Notable Filipino painter Ireneo “Rene” Robles passed away on Sept. 13, 2021, at the age of 71.
Born on April 12, 1950, in Lucena City, Quezon Province, Rene was a celebrated artist who started his journey in the ’70s. He honed his creative skills by pursuing Fine Arts at the University of Sto. Tomas. Later on, he explored international art studies in New York at the Arts Students League in 1989 and at the National Academy of Design School of Fine Arts in 1990.
Throughout his career, Rene has produced over 70 solo exhibits, has presented all over the world—from Asian countries and the US to the European continent. But for the local and international art scene, the Filipino painter will be best remembered as a master of Assertionism, an art movement he initiated. Founded in New Jersey, US in 1986, Rene’s Assertionism style presents “art that has the power to assert, transform, and transcend.”
“His new Assertionist art, which penetrated various juried shows with awards and critical acclaim, is also the basis of the advanced art training he has developed for professional artists-techniques and innovative approach to painting,” according to his website. “It has spun off as a new art movement—quite ahead of its time—representing a more developed aesthetic, a bold style and strong, unique composition,”
His masterpieces are part of the private collections of former King Juan Carlos of Spain and former US President Bill Clinton. Among his last exhibit was the “Assertionism: The Art of Rene Robles,” which ran early this 2021. Currently, Rene is being endorsed to be considered as a nominee for the Order of the National Artist Award, the highest honor bestowed to Filipino artists.
Rest in peace, Rene.