Pacita Abad

Pacita Abad: Life in the Margins (2020)

Filipino American artist Pacita Abad’s (1946–2004) exuberant textiles long pre-date the current global pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement. But in their transnational outlook, the twenty large-scale textiles made between 1983 and 2002 selected for the first solo show of the artist in the UK feel acutely prescient. Extensive travels allowed Abad to incorporate textile techniques adopted from the local circumstances of her life. The monumental abstract work Life in the Margins (2002), for example, from which the exhibition title is borrowed, credits inspiration to both Indonesian batik and jazz music. Such eclectic cultural references epitomize Pacita Abad’s creative interests – but also raise the thorny question of just whose margins value is measured against...

exhibition review in the Surface Design Journal (autumn 2020)

images courtesy the Pacita Abad Art Estate. Photograph by Max McClure & courtesy of Spike Island.