Striking works by contemporary artists are expected to attract fierce bidding during the Asian Cultural Council benefit auction on Feb. 23. Among them are works by ACC fellows themselves.
León Gallery owner Ponce de León called three lots by leading contemporary artist Roland Ventura as “very, very good.”
Lot 78 is his “Funny Songs,” a 48” x 36” oil-and-canvas signed and dated 2008. The work is an impressive example of Ventura’s pop-surreal hyperrealism.
Meanwhile Lot 137, “Confluence,” is from a Ventura series exhibited and sold in a New York art gallery in 2011, showing again his surrealist hyperrealism depicting cubes of modern buildings, the riotious composition seeming to challenge the modernist bias for clean lines and functional designs.
Likewise impressive is Ventura’s 2014 “Untitled” work which shows the back of a flagellant on Holy Week. In the artist’s trademark monochrome, the splashes of blood become starker, endowing the penitent figure with a moving spiritual fire.
Annie Cabigting’s “Kuntsmuseum” is an interesting piece since, while it continues the artist’s series of works depicting viewers in the act of looking at an art work, it is in monochrome that enhances its photographic realism.
Ponce de León said another interesting lot is Dino Gabito’s “Shroud #6, a hyprerealist work showing the artist’s iconic mysterious figures completely cloaked in white bedspread. “He is quite popular and difficult to get due to the gallery queue to acquire his works,” the León owner said.
Signature Art Prize grand winner Rodel Tapaya is represented by three works, the biggest of which is a 2015 “Untitled” oil-on-canvas visualizing indigenous folklore through biomorphic forms and rhizomatic outgrowths.
ACC works on auction
Works of ACC fellows will also be auctioned off.
Noel Soler Cuizon’s wood assemblage, “Now and at the Hour of Our Death,” is a triptyich of images drawn from precolonial Philippines and Catholic iconography that constitute a critique of the “malevolent” rule of President Duterte.
Sam Penanso’s very striking “Humanscape” consists of acrylic human figures painted on a stainless surface. Penaso has always been fascinated with human figures and through this work, he makes the leap from physiology to what he calls “metaphysics.”
Other works to be bid out are by ACC alumni Ambie Abaño, Anton del Castillo, Dexter Fernandez, Riel J. Hilario and Leeroy New.
For the fifth consecutive year, the ACC Philippines Foundation (ACCPF) and León Gallery are coming together to hold an auction that to raise funds to provide fellowships and residencies abroad for Filipino artists.
Ernest E. Escaler, ACCPF chair, called the fifth edition a “milestone” and the partnership with León “amazing.”
The auction will be held in conjunction with the 7th Art Fair Philippines at The Link carpark in Ayala Center, Makati on Feb. 21-24.
During the art fair, ACCPH and León will mount the exhibit, “Color Theory,” featuring works by ACC alumni fellows, including Japanese Yayoi Kusama and Korean-American Nam June Paik, the “father of video art.”
Also to be exhibited are works by Zobel, Alfonso Ossorio, Leo Valledor, Carlos Cruz Diez and Yves Klein.
Curator Lisa Nakpil said the exhibit takes off from conceptual art father Josef Albers statement that seeing art becomes a “creative act” by appreciating the “juxtapositions and constellations of color and shape” in order to “sense their relatedness and mutual actions.”
“Thus this exhibition, through the combinations and placements of the various artworks, intends to demonstrate what Albers ultimately called were ‘Interactions’ of color,” said Nakpil.