Pacita Abad

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Pacita Abad
Pacita Abad.jpg
Born Pacita Abad
October 5, 1946
Basco, Batanes, Philippines
Died December 7, 2004(2004-12-07) (aged 58)
Batan Island, Philippines
Education Corcoran School of Art, Art Students League of New York
Known for Painting
Ati-Atihan (1983). Acrylic on stitched and padded canvass.
Filipina: A racial identity crisis (1990). Acrylic, handwoven cloth, dyed yarn, beads, gold thread on stitched and padded canvass.
The Painted Bridge

Pacita Abad (October 5, 1946 – December 7, 2004) was born in Basco, Batanes, a small island in the northernmost part of the Philippines, between Luzon and Taiwan. Her more than 30-year painting career began when she traveled to the United States to undertake graduate studies. She exhibited her work in over 200 museums, galleries and other venues, including 75 solo shows, around the world. Abad's work is now in public, corporate and private art collections in over 70 countries.


Abad earned a BA in political science at the University of the Philippines in 1967. In 1970, she went the United States intending to study law, but instead earned a degree (MA) in Asian History at Lone Mountain College (University of San Francisco) in 1972. While in California, she married a Stanford MBA student, Jack Garrity, who became an international development economist.[1] Abad studied painting at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C. and The Art Students League in New York City. She lived on 5 different continents and worked in more than 80 countries, including Guatemala, Mexico, India, Afghanistan, Yemen, Sudan, Mali, Papua New Guinea, Cambodia and Indonesia.


Her early paintings were primarily figurative socio-political works of people and primitive masks. Another series was large scale paintings of underwater scenes, tropical flowers and animal wildlife. Pacita's most extensive body of work, however, is her vibrant, colorful abstract work - many very large scale canvases, but also a number of small collages - on a range of materials from canvas and paper to bark cloth, metal, ceramics and glass. Abad created over 4,000 artworks. She painted a 55-meter long Alkaff Bridge in Singapore and covered it with 2,350 multicolored circles.

Abad developed a technique of trapunto painting (named after a quilting technique), which entailed stitching and stuffing her painted canvases to give them a three-dimensional, sculptural effect. She then began incorporating into the surface of her paintings materials such as traditional cloth, mirrors, beads, shells, plastic buttons and other objects.


The Fundacion Pacita Batanes Nature Lodge in Basco, Batanes, "was lovingly refurbished by her brother", Butch Abad.[2]


"I always see the world through color, although my vision, perspective and paintings are constantly influenced by new ideas and changing environments. I feel like I am an ambassador of colors, always projecting a positive mood that helps make the world smile."[3]

- Pacita Abad

See also[edit]


  • Pacita Abad; M Teresa Lapid Rodriguez; Montclair State University Art Galleries. Palay (rice) : Trapunto murals by Pacita Abad (Upper Montclair, N.J. : Montclair State University Art Galleries, 2001) OCLC 48787832
  • "Pacita Abad: Exploring the Spirit", Text by Ian Findlay-Brown (Hardcover, 1996), ISBN 979-95029-0-X, ISBN 978-979-95029-0-2
  • "Pacita Abad: Abstract Emotions", Text by Alice Guillermo (Hardcover, 1998), ISBN 978-979-95424-0-3
  • "Pacita Abad: Door to Life", Text by James T. Bennett (Hardcover, 1999), ISBN 978-979-95029-1-9
  • "Pacita Abad: The Sky is the Limit", Text by Tay Swee Lin (Hardcover, 2001), ISBN 978-981-04-3407-6
  • "Pacita Abad: Endless Blues", Text by Ian Findlay-Brown (Hardcover, 2002), ISBN 978-981-04-7128-6
  • "Pacita Abad: Circles in My Mind", Text by Cid Reyes (Hardcover, 2003), ISBN 978-981-04-9418-6
  • "Pacita Abad: Obsession", Text by Ian Findlay-Brown and Ruben Defeo (Hardcover, 2004), ISBN 978-981-05-1549-2
  • "Pacita's Painted Bridge", Photos by Michael Liew, text by Jack Garrity (Hardcover, 2004), ISBN 978-981-05-1020-9
  • "A Passion to Paint: The Colorful World of Pacita Abad", Text by Jack Garrity (Paperback, 2004)


  1. ^ Thelma B. Kintanar, Sylvia Mendez Ventura, Self-Portraits 2: Fourteen Filipina Artists Speak (Ateneo de Manila University Press 1999): pp. 3-22.
  2. ^ "Fundacion Pacita Batanes Nature Lodge, Basco, Batanes, Philippines". Fundacion Pacita. Retrieved 2013-04-26. 
  3. ^ "A Passion to Paint: The Colorful World of Pacita Abad". The World Bank, Art Program Exhibition & Events. Retrieved 2013-04-26. 

External links[edit]