Romeo Villalva Tabuena Biography

Romeo Villalva Tabuena

Filipino - Mexican



Romeo Villalva Tabuena, painter and printmaker, was born in Iloilo City, Philippines on August 22, 1921. He studied architecture at Mapúa Institute of Technology in Manilla and painting at the University of the Philippines. He continued his studies at the Art Students League in New York in 1952 under American artist, Will Barnet, and in Paris at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in 1954 with Henri Goetz.

In 1955, Tabuena settled in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico but maintained his Philippine citizenship throughout his lifetime. After moving to Mexico, his work was transformed into a prismatic style depicting figures in their daily routines.

Tabuena's work was honored with numerous awards, including the Presidential Merit Award given him in 2007 by the Philippines. He was the official Philippine delegate to the eighth Biennial of Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1965, and he had solo exhibitions in Manila in 1973, Mexico City in 1975, and at Galeries Bleue in Manila in 1981. In 1995 a major exhibition of his work was mounted in San Miguel de Allende sponsored by the Instituto de Bellas Artes, Centro Cultural Ignacio.

His work is represented in the collections of the Harwood Museum of Art in Taos, New Mexico; The Lopez Memorial Museum, Pasig City, Philippines; and the National Art Gallery, National Museum of the Philippines in Manila.

Romeo V. Tabuena died in San Miguel de Allende on October 15, 2015.