‘Cloud Canyons’ artist David Medalla passes away


Posted at Dec 30 2020 08:29 PM

Visual artist David Medalla. Facebook: Ateneo Art Gallery

MANILA — Filipino avant-garde artist and kinetic art pioneer David Medalla has passed away, his partner, curator Adam Nankervis, announced.

He was 82.

“David has left us to enter the dream. Dave passed away gently in his sleep in Manila today,” Nankervis wrote in a Facebook post on Monday.

“His spirit has transcended and moved so many artists, friends, strangers and the art loving public over time and space, inspired by his genius as an artist, poet, activist, wit, philosopher and raconteur. His curiosity, joy, his immense curiosity, his alchemical spirit knew no bounds.”

Medalla was a child prodigy who held his first lecture at the age of 12 in the University of the Philippines. At 14, he was admitted to Columbia University in New York.

By the 1960s, Medalla’s works started catching the attention of European curators, marking his steady rise in the art scene. In 1998, he co-founded with Nankervis the London Biennale, an exhibition “open to every artist regardless of age, sex, ethnic origin, and artistic language or style.”

Medalla is best known for his iconic “Cloud Canyons” series of sculptures that emit soap bubbles — an endeavor that has been described as the first “auto-creative art.”