Abad Art Estate

Pacita Abad with Bacongo I (1983) in her Washington, DC, studio. 1986. Courtesy Pacita Abad Art Estate

Pacita Abad. Self-Portrait. 2003. 24-color paper pulp, mixed-media collage on shaped, handmade STPI paper assemblage. Produced at STPI – Creative Workshop & Gallery, Singapore. Courtesy Pacita Abad Art Estate and STPI

Pacita Abad. Spring Is Coming. 2001. Oil, painted cloth on stitched canvas. Courtesy Pacita Abad Art Estate

Pacita Abad. You Have to Blend In, before You Stand Out. 1995. Oil, painted cloth, sequins, buttons on stitched and padded canvas. Courtesy Pacita Abad Art Estate


Pacita Abad. L.A. Liberty. 1992. Acrylic, cotton yarn, plastic buttons, mirrors, gold thread, painted cloth on stitched and padded canvas. Collection Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; T.B. Walker Acquisition Fund, 2022. Courtesy Pacita Abad Art Estate and Spike Island, Bristol. photo: Max McClure

Pacita Abad. 100 Years of Freedom: Batanes to Jolo. 1998. Oil, acrylic, Philippine cloth (abaca, pineapple, jusi and banana fibers; Baguio ikat; Batanes cotton crochet; Ilocano cotton; Chinese silk and bead; Spanish silk, Ilongo cloth; Mindanao beads; Zamboanga and Yakan handwoven cloth and sequins) on stitched and dyed cotton fabric. Courtesy Pacita Abad Art Estate. Photo: Chunkyo In

Pacita Abad. Cross-cultural Dressing (Julia, Amina, Maya, and Sammy). 1993. Oil, cloth, plastic buttons on stitched and padded canvas. Courtesy Pacita Abad Art Estate and Spike Island, Bristol. Photo: Max McClure

Pacita Abad. Filipina: A Racial Identity Crisis. 1992. Lithograph with pulp-painted chinecollé and metallic powder on paper, edition of 40. Courtesy Pacita Abad Art Estate. Photo Rik Sferra for Walker Art Center

Pacita Abad. European Mask. 1990. Acrylic, silkscreen, thread on canvas. Courtesy Pacita Abad Art Estate and Tate. Photo: At Maculangan/Pioneer Studios

Pacita Abad. Old Dhaka. 1978. Oil on canvas. Courtesy Pacita Abad Art Estate. Photo: Rik Sferra for Walker Art Center

Installaon view of Pacita Abad:A Million Things to Say at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Manila, De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, 2018. Courtesy Pacita Abad Art Estate and MCAD Manila. Photo: At Maculangan/PioneerStudio