(after Tensión Luminosa by Fernando Zóbel)
Wilderness of grey contained
in the canvas of November,
lured by the gypsy moon of Cuénca.
In the moving strokes, Lorca’s eye
discerns the lyric of a void dance:
two presences so still, they assume
no form but pure image,
incurable wound of music.
Only with the ear of a true cantaor
may we hear the howling firewinds
beyond this ash-filled frame.
Could a terrible love have been
marked by this one luminous
drop of blood?
In the early '90s, I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Manila one afternoon to see the retrospective art exhibit of Fernando Zóbel. One of the paintings, “Tensión Luminosa,” brought me deep into Federico Garcia Lorca’s Andalusia inhabited by a red moon, the ash of death in the air, and the cantaor rasping the last note of a terrible love. The painting is part of the permanent exhibit of the Ayala Museum, while the poem is published in my second collection of poems, Ochre Tones.
- Dr. Marjorie Evasco
by Marjorie Evasco
by Fernando Zóbel
Acrylic on Canvas
31.3 inches x 31.3 inches
From the Ayala Museum Collection
Fernando Zóbel (August 27, 1924 – June 2, 1984) was a leading figure in Philippine modernist painting. His abstract canvases testify to his mastery and fascination with lines and their manipulation to show movement and energy. He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Merit for his contribution to the arts by the Philippine government in 2006.