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Hernando R. Ocampo’s Skyward boceto (left) and Mauro Malang Santos’ Still Life (right)

Hernando R. Ocampo’s Skyward boceto (left) and Mauro Malang Santos’ Still Life (right)

Hernando R. Ocampo’s Skyward boceto and Mauro Malang Santos Still Life are the two highlights of the Leòn Exchange Online Auction Edition XIV by Leòn Gallery happening on Jan. 18 and 19, with all biddings to be done under the Leonexchange platform purely online. 

Ocampo is considered to be one of the most original Filipino artists whose works were not influenced by Western art. His abstractions are groundbreaking by dynamically depicting Philippine landscapes and life forms in plain color palettes in a stunning multiplication of cells and shapes. The boceto, made in 1953, was influenced by the resurgence of Futurism just before the Space Age began—Ocampo’s final output studying the future’s lush and alien terrain became was an oil on canvas entry to the 12th exhibition of the Art Association of the Philippines in 1959, six years later.

Meanwhile Santos’ Still Life is a deviation from the artist’s stained-glass window technique, this time with “light permeating from all sides, there are no shadows, and the palette is much lighter.” Filipino fictionalist Juan T. Gatbonton however notes on Santos’ take on flowers that, ““His personally imagined flora remains a carnival play of clotted petals and leaves, fizzling out into minute jewel-like dabs of color.”

Also among the antiques to be auctioned online by Leòn Gallery are a pair of works by Onib Olmedo that depict the denizens of the underbelly of Filipino culture. His nightmarish figurative-expressionist evocation of the dark realm of Philippine society is the trademark by which his earthy, clayey art stands out from the triumvirate he forms with Solomon Saprid and Ang Kiukok as founders of the Filipino Expressionist movement. 

Onib Olmedo's Celebration (right) and Prudencio Lamarroza's Takipsilim (left)

Onib Olmedo’s Celebration (left) and Prudencio Lamarroza’s Takipsilim (right)

In contrast is Takipsilim by Prudencio Lamarroza, a fairytale landscape of pure luminosity. Depicting a bagras, or Philippine eucalyptus tree, with a sea of spotted Easter eggs is not only highly sought after for its incandescence but also for echoing the tradition of drawing with circles used by Nena Saguil and Pacita Abad.

Other artworks to be auctioned are functional sculptures by Benji Reyes who pushes the limits of hardwood’s malleability by avoiding nails in putting his wooden pieces together, and Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan’s Under the Viridian Sky which “focus on the greener side of art and ensures the formation of aesthetic ecology using materials that serve as metaphor for everyday life.”  Exquisite crystal and silverware, chinoiserie, Filipino period furniture, fine bone China, coffee table books, and rare photographs complete what will be an exciting online experience for bidders.

“One can indulge his or her taste for the beautiful items at various price points at the upcoming online auction and all that from one’s armchair or boudoir. The online auction gives clients the convenience of bidding through their mobiles, tablets or laptops, without having to trek all the way to where physical auctions happen,” says Leòn Gallery director Jaime Ponce de Leon. “This convenience makes online auctions at lower starting bids—but no less fabulous pieces—trending.”

The exhibition will be open to the public beginning Jan. 13, with preview cocktails on Jan. 15 at Leòn Gallery in Warehouse 14 La Fuerza Plaza, 2241 Chino Roces Ave., Makati.

The auction proper will be done online at on Jan. 18 and 19. Visit or contact or call (8) 856-2781 for more information.

Source: Manila Bulletin

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