The Legacy:
Selected Works from the Wili and Doreen Fernandez Art Collection
June 16 – August 20, 2010

Vicente Manansala;(Mixed Media) "Barong Barong on Reed Sun" 1966

Pre–Centennial exhibition

The exhibition is DLSU’s pre–centennial exhibition featuring an array of 100 outstanding works from the Wili and DoreenFernandez Art Collection of The Museum at De La Salle University.

The exhibition celebrates the aesthetic legacy of Wili and Doreen Fernandez with their exceptional art collection. The collectors’ dedication of collecting truly exceptional works of the 11 National Artists and some prominent Filipino modern and contemporary artists to Philippine visual arts inspired us to create the exhibition. Featured works are composed of different media such as paintings, prints, drawings, and sculptures.


  • To inspire the viewers of the aesthetic legacy of Wili and Doreen Fernandez with their art collection, as a dedication to the preservation of truly exceptional works of Filipino artists.
  • To be able to gain insight into the types of art that brings joy to the most faithful supporters of the modernists and contemporary artists in the country.
  • To be proud of the Filipino artists creativity as presented in artworks of varied subjects using different media.

Exhibition notes

The pre–centennial exhibition of The Museum at De La Salle University is a collection of 100 significant works of Modernists to Philippine visual arts, including masterpieces by National Artists.

In 2003, the heirs of Wili and Doreen Fernandez decided to give honor to the couple and ensure the preservation of their art collection, consisting of 416 artworks, by bequeathing all these to De La Salle University.

The administrator of the collection, Gabriel Besa, nephew of the late Doreen Fernandez, decided to make the couples’ collection accessible to the public and chose De La Salle University to be the venue for the art collections’ exhibition.

It was the couple’s desire that the works be used as resource materials for education, accessible not only to the academic community but to the public as well. The couple derived enormous pleasure and intellectual stimulation from the daily contact they had with their paintings, prints, drawings, and sculptures, and they wanted to share this experience with others.

Spanning from the late 50s until the 80s, the works from the WDF Art Collection illustrate major movements and styles in Philippine art history. Some of collection’s earliest acquisitions are masterpieces by National Artists, some of which, at the time, did not have their title yet. This indicated the couple’s eye for excellent works of art.

The acquisitions of Wili and Doreen Fernandez are a mirror of their exquisite taste for Modern art. These collection included works of National Artists namely, Fernando Amorsolo, Carlos "Botong" Francsico,Vicente Manansala, Cesar Legaspi, H.R. Ocampo, Arturo Luz, J. Elizalde Navarro, Ang Kiukok, Jose Joya, Benedicto "Bencab" Cabrera, and Federico Aguilar-Alcuaz; Filipino Modernist, Anita Magsaysay-Ho, and other prominent Filipino artists like Pandy Aviado, Pablo Baens-Santos, Roberto Chabet, Araceli Dans, Mauro Malang Santos, Fernando Modesto, Onib Olmedo, Manuel Rodriguez, Sr., Juvenal Sanso, Solomon Saprid, and Fernando Zobel.

Among the featured National Artists in the exhibit is Fernando Amorsolo (1982–1972; National Artist for Painting in 1972), the first National Artist and one of the important artists in the history of Philippine Arts. He loves to portray the landscape of the Philippines and the Filipino people. Amorsolo is also known with his images of mother and child, dalagang bukid, workers in the field or engaged in other labor, images of fiestas, festivals, and other activities that are part of Filipino culture.

Carlos "Botong" Francisco (1914–1969; National Artist for Painting in 1973) also known as the "Poet of Angono", belonged to the first generation of modernist painters who formed the first "Triumvirate" together with Galo Ocampo and Victorio Edades. They attempted to change the direction of Philippine Art from the classical influence of Amorsolo towards the modernists’ technique. Botong’s works on exhibit are studies that were used later on for his murals, which he is known for.

Vicente Manansala (1910–1981; National Artist for Painting in 1981) developed the style of transparent cubism–geometric faceting of forms and shifting and overlapping of planes.

Cesar Legaspi (1917–1994; National Artist for Painting in 1990) belonged to the so–called "Thirteen Moderns". Legaspi made used of geometric fragmentation technique. His works are also emphasized by his use of colors.

H.R. Ocampo (1911–1978; National Artist for Painting in 1991) is an abstract-expressionist known for chromatic and tonal works (color hues and shadows) and series of nude drawings.

Arturo Luz (b. 1926; National Artist for Visual Arts in 1997) created artworks that exemplify simplicity. Luz started as a figurative artist and later on motivated doing abstraction.

J. Elizalde Navarro (1924–1999; National Artist for Painting in 1999), who is known for being a multimedia artist, excelled in painting, sculptures and reliefs. Most of his subjects are the human body and animals, but the colors of these figures are abstracted geometric shapes.

Ang Kiukok (1931„2005; National Artist for Visual Arts in 2001) is considered as the most vital and dynamic artist who emerged during the 60s. His works are expressionistic interpretations of themes that confront the darkest, most horrid of human conditions.

Jose Joya (1931–1995; National Artist for Visual Arts in 2003) manifests his masterful use of colors objectively and pleasantly. His use of colors captures images and emotions in his abstract works.

Benedicto Cabrera (born 1942, National Artist for visual Arts in 2006) who is popularly known as "Bencab" has painted a wide variety of subjects, including historical figures. Sabel is his most famous subject.

Federico Aguilar Alcuaz (born 1932; National Artist in Visual Arts, Painting, Sculpture and Mixed Media in 2009) is known as master of the still life. His works show his inexhaustible motifs and techniques, with his spontaneity and playfulness captured in bursting colors.

The creations on exhibit from the Wili and Doreen Fernandez Art Collection are all manifestations of excellent artistic and creative expressions of Filipino artists. DLSU hopes to continue to inspire and share the legacy to the rest of the Filipino nation.