B&B Italia Manila Showcases How Fine Arts and Furnishings Create Inspired Spaces
A collaboration between B&B Italia Manila and esteemed art curator and interior stylist Glenn Cuevo, the exhibit showcased the brand’s finest furnishings along with coveted works of art by Philippine National Artists: Fernando Amorsolo, HR Ocampo, Arturo Luz, Ang Kiukok, and BenCab; alongside Alfonso Ossorio, Ramon Orlina, Lao Lianben, Gerardo Tan, Ronald Ventura, Andres Barrioquinto, and Raffy Napay.
The Art of Curating Spaces
A visual experience in itself, the spaces featured in the exhibit were styled by one of B&B Italia Manila’s patrons, Glenn Cuevo, whose genuine love for the arts led him to be immersed in the local art community and within the network of some of the top artists in the Philippines.
For Cuevo, art is made with feelings and is made to elicit feelings. He looks at curating spaces the same way – balancing out aesthetics and functionality to develop inspired spaces that speak uniquely to the clients he works with.
Being an avid art collector and a proud owner of multiple B&B Italia pieces himself, Cuevo has developed an impeccable taste in design and an innate ability to beautifully combine art and furniture both in his home and his professional projects. Cuevo continues to make waves in the design industry, making him a go-to consultant for high-profile clients in Manila.
Made by Masters
A celebration of design in all its forms, the exhibit brought to light a whole new perspective on how art and home interiors can come together. Guests, art lovers, and design aficionados alike were invited to drop by to take a closer look at the extraordinary masterpieces from the Philippines’ most well-regarded artists including:
Fernando Amorsolo, known as “The Maestro” and the national artist for visual arts in the Philippines, is well-revered for his mastery of the integration of light in his paintings. Among the works to be displayed include Filipino Family (1952), Winnowing Rice (1962), and Lavanderas (1954) all of which offer a look into the daily lives of Filipinos, their rich cultural heritage, and the breathtaking rural landscapes of the Philippines. Amorsolo’s masterpieces were paired with the newest addition to the B&B Italia Manila showroom, the Atoll chaise longue.
National Artist for Visual Arts, Hernando R. Ocampo prides himself on being a self-taught artist. Ocampo’s works provided a glimpse into the social realities in the country following the Second World War and contributed significantly to the rise of the nationalist spirit in the post-war era. His abstract works, such as his Homage to the Heroes of 1896 (1974), left a mark on Philippine modern art. His canvases gracefully captured the lush Philippine landscape, its diverse flora and fauna, and bold colors. HR Ocampo’s modernist work, Homage to the Heroes of 1896 (1974) was on display with B&B Italia’s Mart armchairs – a testament to Ocampo’s and B&B Italia’s dedication to creativity and innovative design.
Arturo Luz, another Philippine National Artist, made his mark in the industry through his unmistakable minimalist, geometric, and abstract art style. His pieces, such as Kyoto (2018), Homage to Eusebio Sempere (2015), Anito (1960), Homage to Isamu Noguchi (2020), and Homage to Eduardo Chillida (2015), feature a unique play on lines in creating geometric abstractions of human figures and still-life objects.
Filipino expressionist painter, Ang Kiukok, is known for his colorful and striking paintings portraying a variety of cubist-like figures. As one of the pioneering modernist painters during the 60s, Ang Kiukok captured the terror and angst of the Martial Law years through his vivid and expressionistic works. The visually stimulating Woman (1968) gracefully harmonizes with the iconic Tufty-Too sofa by B&B Italia.
Benedicto Cabrera, or BenCab as he is more popularly known, is a celebrated painter and National Artist for Visual Arts in the Philippines. Cabrera’s works are primarily figurative, often depicting women bundled in swirling fabrics or capes. Several eye-catching pieces from BenCab including Tropical Rain (2013) and Thinking (2013) was on display in the showroom, incorporating a touch of local flair to B&B Italia’s pieces.
Filipino American abstract expressionist, Alfonso Ossorio, was a key figure in the development of Post War Modernist Art. Ossorio’s early works were mostly dominated by still life, portraits, and landscapes in a style that was often referred to as “super-realism”. Later on, he develops an artistic inclination to the themes of religion and spirituality – concepts that he explored more abstractly, as seen in his work on Country Walk (1974) which was featured in the exhibit.
Contemporary glass sculptor, Ramon Orlina, made his mark in the creative industry through his 40 years of contribution to modern art. As an architect, Orlina saw great potential in using Mediterranean glass to create sculptures and express visual imagery.
Orlina’s monoliths, including Good Fortune (2021) and Indomitable Spirit (2020) which were featured in the exhibit, explore the translucent yet smooth quality of glass through months of sculpting, reshaping, and grinding. Orlina sculptures, which have unique silhouettes and bright blue hues, add a touch of elegance and color across the floor around the B&B Italia Showroom.
Minimalist artist Lao Lianben’s works are often associated with the spirit and aesthetics of Zen. His pieces are marked by the detailed layering of various textures superimposed with objects found in nature. Lianben’s Stones and Man of Few Words (2009) was exhibited alongside the Tobi-Ishi table, a setup that pays homage to traditional Japanese culture and the timeless Zen style.
Multimedia artist Gerardo Tan is the Philippines’ National Representative for the Venice Biennale 2022. His pieces, including After Collage 2.12.17 (2017), revisit the endless possibilities of mixed media paintings by using a range of materials from traditional ones like oil and acrylic to commonplace ones like found photographs, dust, mirrors, and Bundy clocks. Tan’s After Collage 2.12.17 (2017) was displayed at the Art of B&B exhibit in a playful and eclectic setup completed by B&B Italia’s Camaleonda Sofa.
All photos from Tana Verzo