Sansó: Prized and Personal Shines Light on Cycles and Collectors
Like most galleries and museums the past two years, Fundacion Sansó was severely impacted by the pandemic. But that didn't stop the museum from continuing to uphold Juvenal Sansó's legacy and to support local artists in his name.
"We don't have an endowment. So when the government asked museums to close, we had no way to fund ourselves," said Fundacion Sansó Director and Curator Ricky Francisco. "What we did was sell a lot of products and create partnerships with galleries. We do the research for them, mount the exhibitions here and create the programs for them. In turn, they donate."
So far, the foundation has created partnerships with schools like Bulacan State University, De La Salle-College of St. Benilde, Far Eastern University, and the University of the Philippines to support local artists.
"We were able to grow our scholarship from six to 11 students. The shops, the authentication, and the exhibition collaborations were successful." added Francisco.
Because of the proliferation of fake Sansós over the years, Fundacion Sansó's authentication services arm was established to protect collectors.
It was only in February 2022 when the foundation was finally able to focus on creating a physical exhibition cycle. Recently, it launched Sansó: Prized and Personal, a series of five exhibitions that focus on private collections of esteemed collectors, led by Fundacion Sansó Chairman Joaquin M. Teotico and some friends, that revolve around the works of Sansó.
"During the pandemic we focused on survival. This time around, we're focusing on scholarship," expressed Francisco.
These exhibitions span more than six decades' worth of the Presidential Medal of Merit Awardee's work. The foundation focuses on providing the public with insights into the different periods and aspects of Sansó’s art, as well as how these elements have resonated with individuals and families who have made it their own personal mission to curate a comprehensive Sansó collection.
Seen in the collection: "Jokers" (1982) by Juvenal Sansó, Acrylic on Paper.
Seen in the collection: "Uplifting Sardana" (1982) by Juvenal Sansó, Acrylic on Paper.
Seen in the collection: "Immersed in Joy" (1990s) by Juvenal Sansó, Acrylic on Paper.
The exhibit in particular featured Teotico's own private collection. Together with friends and fellow patrons, Teotico founded Fundacion Sansó in 2014 to not only protect the artist's legacy but to field support for his advocacies, as well.
“One of the things that I learned in collecting is to discern an artwork not by thinking it is good or bad, but by measuring the emotional impact of that artwork on the viewer,” Teotico shared, reflecting on what sets Sansó’s art apart from his contemporaries. “There is an emotional impact in every painting by Sansó. Each of them will have a nuance or something about it that will make you happy, sad; disturbed, or relaxed. But emotionally, it will hit you. And emotional impact is very important in collecting.”
There were 36 works displayed at the exhibit, presenting different mediums and eras of the iconic artist. These include artworks from Sansó’s "Black Period," "Floating Bouquet," and drybrush "barong-barong" creations, as well as his signature "Brittany" and "En Vase" series.
Sansó: Prized and Personal will run on different dates throughout 2022. It will culminate in the publication of a book of the same title next year that will be published by Fundacion Sansó. The book will focus more on the subjective and personal voices of Sansó collectors, positioning itself as a case study on their motivations and how these relate to the current Filipino art scene.
As far as the scholarships are concerned, Francisco is looking forward to adding more Sansó scholars. For instance, with the foundation's partnership with U.P. and the late great Leo Abaya, it came up with six P50,000 grants for the artists, so the artists wouldn't have to worry about funding.
"We're very small yet very lucky because Mr. Sansó's works are appreciated by many. And we were able to convert that into funding support for other artists, the way he wanted," the director explained.
The second installment of the exhibition will focus on a husband-and-wife team who only became dedicated collectors back in 2015. Most of the works in their collection are seen in the books of Toces and Paras-Perez.