Art collectors are on their toes for León Gallery's aptly named annual "Spectacular Mid-Year Auction" where works of renowned artists will again be within reach for the public

Those in the know already have June 11, 2022, earmarked on their calendars. On that day, art collectors from all over the Philippines will be vying for some of the most spectacular pieces from artists such as Ramon Orlina, Ang Kiukok, and Juvenal Sansó at León Gallery’s ‘The Spectacular Mid-Year Auction 2022’. It feels like Christmas in June for art connoisseurs to know that a hungry public will finally have the chance to take some priceless works of art home from private collectors and legendary patrons in what is dubbed 'The Great Filipino Collectors Series". 

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From the collection of Vicente Puyat, son of former senator Gil Puyat, comes Victorio Edades' 1976 Poinsettia Girl, an oil painting done on hardwood that features an unsmiling woman juxtaposed by the merry colours of red. Surrounded by poinsettias, she remains impervious to the merriment of her setting, despite her vivid dress and maquillage. This piece is among the highlights of Edades' works and was even the highlight of the artist's retrospective at the Museum of Philippine Art (MoPA) four years after the painting was completed.

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From Don Eugenio 'Geny' Lopez Jr comes two works from Filipino visionary, Hernando R Ocampo. Hat Weavers is one of Ocampo's earlier works and is also described by León Gallery curator, Lisa Guerrero Nakpil, as his "most talked about, most remarked on, and best-documented work". It features the traditional practice of Filipino hat weaving, which was a staple practice up until the start of the Second World War. Though the painting was finished in 1941, it still remains an important piece of work that portrays what Ocampo considers the "proletariat period", portraying a class of working people who had become commodified and de-humanized. 

Meanwhile, Analogy (B) features a linear design of mostly reds. Done in the '60s, this artwork comes from the artist's "visual melody" period, when Ocampo was in the thick of abstract works that were—as his chronicler, Angel de Jesus would describe—"something akin to chamber music". 

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Other notable works include one from Don Geny's cousin, Don Vicente "Tiking" H Lopez, who is putting up his Madonna No 2 by Vicente Manansala. Cubism and social realism find an easy balance in this piece that Guerrero Nakpil calls the "legendary heir" to Manansala's 1950 Madonna of the Slums

Doña Nene Quimson is also opening up her collection which consists of an array of the works of Betsy Westendorp, known best for her floral portraits, light coloured palettes and high-society portraits. 

Journalist Jimena Austria is auctioning off one of Arturo Luz's works, Carnival Forms while architect Jorge Y Ramos sends off a Carlos "Botong" Francisco work commissioned by Alejandro R Roces called Moriones Festival. 

Read also: Betsy Westendorp and the Art in Her Family's Veins

Artistic works aren't the only items up for auction either. Historic artefacts are also open for bid, for example, an Ifugao hagabi, a traditional ceremonial bench that is also a status symbol within the tribe. First owned by William Beyer, this particular hagabi was displayed in the National Museum of the Philippines in the early '70s. Don Benito J Legarda Jr's historic engraving by Laureano Atlas titled Nuestra Señora Del Santisimo Rosario en la Yglesia de Santo Domingo will also be up for auction.


The Spectacular Mid-Year Auction is happening this June 11 at 2 PM. Preview week will be from June 4 to June 10, 2022, from 9 AM to 7 PM. For further inquiries, email info@leon-gallery.com or contact +632 8856-27-81. To browse the catalogue, visit www.leon-gallery.com.

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