The hottest items in this year’s León Gallery Magnificent September Auction

Published September 14, 2020, 1:10 PM

by Jules Vivas

Going through some of the much-anticipated pieces to be presented in the famous annual sale

Who would be the new owners of the unflinching Yasmin Ching portraits? Or the serene Romulo Galicano landscapes? Or the vigorous compositions of National Artist José Joya?

The finest Filipino artworks and antiques will be up for grabs in the upcoming León Gallery Magnificent September Auction 2020, this Sept. 19, 2 p.m. at the Eurovilla I ground-floor salesrooms at Rufino corner Legazpi Streets, Legaspi Village, Makati, Metro Manila.

Virtual tour of the auction

Offered are 163 lots composed of breathtaking masterpieces from Filipino legends, top of the line abstract, and coveted artworks from young contemporary artists.

Manila-based enfant terrible Jigger Cruz (b.1984) tob-bills the lots with his Abstract I (48”x48,” mixed media, signed and dated 2015 bottom) and Abstract II (48”x48,” mixed media, signed and dated 2015 bottom).

Abstract I and Abstract II Diptych

While anarchic and undiluted in their abstraction, Jigger’s works are imbued with a tension described as “an eternal duel of the fates.” It is representative of his characteristic reduction of painting as an act that revokes the traditional discipline of art via raw, violent impastos, which vandalize and hide the subject, augments the painting outside of the canvas, and leave viewers disoriented and enraptured.

The 36-year-old artist’s paintings grace the public collections of the Guggenheim Museum in New York, The Saatchi Collection in London, and The Dikeou Collection in Denver, Colorado. Jigger is also a regular on the auction blocks of Sotheby’s and Christie’s.

Cage (84”x60,” oil on canvas, signed and dated 2013 lower left) by Ronald Ventura (b. 1973) is also part of the auction. The painting is a daring subversion of the classical through the use of Rococo style, minus the traditional romance and nature scenes. Instead, Ronald utilizes his trademark hyper realistic technique a la tromp l’oeil to present contemporary aesthetic. 

Cage (84”x60”, oil on canvas, signed and dated 2013 lower left

Sophie and the Goldfish (80”x60,” oil on canvas, signed and dated 2012 verso) by Yasmin Sison (b. 1972) is an egress from her early preoccupation translated in form and color, a tempered portrait of a child that serve as mesmerizing studies to the youth’s emotional and psychological states. Yasmin’s artworks are inspired by her own experiences and exposure to kids as a preschool teacher and mother.

Sophie and the Goldfish (80”x60”, oil on canvas, signed and dated 2012 verso)

Bernardo Pacquing (b.1967) is also in the auction with his Pinched (36”x46,” oil on canvas, signed and dated 2007 verso). This “pure gestural abstraction involving loose non-representational element” emerges from the automatism characteristic of his body of work: evocative meditations on minimalist expression and color, which indulge audiences to reach into the sublime without the “clutter or excess.”

Pinched (36”x46”, oil on canvas, signed and dated 2007 verso)

An oeuvre possessed by a highly controlled take on realism, playfully toeing the line between social realism, surrealism, and magic realism, Tila (36”x48,” oil on canvas, signed and dated 2007 lower left) by Mark Justiniani (b.1966) will also be available. Mark intelligently pulls together the art to make his powerful statements, dipped in deep irony.

Tila (36”x48”, oil on canvas, signed and dated 2007 lower left)

National Artist for Painting Arturo Luz (b.1926) will be auctioned off, particularly his Celebration: Variation on the Juggler Theme (60”x48,” acrylic on canvas, signed and dated 1991 verso). Arturo is a master of concise, almost mathematical, minimalist geometric abstractions, typically of acrobats, musicians, and cyclists if not architectural complexes and structures. Reduced to planes and figures, his characters and themes play around the precise balance between lean lines and colors, making his pieces easily recognizable as Filipino Modernist.

Celebration: Variation on the Juggler Theme (60”x48,” acrylic on canvas, signed and dated 1991 verso)

Diaphanous B-XXXVII (60”x48,” oil on canvas, signed and dated 1980 lower right) by Romulo Olazo (1921-2015) is a superb representative of his signature abstract collage and serigraphic technique, which he developed to produce delicate, ephemeral compositions that switch pigments to create luminous gossamer effects using geometric translucent layers.

Diaphanous B-XXXVII (60”x48,” oil on canvas, signed and dated 1980 lower right)

Also part of the sale will be 27-year-old Ian Fabro’s (b. 1993) And You Shall Be Delivered (84″x30,” pen and ink, staple wire, 2015), a piece included in Art Informal’s “Hurt Anatomies” exhibit, five years ago. Ian’s nightmarish depiction of ghostly figures in mammoth pen and ink is rendered more arresting by the use of an unconventional material to reinterpret a figuratively abstracted rendition of St Michael the Archangel. He is also the youngest participant in the landmark survey on Philippine Contemporary Art WASAK in Berlin and Singapore.

And You Shall Be Delivered (84″x30,” pen and ink, staple wire, 2015)

Rare pre-colonial archeological gold pieces from the 10th to 13th century are among the highlights namely, a three-coil gear beaded neckpiece (212 grams,14,” 18K-21K) from the province of Surigao del Sur and a slit hoop with mammary ornament (20.7 grams, 2.25,” 18K) from the province of Agusan, a set of 19th century Calvario En Urna or Calvary scene encased in a neo-classical kamagong urna with ivory figurines, a wooden crucifix with silver-gilt rays, cantoneras, ynarre, paena, and tapis with pina cloth, as well as a 19th century kamagong Sillon Fraile or friar’s lounging chair (37”x38.5”x35”) owned previously by Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo.

Slit hoop with mammary ornament from Agusan
Friar’s lounging chair (37”x38.5”x35”)

Exhilarating pieces from National Artists for the Visual Arts Fernando AmorsoloJosé Joya, BenCab, Cesar Legaspi, H.R. Ocampo, and Ang Kiukok are on the block alongside works by masters Lee Aguinaldo, Juvenal SansoMauro Malang SantosRomulo Galicano, Fernando Zobel, and Juan Luna.

Internationally owned bestsellers by Rodel Tapaya, Emmanuel Garibay, Jose John Santos III, and Annie Cabigting are on the market.

These magnificent masterpieces are open for viewing by appointment daily except Sunday, until Sept. 18, at the Leon Gallery, G/F Eurovilla I, Legazpi corner Rufino Streets, Legazpi Village, Makati. You may view the catalogue online, and register to bid. leon-gallery.com

 (02) 8772-8343 | [email protected]

 
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