Makati-based auction house Leon Gallery is putting coveted artwork and furniture under the hammer at its annual mid-year auction, which takes place this Saturday, June 5.
This year’s event, titled The Spectacular Mid-Year Auction 2021, “connects two centuries of glorious Filipino art from the 19th to the 20th century,” writes Leon Gallery director Jaime Ponce de Leon in the auction catalog. . It adds the benchmark
periods will be illustrated by “two very rare appearances by famous artists from either end of the timeline, Lorenzo Guerrero and Anita Magsaysay-Ho.”
Guerrero exerted an important influence on the Filipino master painters, from Juan Luna to Felix Resurrección Hidalgo, Fabian de la Rosa and Miguel Zaragoza. The Guerrero piece presented in the annual showcase is an oil on canvas portrait of Sta. Filomena, patron saint of youth and winner of lost causes, entitled Santa Filomena Virgen Martyr. With a starting bid of 5,000,000 P2, the lot is part of the Don Benito J. Legarda Jr. Collection, which makes premier items, such as wood carvings and paintings from the Spanish colonial era.
Don Benito J. Legarda Jr. (1926-2020) was a distinguished historian and economist who served as Deputy Governor of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. Other coveted lots in Legarda’s collection include works by Vicente Manansala, Juvenal Sansó, Fabian de la Rosa, Pedro Respall and a painting by Luna’s parent, Santos Resureccion Novicio.
Meanwhile, the 20th-century neo-realist movement is auctioned off by Anita Magsaysay-Ho’s 30 x 36-inch oil painting, titled Women with Baskets, Fish, and Crab. The part is listed with a starting bid of P20,000,000.
In addition to the rare paintings by Guerrero and Magsaysay-Ho, the works of Romulo Olazo will also be showcased. Recognized as a painter’s painter, three works from the Diaphanous series, the artist’s signature, will adorn the auction rooms. The series has been characterized as having pushed the boundaries of artistic styles and technique for its renunciation of orthodox artistic styles.
Fernando Zobel’s humorous portrayal of the Biblical First Woman, titled Eva, and The Gestures of Lao Lianben, is also up for auction, which is a manifestation of the artist’s minimalist yet expressive art.
The rented works of national artists Fernando Amorsolo, Benedicto “BenCab” Cabrera, Ang Kiukok, Jose Joya and Cesar Legaspi will also be featured in this season’s auction. There will also be showcase pieces by internationally renowned artists Michael Cacnio, Rodel Tapaya, Justin Nuyda and Romeo Tabuena.
Additionally, rare and classic silverware called a palitera / palillera, or toothpick holder, from the second quarter of the 19th century will add elegance and sophistication to the auction. Dubbed “the holy grail of ancient Filipino household silver” by famous Filipino scholar Ramon N. Villegas, this palitera has a modest urn and unique “catmon” flower and foliage designs on its decorative piercing work.
The lots of the spectacular mid-year 2021 auction are open until June 4 at the León Gallery, located on the ground floor, Eurovilla 1, at the corner of Rufino, at the corner of Legazpi streets, in the village of Legaspi, in the city of Makati. For any request, e-mail [email protected] or 8856-2781. The Spectacular Mid-Year Auction catalog can be viewed at www.leon-gallery.com.