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These 9 Art Galleries Offer A Glimpse of The Best of Present-day Local Contemporary Art

The third edition of ALT Philippines gathers nine art galleries showcasing the ever-evolving art scene in the country.

The hustle and bustle of modern-day Manila matches the vibrance of its many cultural offerings on the daily—including the myriad of art exhibitions sprouting all over the city. And each one introduces a different concept and curation, new names to watch out for, and outstanding pieces that boast of our distinctive and flourishing local talent. The upcoming ALT Philippines, now on its third edition, shares the same goal of presenting the best in the ever-thriving scene within a shared hall of over 2,500 sq.m. full of stories in paint, digital media, and other forms.


Happening from February 21 to 25 at the SMX Hall 4 of the SM Mall of Asia Complex, ALT 2024 promises to bring the “greatest breathing space for art”—boasting of a never-before-seen integrated design approach that elevates the whole viewing experience. Included in this year’s roster are nine galleries that tackle art in different forms, each highlighting their respective lineup of artists using varied creative methods and media. Delve more into these collectives and find out what you can expect from their showcase—from thought-provoking styles to compelling depictions and more.


Artinformal

Creative director Tina Fernandez has been championing cutting edge art, thus encouraging more artists to explore their talent through talks, artists interviews, and workshops. Through launching such activities through Artinformal, the gallery have nurtured these individuals to become some of the most iconic and influential in the industry. For their ALT exhibit, their look back on their 2020 theme “Materials of the Artist”, where their lineup share fascinating insights from their studios—from obscure mediums like sandpaper drawings and cracked elastomeric paintings to traditional ones like oil painting and ceramics utilized in new, unexpected ways.


Blanc

Artists with both vision and skill are worthy of a seat at Blanc, catering to the fearless and innovative. And 34 individuals from their roster will rise and present their respective pieces, offering challenging works that tell their tales like music. “Like listening to music, looking at art provides you with a feeling or reminds you of a place,” founder Jay Amante explains. “Our exhibits are connected to music in the sense that the sentimental and the instinctive are the spice of life.”


The Drawing Room

Initially a specialist venue revitalizing works on paper, The Drawing Room found a sweet spot in discovering and presenting various artistic formats. Thus, visitors will find multidisciplinary artforms within the gallery’s showcase by their roster of 30 mid-career artists, with seven among them diasporic, each with consistent track records. Director Jun Villalon handpicked the selection himself, promising a display teeming of taste and experience.


Finale Art File

Veteran gallerists Evita Sarenas and Sylvia Gascon spearheaded Finale Art File’s showcase for this year’s ALT with an exciting two-part show that will be highly anticipated by the art-loving crowd. The first part lingers on figurative works by their lineup of well-established and promising mid-career artists. The display will then be rehung to present landscapes for the second part.


Galleria Duemila

Proudly handling works by masters of the early 20th century as well as local and foreign contemporary artists, Galleria Duemila has been a legendary name in the art field. Founder Silvana Diaz’s criteria is specific, looking for “intellectuality of the artist, new ideas, social relevance, originality in composition, and fun pieces with complex construction.” Visitors to the gallery’s showcase will find exactly just that— an exciting mix of soot paintings, marble sculpture, textile art, a massive monoprint, metal assemblage, and other beautiful paintings that reflect what modern-day art is.


MO_Space

MO_Space champions original, avant garde, and ultra-contemporary—and expect nothing less for their ALT 2024 spectacle. Artist and gallerist Mawen Ong led the curation, which will evoke “powerful ideas executed with a very analog approach”. The gallery will mount 14 solo shows, which will include MM Yu’s drip paintings organized into a puzzle-like sculptural form, Henrielle Pagkaliwanag’s five-foot long prints, new versions of Gerry Tan’s “Forgetting Sugimoto” series, and Jan Balquin’s optical illusions of exterior walls painted in photorealist style. 


Underground

Since its launch in 2015 by entrepreneur Manny de Castro, Underground has been a space for artists who deviates from the typical. Going for the brave and unconventional, extraordinary and vanguard, find works of their 29 participating artists of various ranks and pedigrees that helm bolder concepts in new light.


West Gallery

For 35 years, West Gallery has been on the forefront of local art, supporting several artists in the field that launched them from emerging to established names. Ingrained with a mission to encourage artists in discovering their voice and nurturing their growth until they find their place in the art world, the gallery continues to offer a glimpse of our colorful art landscape with 21 contemporary artists under their wing joining ALT 2024. Their theme, described as a capsule of Filipino art, will present a tasteful mix of conceptual, social realist, and abstract portraiture, and other genres.


Vinyl on Vinyl

Putting emphasis on unexplored genres, Vinyl on Vinyl have been displaying post-internet, kinetic art, street art, pop surrealism, animation, sound art and interactive installation for its showcases. Their presentation for ALT is no different, with Gaby dela Merced and Pia Reyes gathering works by the gallery’s resident artists as well as younger artists, some of whom evolved into the visual arts from other disciplines. They are also bringing Indonesian artist group Ace House Collective’s unique art approach to introduce to the ALT Philippines crowd.


Apart from the main galleries, ALT 2024 will also stage Special Project Exhibits, Live Performance, a Conversations Series, and a Silent Auction for collaborations with Univers. For more information, visit altphilippines.com or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.