National Artists walk tall once more in the León Gallery Spectacular Mid-Year Auction this June 5th, 2021. The country’s very first for the visual arts, Fernando Amorsolo, is represented through his most important periods, beginning with a ‘Market Scenes’ from the 1940s to the highly covetable ‘Tinikling.’ Also a rarity is a vista of ‘Rice Terraces’ which features this 8th wonder of the world as a backdrop to the hardy tenaciousness of the northern tribes.
Carlos ‘Botong’ V. Francisco would be named the Philippines’ second National Artist and it is easy to see why with this utterly romantic set of four narra reliefs entitled, “Philippine Folk Dances (Katutubong Sayaw).” Botong strove to make the Filipino a mythic creature and he did this by representing heroes of legend as well as venerating our culture. This particular piece is from the collection of his physician, Dra. Remedios G. Suntay, one of the country’s pioneering anesthesiologists.
Fellow National Artist Jose Joya is considered the Philippines’ foremost abstractionist. And his azure-hued “Mandaue” deftly depicts the dynamism of that southern port.
A revealing early work — from the collection of the novelist F. Sionil Jose, who is also a National Artist for Literature — throws light on the art of Lao Lianben. Painted in 1975 it has the cryptic title “No. 33” and is a powerful piece in inky black.
“Rapture” by Pacita Abad captures the Filipino joie de vivre — or unmistakable joy of living. A stunning tapestry made up of vivacious colors, shapes and stitching puts Abad in the forefront of women’s art internationally.
Magnificent paintings bring us back squarely to our past : The first is a “View of Napindan in Old Taguig”, by Felix Lorenzo Martinez who would become one of the worthy successors to Juan Luna and Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo. Noted for his portraits as well as his lyrical landscapes, Martinez would be a sought-after artist.
A recently discovered ‘letras y figuras’, created and signed by the master of this art, Jose Honorato Lozano is a rendition of the name ‘Emilio Peres del Pulgar.’ Judging from the beehive of activities depicted in this watercolor, it can be deduced that del Pulgar was a trader of some means, involved in the buy-and-sell of all kinds of provisions across our islands.
A most excellent ‘Batangas Dos’ Mesa Altar — according to the nomenclature of scholar Ramon N. Villegas — is a rare example of this furniture. They appear only every five years, and are so in demand among knowledgeable collectors. Incidentally, two pieces from his personal collection, a day bed and a friar’s lounging chair, are also in this sale.
Other exquisite masterpieces by Jerry Elizalde Navarro, Fabian de la Rosa and Cesar Legaspi are other highlights of this auction.
The León Gallery Spectacular Mid-Year Auction is co-presented by ANCX.ph, the urban man’s guide to culture and style, and the lifestyle website of the ABS-CBN News Channel. A preview will be held at León Gallery from May 29 to June 4, Saturday to Friday, from 9 AM to 7 PM. For additional information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact +632 8856 2781. To browse The Spectacular Mid-Year Auction catalog, visit www.leon-gallery.com.