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It Seems We Have Developed A Taste for Each Other’s Weaknesses No. 19 (2021)

Pio Abad

ink and gouache on watercolour paper

Wolverhampton Art Gallery

It Seems We Have Developed A Taste for Each Other’s Weaknesses No. 19 (2021)

© Pio Abad. Photo credit: Wolverhampton Arts and Heritage

Details

Classification:

Drawing and Watercolour

Materials:

Ink, Gouache, Watercolour paper

Dimensions:

42 x 29.7 cm

Credit:

Presented by the Contemporary Art Society, 2021/22

Ownership history:

Purchased from the artist by the Contemporary Art Society, October 2021; presented to Wolverhampton Art Gallery, 2021/22
Pio Abad began his art education at the University of the Philippines, before studying at Glasgow School of Art and later at the Royal Academy Schools on the advice of his aunt, Pacia Abad. Working in a variety of media, from photography and drawing to textiles and installation, Pio’s work is tied together through style and themes of family, politics and material history. The series It Seems We Have Developed a Taste For Each Other’s Weaknesses consists of eighteen works on paper, depicting pill boxes from the collections of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. These were sourced from auction catalogues – a key place where the private becomes public. Abad began this work during a Covid-19 lockdown, among rising casualties, anxieties and economic uncertainty. He connects the global pandemic and how it has been felt with the consequences of neoliberalism as introduced by Thatcher and Reagan, whose policies of social austerity and deregulation of capital and labour have led directly to a decreased capacity to cope with national health crises. Wolverhampton Art Gallery were extremely pleased to acquire Abad’s work, as they felt his focus on social and political commentary matched the core thread of their contemporary collections, such as Pop art that reflects the Troubles in Northern Ireland, and their Black art collection. Wolverhampton Arts and Culture has the second largest collection of eighteenth-century enamels in the UK, mostly made in nearby Bilston, which was famous for this trade. It has an extensive collection of pillboxes, bonbonnieres, snuff boxes and other trinkets, many of which bear sentimental inscriptions similar to those in Abad’s work. Because of this, Abad’s work will help to bring fresh interpretation to the gallery’s enamels, allowing for the exploration of parallels between modern day power structures and those of the 1700s. They loved his approach: the work is witty and yet makes serious points about politics, power and today’s society.

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