Like National Artists Arturo Luz and J. ELizalde Navarro, Rosario Bitanga is one of the rare few who are adept at both painting and sculpture, enriching the vision of one with the other, not in a gratuitous manner, but with passionate fealty, attending to both with equal seriousness. Her sculptures are exemplars of “drawing in space,” not in the linear mode, to be sure, but planar, as evinced by her gleaming sheets of stainless steel, as though liberated from the flatness of the canvas.
In her sculptures, Bitanga’s handling of materials—the favored terra cotta, resin bases and stainless steel—is emblematic of her refined and exquisite eye for expressive design. “Nurture” is a variant of the family triad theme, brought to an elegant elongation of proportions. A work in stainless steel, “Dewdrop,” is a finely shaped metal sheet configured to suggest a leaf. A gleaming glass orb is an object-distillation of dew. “Tesseract” is the visual analogue of the fourth dimension—the time-space continuum.
But whether in painting or sculpture, Bitanga adheres to the same qualities she has always upheld: “discipline, control in emotion and composition; order, neatness, serenity.” Lyd Arguilla Salas, founder of the historic Philippine Art Gallery (PAG) extolled Bitanga as “a first rate artist!”