WORKS by Luna, Hidalgo, Amorsolo and more up for sale at the León Gallery’s “Magnificent September Auction 2019” on Sept. 14.
Headlining the lots is a rare portrait of a gypsy lady called Una Chula by Juan Luna. This portrait represents Luna’s breaking from large academic and historical pieces to create more personal and intimate works as he moved toward the more progressive faction of the Salon. By picking anonymous subjects, he was able to highlight the spontaneous and, therefore, unfinished qualities that diverged from the finesse of formal portraiture.
As art connoisseur Ramon Villegas once wrote, “These quick sketches… satisfy only his own standards, to see if what he saw in his mind was as pleasing as what his brush could paint, and what his eyes could see.”
Also up for auction is Félix Resurrección Hidalgo’s mother-and-daughter painting The Country Women. This work once belonged to art patron Luis Araneta and was an important feature in Alfredo Roces’ scholarship on Hidalgo’s body of work.
These pieces are joined by a sextet of Fernando Amorsolo paintings spanning his long career. Featured works by the first National Artist for the Visual Arts are Barrio Fiesta/Untitled/Tinikling, 1960; Princess Urduja/Untitled, c1945; Farmer/Untitled, 1945; Lady with Banga, 1940; Portrait of A Girl/Untitled, 1930; and Sabungero, 1929.
An interesting counterpoint is Andres Barrioquinto’s Untitled portrait of a contemporary lass. Posed formally and rendered in black and white like in standard portraits, the girl is bedecked with tropical blooms and butterflies characteristic of the contemporary painter’s trademark style.
Another contemporary master of stylized portraiture is Jason Montinola, whose Silent Verse Against Trinity is a reimagining of a sepia portrait that has turned dramatically surreal.
National Artist for Visual Arts Benedicto “BenCab” Cabrera’s take on the connection between past and present is his Untitled depiction of a peddler in sepia.
Also up for auction are Arturo Luz’s Desert Moon, Rajasthan, from his Cities of the Past Series; Mauro Malang Santos’ Four Women and Untitled; Romulo Galicano’s Blue Mood and Morning at Monet’s Garden; Romulo Olazo’s Untitled from his Untitled Series; and, Vicente Manansala’s Nude.
Then there are two geometric sculptures by Eduardo Castrillo, the artist behind the monuments of Bonifacio, Rajah Sulayman, and the People Power in Metro Manila, who ushered in a renaissance in Philippine sculpture.
Exuberant pieces by National Artists for the Visual Arts Abdulmari Imao, Ang Kiukok, Carlos “Botong” Francisco, Federico Aguilar Alcuaz, Jerry Elizalde Navarro, José Joya, and H.R. Ocampo, are showcased alongside works by masters Anita Magsaysay-Ho, Danilo Dalena, Fernando Zobel, Gus Albor, Jose Blanco, Juvenal Sanso, Lee Aguinaldo, Nena Saguil, Oscar Zalameda, Prudencio Lamarroza, Roberto Chabet, Romeo Tabuena, and Santiago Bose.
Works by internationally renowned best-sellers Buen Calubayan, Edwin Wilwayco, Emmanuel Garibay, Geraldine Javier, Jigger Cruz, Manuel Ocampo, Mark Justiniani, Ronald Ventura, Toti Cerda, and Zean Cabangis also highlight this season’s auction.
The preview of “The Magnificent September Auction 2018” shall run from Sept. 7 to 13, with cocktails on Sept. 11, and the live auction starting at 2 p.m. on Sept. 14. León Gallery is located at Eurovilla I, Legaspi St. corner Rufino St., Legazpi Village, Makati City.