The Metropolitan Museum of Manila mourns the passing of our founding director and National Artist, Arturo Luz. An acclaimed painter, sculptor, and printmaker, he is known for his geometric abstracts and linear compositions in which his more than sixty-year career made an invaluable achievement in Philippine modernism and design.
Luz served as the museum’s director from 1976 to 1986 and established set principles in museum work informed by his unique minimalist aesthetic. Just like his art, his curatorial work espoused a sharp and polished finish, mounting a total of 108 exhibitions in ten years. Luz lended a hand in keenly rearranging the pieces according to his design sense, preferring clean white spaces with little ornamentation and discrete labels.
His contribution to arts administration also extended to his appointment as the first executive director of the Design Center of the Philippines (DCP) in 1973, a position he served for fourteen years. Under his leadership, the DCP promoted the development of new products out of local raw materials, created programs that empowered design professionals, and established the country’s handmade paper and buri furniture industry. Luz was also the inaugural director of the sister museum of the MET, the Museum of Philippine Art (MOPA), which showcased Philippine art in the 70's. As curator and founder, he managed the Luz Gallery, which operated for more than four decades and had significantly influenced the development of Philippine art through the years.
A prolific artist who helped develop and propel art since the 1960s, Arturo Luz is a true luminary in Philippine art and its history, whose influence is deeply felt until today
Photo credits: Arturo Luz: a retrospective (1995)