Rene Robles: ‘Art has the power to assert, transform and transcend’

Throughout Irineo “Rene” San Agustian Robles Jr.’s career, he has questioned art and the role of an artist in society.

The artist was raised in the suburbs of Lucena City, Quezon Province in 1950. Even if his talent in art had been recognized by his peers early on, it wasn’t until 1970 when he became a practicing artist.

He developed his artistic abilities at the University of Santo Tomas College of Architecture and Fine Arts as a Rector’s Scholar in 1976. Years later, he was awarded the university’s Gold Medal of Excellence. 

Before long, Rene’s creativity and unique imagination earned the recognition of international artists, and he received study grants and tours to visit museums in France, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain and Belgium.

Due to his artistic eye and abilities, he was also given the opportunity to further his studies at the Arts Students League in New York in 1989 and the National Academy of Design, School of Fine Arts in 1990.

In 1986, Rene founded the award-winning movement “assertionism” in New Jersey with the underlying principle that “art which has power asserts, transforms, and transcends.” He soon released several books on Assertionism art. 

The movement soon created a significant voice in a more personal approach to art. In the book 21st Century Art: Rene Robles Assertionism, it was mentioned that “assertionism” is a form of realism where the artist directly expresses himself and his emotions. 

Throughout his artistic career, Rene has produced works on portraiture, still lifes, nudes, landscapes, murals, figuration and abstraction. 

Like a true virtuoso, he stood out distinctly among the modernist painters in the Philippines and had over 70 solo exhibitions in the US, Europe and Asia. His art can be also found among the private collections of former US president Bill Clinton and former King Juan Carlos of Spain. He’s also a nominee for the Order of the National Artist Award this year.


Discover the “assertiveness” of Rene Robles through his exhibit “ASSERTIONISM: The Art of Rene Robles” from January 14 to 24 at the Museo Francisco Art Gallery + Winery located inside Le Village: The Lifestyle Food Park, E. Rodriguez corner Cordillera Street, Quezon City. 

Museo Francisco is open every day from 3 p.m. to 12 a.m. For more inquiries, call (0951) 232-9999.

Caption for banner photo: Rene Robles and his Vigan 3 Dimensional artwork