Photo Max McClure/Courtesy Pacita Abad EstateThese two exhibitions may have effectively fueled an Abad mania that is being felt worldwide.
The new fervor for Abad’s work will reach a fever pitch in 2023, when the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis stages the first-ever U.S. survey devoted to her.
Fitting her into one movement is impossible, but art history exists in multiples, after all—artists of different genders, different races, and different nationalities respond to the same events in vastly different way.
As an understanding of this grows among curators and scholars, Abad’s work, with its emphasis on global living today as a prismatic, joyous, and multi-perspectival thing, is gaining new prominence.
To make these works, Abad relied on a technique she called trapunto, which involved stuffing and stitching her canvas, creating richly textured three-dimensional objects that marry traditional craft techniques with painterly ones.