Kiukok’s ‘Fishermen’ sets new high at P65M

Leon Gallery’s “Spectacular Mid-year Auction” saw a record breaking auction day. It sold Ang Kiukok’s “Fishermen” for a staggering P65.4 million, making it the most expensive Philippine artwork ever sold in the country.
The auction, attended by roughly 300 guests, was one of the most awaited in the local art market.
Some of the greatest names in Philippine art – Ang Kiukok, Vicente Manansala, Jose Joya, Fabian dela Rosa, and Fernando Zobel – went under the hammer.
In 2015, the highest price for Philippine art, set by the same gallery, went to Anita Magsaysay-Ho’s 1979 oil-on-canvas work, “Fish Harvest at Dawn,” which fetched P52.5 million.
Kiukok’s 1981 easel painting, a 40 x 80-inch piece, was his largest painting to enter the market.
Its subject, fishermen reaping their bounty, showed the National Artist’s penchant for portraying the common man in a style that fused cubism with expressionism.
Even more intriguing is how the three angled forms seem to spell out the artist’s name.
The auction also set a record for National Artist Vicente Manansala. His “Pila sa Bigas,” a major 36 x 48 inch work, was sold for P30.4 million – the highest price paid for a Manansala in the Philippines and the second highest internationally.
Fabian dela Rosa’s “Women Weaving Hats,” which fetched P30.3 million at the auction, broke the record set by Singapore in 2000 for Dela Rosa’s “Planting Rice.”
Evocative of pastoral life in a bygone era, “Women Weaving Hats” draws attention to the textures of the bamboo floor, capiz windows, fibers of the hats and colorful saya blooming like flowers in the quiet space.

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