20 April 2017

Juvenal Sansó’s “Triumph of the Spirit” opens at Alliance Française on 20 April 2017

To celebrate 70 years of diplomatic ties between the Philippines and France, Alliance Française de Manille is hosting a special exhibition of works by Juvenal Sansó, the renowned Expressionist artist. As holder of both the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the Republic of France and the Presidential Medal of Merit from the Republic of the Philippines, Sansó’s practice is regarded by many as a bridge between the best of both Europe and Asia. The course of his practice has seen the Spanish-born Sansó survive the brutality of Japanese-occupied Manila, before embarking on an artistic career that began at the School of Fine Arts at the University of the Philippines, where he was taught by National Artist Fernando Amorsolo. Subsequent artistic education in Italy and France saw increased sophistication in technique, as the young Sansó sought to express the trauma he felt at the hands of Japanese forces in Manila in his art, beginning his Black Period works of monochromatic skulls, grotesque faces, and other macabre imagery. He later sought and found tranquility on the shores of Brittany in France through his friendship with Yves le Dantec and his family, whom Sansó summered with for 24 years. This led to a lightening of his paintings, and paved the way for his now-familiar landscapes and floral still-lifes.

The exhibition at Alliance Française, entitled “Triumph of the Spirit,” showcases the many transitions throughout the career of Sansó as a form of strength through trauma. The message is relevant at a time when Sansó’s beloved Paris, a city he called home before moving back to Manila, has been besieged by terrorist attacks. The exhibit, in this manner, was organized in solidarity with the people of France by an artist who himself has overcome immense anguish and suffering. “Triumph of the Spirit” opens on Thursday, 20 April 2017 at 6:30PM, and will run until Friday, 26 May 2017 at Alliance Française de Manille, 209 Nicanor Garcia Street, Bel Air II, Makati City. Guests of Honor at the opening on 20 April will be HE Mr. Thierry Mathou, the Ambassador of France to the Philippines, and Ms. Gilda Salita, Director of Fundacion Sansó. The exhibition is organized by Alliance Française, the Embassy of France in the Philippines, and Fundacion Sansó. For more information, please contact Alliance Francaise de Manille: For updates please check and