SELDOM seen pieces from National Artists Cesar Legaspi, Arturo Luz, Benedicto Cabrera, Jose Joya and Napoleon Abueva, and from modern masters Juvenal Sansó, Justin Nuyda and Danilo Dalena will be put on the block—at least virtually— when León Gallery hosts its first ever online auction, León Exchange, on July 30.
León Gallery director Jaime Ponce de León said León Exchange Online was a “new avenue” to let the growing number of art and antique lovers to access and own noted pieces of art and objets d’ art on paper as well as small works and minor furniture.
“This platform is basically a new avenue to reach out a wider market especially for those who could not physically attend our auctions,” Ponce de León said. “As we may also notice, the online manner is slowly getting a norm in the auction world considering the advancement of technology. It is very convenient to bid at auction online.”
Ponce de León pointed out that the online platform would have less number of lots, compared with their regular auctions which have an average of 200 lots.
“Since León Gallery Auctions has been known to present very important pieces in its regular quarterly auctions, we decided that we should have a platform to sell the things that we can no longer ‘crowd’ at our regular auction,” he said.
The upcoming auction has standout pieces that will definitely pique the interest of new and existing art collectors. Both unique and fascinating, they are sought after; some are impressively rare. Meanwhile there are also fine contemporary works by young artists.
Jim Orencio’s 2009 “Yaya” is a visually gripping work in the social realist mode. The artist creates a melancholic narrative, strongly suggestive of distraught, amid powerful composition.
Also a noteworthy piece is “Sawa-Sawa at Sanga-Sangang Diwa ng Edsa” by expressionist Dalena. A strong social context is evident in the work, as the multitudes of people that gather (just as in his “Jail-alai” series) burst with life and emotion, coming together and moving in unison.
Another important piece is Jose Joya’s 1990 “City Lights,” an acrylic collage piece that puts on display his versatility in any media. Strongly evocative, the work bursts with a jubilant brilliance, subdued by a faint wistfulness.
Abueva’s creation is also among the highlights—an abstract wood relief, dated 1980, puts on display Abueva’s still-magical hands in working with his media. An excellent work from the National Artist.
Among the original Thirteen Moderns in the famous list of National Artist Victorio C. Edades, Ricarte Puruganan joins the auction with his oil on wood “Entropy.” With his keen eye and steady hand, he crafts magical scenes and landscapes that feature the surreal and the mythic—drawing from reality, rendering them with a rejuvenated potency.
A single-piece wooden table is among the highlights featured in the sale. The 12-foot long, 4-foot wide top is made of a single, solid block of narra. Very rarely are tables created of this length and width.
Moving with the times
León Gallery said it was moving with the times and providing global accessibility to Philippine art and design. Art buyers from around the world can make their bids on especially curated Filipino works, said Ponce de León.
One of the aims is also to entice the younger set or newbie collectors to view local artworks as a viable and important source of investment, Ponce de León added. “This upcoming online auction is a way for people to understand the local art scene better as they begin their foray to an impressive roster of art pieces,” he explained.
Special preview of the artworks will be on July 26-29. León Gallery is at G/F, Eurovilla 1, Rufino and Legazpi Streets, Legazpi Village, Makati City.