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Pacita Abad, L.A. Liberty, 1992. View of the exhibition Life in the Margins, Spike Island, Bristol, 2020. Courtesy the Pacita Abad Art Estate. Photo: Max McClure.

Pacita Abad, L.A. Liberty, 1992. View of the exhibition Life in the Margins, Spike Island, Bristol, 2020. Courtesy the Pacita Abad Art Estate. Photo: Max McClure.

This Walker-organized exhibition is the first-ever survey devoted to the work of Pacita Abad (US, b. Philippines, 1946–2004). Abad is best known for her trapunto paintings, a form of quilted painting the artist originated by stitching and stuffing her painted canvases as opposed to stretching them over a wood frame. Abad was prolific, making more than 5,000 artworks that traverse a diversity of subject matter, from tribal masks and social realist tableaus to intricately constructed underwater compositions and abstractions. With more than 80 major works—most of which have never been on view—the exhibition showcases her experiments in different mediums, including works on paper, ceramics, and costumes, alongside her paintings. Developed in close collaboration with the artist’s estate, the presentation celebrates the multifaceted work of an artist whose vibrant visual, material, and conceptual concerns are as urgent today as they were three decades ago.

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