Works by Fernando Amorsolo, Arturo Luz, BenCab and other National Artists sold well at León Gallery’s online auction recently, which art observers said indicates a thriving auction scene despite the pandemic.
Amorsolo’s “A Portrait of Henry Schradieck” in two versions sold for P233,600 and P362,080, respectively. Both paintings were done in 1937 and portrayed the foremost German violinist, music pedagogue and composer. “A Portrait of Henry Schradieck’s Wife” sold for P221,920. They had been commissioned by Schradieck’s nephew who had worked in the Philippines before the war.
Luz’s acrylic on canvas “Kyoto Series” was successfully bid out for P525,600 (512). A smaller work, “Abstract” (510), sold for P362,080.
Bidders also snapped up National Artist Federico Aguilar Cruz’s acrylic on canvas “Mountain View” (final price: P467,200) and the mixed-media “Abstract” (P397,120).
A nude genre work by Cesar Legaspi was bid out for P186,000.
Print works by National Artist Benedicto “BenCab” Cabrera also sold well, led by the 2014 “Sabel” (Brown Angel), an archival-print-on-Arches-paper, at P233,600.
Works by the late leading Mabini artist Cesar Buenaventura were successfully bid out. Three individual lots bearing the same title, “Bukid,” sold for a combined P227,760.
An abstract oil landscape by the late Prudencio Lamarroza had a floor price of P35,000 and was sold for P128,480. A Quiapo Church scene by another late master, Ibarra dela Rosa, was successfully sold for P140,160.
Edwin Wilwayco’s expressionist-naturalist “Birds of Paradise” was sold for P467,200. Norberto Carating also drew inspiration from nature’s solitude in “Anilao Series,” which sold for P373,760.
Women artists dominated the auction.
A small untitled 1983 work by the late Nena Saguil was sold for P256,000.
Abstract expressionist Francesca Enriquez’s “Abstract (Diptych)” rose from the floor price of P360,000 to the final winning bid of P817,600.
A three-panel acrylic-on-canvas painting by Lydia Velasco, “Dancing in the Moonlight,” sold for P1.98 million.
Norma Belleza’s genre works done in her inimitable folk-naif style sold well, led by “Mother and Son,” actually a market scene, which was declared sold at P242,944.
Works by contemporary artists also did well. Emmanuel Garibay’s “Takas,” which shows a woman’s arresting gaze and a man in flight, suggestive of a backstory, sold for P280,320.
Rodel Tapaya’s untitled piece, a whimsical narrative work of two men with their flutes, went for P443,840.
An untitled work on cultural syncretism by young contemporary Chinese-Filipino artist Dexter Sy (lot 434) fetched P105,120 from a floor price of P80,000.
Art Deco and Art Nouveau-style pieces from an “Old Manila ancestral mansion” were also successfully bid out, among them a prewar narra altar with the Auspice Maria feature, the intertwined letters A and M that serves as a monogram of the Virgin Mary, which was sold for 175,200.
A full-size samurai ō-yoroi armor set with elaborate patterns and elegant thread work went for P163,520. Two ivory tusks mounted on a wooden base went for P140,160. —CONTRIBUTED INQ