Fabulous pieces once more grace the opulent lots in Leon Gallery’s upcoming Magnificent September Auction 2020 live at 2 PM on September 19, Saturday, at the Eurovilla I ground-floor salesrooms at Rufino corner Legazpi Streets, Legaspi Village, Makati, Metro Manila.
Top-billing the lots are two works by Manila-based enfant terrible Jigger Cruz (b.1984), “Abstract I” (48”x48”, mixed media, signed and dated 2015 bottom) and “Abstract II” (48”x48”, mixed media, signed and dated 2015 bottom).
His works are representative of his characteristic reduction of the painting as an activity that negates the traditional discipline of art through raw, violent impastos that vandalize and hide the subject, extend the painting outside of the canvas, and leave audiences disoriented but enraptured. While typically anarchic and undiluted in their abstraction, his works are imbued with a tension described as “an eternal duel of the fates.”
Only 36 years old, Cruz’s works grace the public collections of the Guggenheim Museum in New York, The Saatchi Collection in London, and The Dikeou Collection in Denver, Colorado. He is also a regular on the auction blocks of Sotheby’s and Christie’s.
Other magnificent finds are “Cage” (84”x60”, oil on canvas, signed and dated 2013 lower left) by Ronald Ventura (b. 1973) is another of the artist’s daring subversion of the classical by using the Rococo style without the traditional love and nature scenes, instead, using his trademark hyperrealistic technique a la tromp l’oeil to present a contemporary aesthetic.
“Sophie and the Goldfish” (80”x60”, oil on canvas, signed and dated 2012 verso) by Yasmin Sison (b. 1972) is a departure from her early preoccupation with form and color to more tempered portraits of children that serve as mesmerizing studies to their emotional and psychological states as inspired by her experiences and exposure to youngsters as a preschool teacher and mother.
“Pinched” (36”x46”, oil on canvas, signed and dated 2007 verso) by Bernardo Pacquing (b.1967) is a “pure gestural abstraction involving loose non-representational element” that emerge from the automatism characteristic of his body of work: evocative meditations on color and minimalist expression that indulge audiences to reach into the sublime without the “clutter or excess.”
“Tila” (36”x48”, oil on canvas, signed and dated 2007 lower left) by Mark Justiniani (b.1966), is another oeuvre possessed by the artist’s highly controlled take on realism, playfully toeing the line between social realism, surrealism, and magic realism which he intelligently pulls together to make his powerful statements, dipped in deep irony.
“Celebration: Variation on the Juggler Theme” (60”x48”, acrylic on canvas, signed and dated 1991 verso) by National Artist for Painting Arturo Luz (b.1926), 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 works easily recognizable as Filipino Modernist masterpiece.
“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 he developed to produce delicate, ephemeral compositions that cleverly switch pigments to create luminous gossamer effects using geometric translucent layers.
Also featured is “And You Shall Be Delivered” (84″x30″, pen and ink, staple wire, 2015) by 27-year-old Ian Fabro (b. 1993), a work featured in Art Informal’s “Hurt Anatomies” exhibit in 2015, where his 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 the youngest participant in the landmark survey on Philippine Contemporary Art WASAK in Berlin and Singapore.
Cherries on the cake of fabulous art are rare precolonial archeological gold pieces from the 10th-13th century: 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; and, a 19th-century kamagong Sillon Fraile or friar’s lounging chair (37”x38.5”x35”) previously owned by Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo.
Exhilarating pieces from National Artists for the Visual Arts Fernando Amorsolo, José Joya, BenCab, Cesar Legaspi, H.R. Ocampo, and Ang Kiukok are on the block alongside works by masters Lee Aguinaldo, Juvenal Sanso, Mauro Malang Santos, Romulo Galicano, Fernando Zobel, and Juan Luna.
Exuberant works by internationally renowned best-sellers Rodel Tapaya, Emmanuel Garibay, Jose John Santos III, and Annie Cabigting, also highlight this season’s auction.
These fabulous masterpieces are open for viewing from September 12 to 18, Saturday to Friday at Leon Gallery’s Eurovilla I Main Office.