LEÓN Gallery set numerous records recently in its Spectacular Mid-Year Auction 2015, particularly the highest hammer price at auction for a work by Anita Magsaysay-Ho.
Magsaysay-Ho’s 1979 oil-on-canvas, “Fish Harvest at Dawn,” measuring 122 centimeters x 152 centimeters, was sold for P52.56 million.
The auction was held June 13 at León Gallery, Eurovilla 1, Rufino and Legazpi Streets, Legazpi Village, Makati City.
“The sale showed a very strong art market and indicated that buyers of Philippine art know what they are buying,” said León Gallery director Jaime Ponce de León. “It conveyed very educated choices. Other notable results were record prices achieved for Angelito Antonio, Lao Lianben, Napoleon Abueva and Guillermo Tolentino.”
A great number of paintings and sculptures at the auction came from the Joe and Nene Guevara collection.
José “Joe” L. Guevara was considered a living legend in Philippine journalism. His widely read column, “Point of Order,” appeared daily on the editorial page of the Manila Bulletin and ran for many years, until his passing in 2002.
He and his wife Nene were avid art collectors, and their taste ranged from modernist to classicist modes.
“The Joe and Nene Guevara [collection] was very well received by collectors as it was a grand opportunity to partake of a very well-discerned collection,” De León said.
De León noted that the most expensive Filipino painting ever sold on a per-square-inch basis was Carlos “Botong” Francisco’s “Camote Diggers (Mag-Lolang Nagbubungkal ng Lupa).” It was auctioned off at P22.19 million.
Contemporary artist Andres Barrioquinto’s oil-on-canvas “Love Left Behind,” signed and dated 2015, garnered the most bids, in which there were also calls coming from international bidders. The piece, which was sold for P3 million, was a record on a size-to-price basis.
Another noteworthy piece is Ang Kiukok’s 1967 oil-on-wood “Crucifixion,” bought for P1.17 million.
Tolentino’s untitled cast-bronze sculpture from 1922, done in Rome and probably exhibited at his first solo exhibition in the Eternal City, was sold for P2.34 million.
Abueva’s 1968 marble sculpture “Carabao” was auctioned off at P1.17 million.
Ramon Orlina’s 1996 work in Swarovski crystal was bought for P525,600.
Among the artists whose works are included on this auction are National Artists Fernando Amorsolo, Arturo Luz, Hernando R. Ocampo, Guillermo Tolentino, Vicente Manansala, José Joya, Benedicto “BenCab” Cabrera, J. Elizalde Navarro, Victorio Edades, Cesar Legaspi and Federico Aguilar-Alcuaz; as well as José John Santos III, Juvenal Sansó, Lynyrd Paras, Fernando Zóbel, José Tence Ruiz and Ronald Ventura.
Joya’s oil-on-wood “Broken Kites,” signed and dated 1972, was sold for P3 million.
Also of significance are Ocampo’s 1970 oil-on-canvas “Mother and Child” (sold for P4.44 million) and Manansala’s 1963 oil-on-canvas “Golgotha” (sold for 5.84 million).
BenCab’s “Lovers,” signed and dated 1992, was sold for P11.1 million.
Santos’ untitled mixed-media work, signed and dated 2005, was sold for P2.8 million.
Ventura’s 2006 oil-on-canvas “Journey” sold for P12.85 million.
Rodel Tapaya’s 2009 acrylic-on-canvas “The Deer, the Snail and the Rattan Stories” was auctioned off at P1.52 million.
For the furniture, the Isabelo L. Tampinco desk-and-chair set, a standout at the auction, was sold for P2.24 million.
The kamagong bed, which stands on four turned and reeded tapering legs, garnered a bid of P1.23 million.
The highly important large ivory figure of the Virgin and Child was sold for P4.91 million.
León Gallery is now accepting consignments for the Magnificent September Auction 2015 on Sept. 12. Inquiries can be coursed through [email protected].