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Geny Lopez collection including Joya, BenCab sold at ACC Auction 2024

MANILA, Philippines — Leon Gallery, in partnership with the Asian Cultural Council, recently concluded the Asian Cultural Council (ACC) Auction 2024. It was the ninth year of collaboration between the gallery and the cultural group, and the auction turned out to be a huge success.

The highlight of the auction sale last March 9 were the masterpieces included in the collection of media titan and pioneer Don Eugenio "Geny" Lopez.

Lopez owned the 1961 Jose Joya masterpiece called “Yellow Abode,” which represents the zenith of the artist’s abstract expressionist powers. Joya painted it in 1961, which is considered as a prolific year of the artist because, in the same year, he was conferred two of his most important awards — the Republic Cultural Heritage Award and the Ten Outstanding Young Men Award.

"Yellow Abode" yielded P24.03 million, inclusive of buyer’s premium, during the recent auction.

Two other exquisite pieces from Lopez’s collection — Benedicto Cabrera’s “Three Faces of Sabel” and Vicente Manansala’s “Vendors” commanded whopping amounts of P24.03 million and P19.2 million, respectively.

'Barcos de la Vela (Sailboats)' by Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo

Another Joya work, “Picnic at the Great Wall II,” representing the artist’s evolution to geometric expressionism, brought in P20.4 million.

Eight works by Fernando Amorsolo achieved stellar sums at the auction. This elite group is led by “Mango Vendors” from the artist’s “Golden Period,” harvesting a striking P22.8 million. It is followed by two “Tinikling” paintings from the collection of industrial magnate Dennett Howe; they brought in P12.01 million and P14.4 million, respectively.

“Lavandera,” from the collection of eminent public servant Carlos P. Romulo, counted in at P4.3 million, while “Ang Mga Ulila,” a rare relic of a lost Amorsolo masterpiece, found its way at P7.8 million.

The “sun and moon” of Philippine art, Juan Luna and Felix Resureccion Hidalgo, fetched bountiful prices. Hidalgo’s “Barcos de la Vela,” from the collection of Irish-born railway tycoon and banker William Sproule, added P24.03 million.

Luna’s “Idilio,” representing his fruitful 1880s decade that produced the iconic “Death of Cleopatra” and “Spoliarium” and from the collection of patriot and art patron Jorge B. Vargas, fetched P18.02 million.

Other works by Luna also brought in great sums: “Ecce Homo” at P10.2 million and “Landscape in Bilbao” at P5.04 million.

The works of Fernando Zobel and Nena Saguil — in celebration of their birth anniversaries this year (Zobel’s centennial and the 110th of Saguil, who will also be represented in this year’s 60th Venice Biennale) — also attained outstanding results.

Zobel’s “El Rio V,” from his highly acclaimed “Serie Blanca,” secured P15.6 million, while Saguil’s “Sans Titre (Untitled)” and “Composition en noir et blanc,” sold for P4.8 million and P4.5 million, respectively.

Ronald Ventura’s tribute to overseas Filipino workers, “Airhome,” from the collection of Architect and Mrs. Emmanuel “Manny” Minana, took in P14.4 million.

Leon Gallery, in partnership with the Asian Cultural Council, has just concluded the Asian Cultural Council Auction 2024.

The glory of the Romeo Jorge collection proved timeless. A 17th-century ivory image of San Miguel Arcangel ascended to the P6-million mark. On the other hand, a late 19th-century Malacañang Carlos Trece Armchair comfortably sat at the P1.3-million mark, an incredible surge of 11 times from its starting price of just P120,000.

Hugo Yonzon Jr. achieved a record-breaking price with his 1959 early work “Boats,” his entry to the 12th Art Association of the Philippines Annual Exhibition, competing with Joya’s iconic “Space Transfiguration.” “Boats” anchored at P1.4 million, or 14 times from its modest starting price of P100,000.

A portion of the proceeds from this sale had been earmarked to help fund various ACC grants for Filipino and other Asian artists and arts-based practitioners.

“We acknowledge the generous contribution of friends and patrons whose invaluable help and support through the years has been a source of encouragement and goodwill. We are forever grateful to everyone who has journeyed with us in this endeavor. Let this new year inspire us all with a renewed sense of purpose as we make each day better for everyone,” said ACC Philippines Chairman Ernest L. Escaler.

“The Asian Cultural Council Auction is always an occasion close to our hearts, not least of all because it brings to the forefront the abilities of our young Filipino artists,” said Leon Gallery Director Jaime Ponce de Leon.

RELATED: Women’s Month: Rare Anita Magsaysay-Ho auctioned for benefit of Asian Cultural Council scholars

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