November 24, 2020

The Kingly Treasures Auction 2020 Features Magnificent Neo-Realist Art and Stunning Antiques

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  • León Gallery’s year-end The Kingly Treasures Auction 2020 featuring the finest and most coveted masterpieces of Philippine fine art, antiques, and ephemera is set to happen on November 28, 2020, starting at 2 p.m. at Eurovilla 1, Legaspi corner Rufino Streets, Legazpi Village, Makati City! 

    Top-billing the 155 lots are two magnificent works by National Artist H R Ocampo (1911-1978), one of the 13 Moderns. The very important “Tempo Rubato” (22”x28”, oil on canvas, signed and dated 1949 lower right) and the captivating “Homage to A Lady” (24”x36”, oil on canvas, signed and dated 1967 lower right and verso).

    Tempo Rubato by HR Ocampo

    Tempo Rubato, literally “Robbed Time”, is a carnival of colors and forms that alludes to the discretionary freedom taken by musicians to make music that is more expressive, natural, and free. Indeed, this piece is a testimony to lost time for being representative of the artist’s transition to Neorealism, for being a milestone that marked the period after his detainment, and for being a loving paean to his wife, who passed on during his incarceration.

    Homage to A Lady, on the other hand, is a swirling gem of emerald and citrine facets that came as a gift from then First Lady Imelda R. Marcos. It was painted in the same year Ocampo painted his most important work, “Genesis”, which hangs at the Main Theater of the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

    It is a testament to Ocampo’s renown as the Father of Philippine Modern Abstraction.

    Homage to a Lady – HR Ocampo

    Other resplendent works from the 13 Moderns and the pioneers of Philippine Neo-Realism are “Miners” (63.5”x62”, oil on wood, signed and dated 1979 lower right) by National Artist Cesar Legaspi (1917-1994); “New York” (40”x28”, oil on panel, signed and dated 1951 lower right) by filmmaker-artist Ramon Estella (1911-1991); and, “First Homage to Salvia” (33.5”x16.5”, oil on canvas, signed and dated 1954 verso) by Victor Oteyza (1913-1979).

    Ramon Estella – New York

    On June 17, 1950, Ocampo, Legaspi, Estella, Oteyza, and Romeo V. Tabuena had their first public exhibit at the Manila Hotel’s Rotary Room courtesy of the Art Association of the Philippines. 

    Macario Vitalis – Barrio Fiesta

    Unique works also include “Barrio Fiesta” (37”x58.75”, oil on canvas, signed and dated 1964 verso), a pointillist work done without mixing colors on the canvas, by Macario Vitalis (1898-1990) from Ilocos Sur; “Untitled” (18”x24”, oil on panel, signed and dated 1960 upper left), a poetic gestural color rendition of the Filipino soul, by National Artist Dean Jose Joya (1931-1995) from Manila; and, “Linear No. 36” (36”x36”, AquaTec on marine plywood, signed and dated March 18, 1966 verso), play on light and shadow done using centuries-old gesso techniques used in preparing wood for religious icons, by Lee Aguinaldo (1933-2007) from New York.

    Homage to Turing – BenCab

    Spectacular gems from the living are the monochromatic abstractions of Sabel with red and white accents honoring Arturo Luz in “Homage to Turing” (45”x84”, acrylic on canvas, signed and dated 2006 lower right) by National Artist BenedictoBenCab” Cabrera (b.1942); the strong green muscular women in “Bold with Passion” (58”x32”x1.5”, oil on wood, signed and dated 2019 lower left) by Lydia Velasco (b.1942); and, the satirical living room commentary in “Indoor Living II” (36”x60”, mixed media on canvas, signed and dated 2016 lower right) by Richard Quebral (b.1989).

    Richard Quebral

    Also featured is a fascinating bucolic scene called “A Farmhouse in Normandy” (7.5”x9.5”, oil on board, signed lower right c1900) by Félix Resurrección Hidalgo (1855-1913) from the collection of Batangueño Antonio “Tony” Meer, the direct descendant of hero General Miguel Malvar.

    Meanwhile, two works from the School of Félix Resurreccion Hidalgo pay homage to the prize-winning Filipino art luminary“After Hidalgo, El Pescador de Sucag” (26”x44”, oil on canvas, signed by Castellon and dated 1886 lower right) and “After Hidalgo, La Blanca” (26”x44”, oil on canvas, signed by Castellon and dated 1886 lower right). 

    These riverine compositions from a private collection in Bilbao, Spain are products of the classical art academy training of copying the works of the masters.

    Felix Hidalgo – A Farmhouse in Normandy

    Opulent works by National Artists for the Visual Arts Fernando Amorsolo, Victorio Edades, Ang Kiukok, Arturo Luz, Vicente Manansala, and Jerry Elizalde Navarro are on the block alongside luminous pieces from masters Oscar Zalameda, Mauro Malang Santos, Nena Saguil, Alfonso Ossorio, and Antipas Delotavo.

     Monumental works by contemporary stars Annie Cabigting, Norman Dreo, Nona Garcia, Emmanuel Garibay, and Yasmin Sison also grace this yearend sale.

    Alongside artworks are equally remarkable finds: an 18th-century ivory La Sagrada Familia from the Don Antonio Bantug Collection, a late 19th-century molave Hagabi or Ifugao Prestige Bench from the Osmundo Esguerra Collection, and a historic Christmas letter of Juna Luna to his son, Andres Luna. 

    The preview of The Kingly Treasures Auction 2020 shall run from November 21 to 27, 2020, Saturday to Friday, from 9 a.m to 7 p.m at León Gallery located at Eurovilla I, Legaspi corner Rufino Streets, Legazpi Village, Makati City. 

    You can view the e-catalog and all the lots for auction at The Kingly Treasure December Auction 2020.


    What: The Kingly Treasures Auction 2020
    Where: Eurovilla 1, Legaspi corner Rufino Streets, Legazpi Village, Makati City
    When: November 28, 2020, 2 p.m

    This is a press release. Minor edits were made prior to publishing. 

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