Books & Art

Stunning Zobel Photographs and Orlina Glass Go Under the Gavel at Leon

See unconventional photos by Jaime Zobel de Ayala.
IMAGE Jaime Zobel de Ayala, Ramon Orlina
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Leòn Gallery will hold Leòn Exchange Online Auction 18 on January 23 (Saturday) and January 24 (Sunday), starting at 11 a.m. 

Guest curated by medical practitioner and design consultant Dr. Joel Malixi, the weekend event features art, prints, jewelry, and watches on Day 1: The Collector’s Vault and furniture, objets d’art, silver, glass, porcelain, and china on Day 2: The Heiress’ Homes and Tables.

Top-billing the lot of exquisite art are three lots of unconventional flower and plant photographs by business tycoon and master photographer Jaime Zobel de Ayala (b. 1934).

“Plants and Leaves I-IV” (from 11” x 9” to 12.5” x 11.5”), “Tulips I-III” (from 13” x 6” to 13” x 8.5”), and “Lilies I-III” (from 11.5” x 8.5” to 13.5” x 7.5”) capture the fleeting beauty in flora by juxtaposing shapes and colors in a series of digital montage-collage that is playful and meditative at the same time. Business tycoon and artist Zobel de Ayala is the first Filipino photographer to be conferred a “Licentiate” by the Royal Photographic Society upon recommendation of the Spanish and French governments.

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Plants and Leaves I by Jaime Zobel de Ayala

Photo by Jaime Zobel de Ayala.
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Plants and Leaves II

Photo by Jaime Zobel de Ayala.
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Plants and Leaves III

Photo by Jaime Zobel de Ayala.

Plants and Leaves IV

Photo by Jaime Zobel de Ayala.
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Tulips I by Jaime Zobel de Ayala

Photo by Jaime Zobel de Ayala.

Tulips II by Jaime Zobel de Ayala

Photo by Jaime Zobel de Ayala.
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Tulips III by Jaime Zobel de Ayala

Photo by Jaime Zobel de Ayala.

 

There are three luminous glass sculptures by Ramon Orlina (b. 1944), who pioneered the use of Asahi glass in art-making and is widely regarded as “Father of Philippine Glass Sculpture.” “Abstrex 23” (1966, 9” x 5.5” x 4.5”) bears the silhouette of a Mother and Child, “Untitled” (1990, 10” x 9” x 4.5”) appears to be a mystical eye, while “Visions 7” (1991, 4” x 5.5” x 3.5”) mimics a faceted gem.

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Abstrex 23 by Ramon Orlina

Photo by Ramon Orlina.

Visions by Ramon Orlina

Photo by Ramon Orlina.
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Untitled Work by Ramon Orlina

Photo by Ramon Orlina.

Two superb works by Juvenal Sanso (b. 1929) exemplify the master’s iconic expressionist landscapes: “Untitled” (ca 1980, acrylic on canvas, 19.5” x 28.5”), which is both medieval and a cityscape, and “Untitled” (ca 1960, oil on canvas, 24” x 36”), which is both forest and floral ensemble.

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Untitled Work by Juvenal Sanso

Photo by Juvenal Sanso.

Untitled Work by Juvenal Sanso

Photo by Juvenal Sanso.
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“Town Scene” (1993, mixed media on canvas, 26” x 58”) by Antonio Mahilum (1948-2008) is a unique yet representative piece of the master’s “antebellum crowd scene”. Here, viewers get a bird’s eye view of rural folk living and are given the option to zoom in on everyday activities rendered in vibrant detail. 

Town Scene by Antonio Mahilum 

Photo by Antonio Mahilum.
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“Sabel” (2014, archival print on acid free paper, A/P III, 30.5” x 21.5”) by Benedicto “BenCab” Cabrera (b. 1942) is an almost sculptural rendition of the National Artist’s most famous series that catapulted him to local and international fame. Sabel is the scavenger wrapped in plastic sheets that he found in Sta Cruz, Manila, while he was still living on Yakal Street in the 1960s.

Sabel by Ben Cab

Photo by BenCab.
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Also on the auction block are works by National Artists Napoleon Abueva, Eduardo Castrillo, Arturo Luz, and Vicente Manansala alongside pieces from Pacita Abad, Angelito Antonio, Norma Belleza, Prudencio Lamarroza, and David Medalla. Works from contemporary artists such as Pam Yan Santos, Geraldine Javier, Kawayan de Guia and Max Balatbat are also.

Also part of this online auction is Albert Garcia’s entire collection of Asian antiques and ephemera. He is a Filipino who grew up in Spain, migrated to Australia, retired in the Philippines and once more, left for Australia. An independent businessman who traveled extensively, he felt himself drawn to the Asian region, acquainting himself with the culture and history, enabling him to further comprehend local dispositions that aided him in his business dealings.

Philippine ceramics caught his eye and in the’60’s while still in school, as he slowly started collecting them. While living in Australia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia became his hunting grounds, fueling his sense of adventure and collector’s itch.

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“Over time, I became friends with different antique dealers in various countries. I would go to their stock rooms where there were more selections.  In Vietnam, I was in the country in 1981 whilst Saigon was still boarded up, I was able to purchase heirloom pieces that otherwise would not have been sold in the market, as the original owners had fled the country,” explains Garcia. Comes a time, however, when sobering thoughts of letting go of things, give way to that once heart-thumping urge for prized acquisitions. “I had to seriously think of estate planning because none of my children have the same taste as I have. Some are priceless and irreplaceable”.

View the lots and register to bid

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor, Esquire Philippines
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