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Joya’s Favorite And A Magsaysay-Ho Magnum Opus Are Up For Grabs In Next Leon Auction

Amorsolo. ‘Botong’. Luz. Magsaysay-Ho. Ang Kiukok. Zobel. Joya.

These are just some of the illustrious names of Filipino visual artists whose artworks are displayed at the Leon Gallery in Legazpi, Makati for the Asian Cultural Council (ACC) Art Auction. Leon Gallery Director Jaime Ponce De Leon and Curator Lizza Guerrero Nakpil gave Metro.Style a preview of what’s up for grabs, one of which is a 1960 Anita Magsaysay-Ho magnum opus entitled Tahip. Previously owned by one of Ho’s closest friends, the artwork has a starting bid of P18 million, making it one of the most expensive among the collection.


The attention it truly deserves, Joya’s Space Transfiguration situated at the center for guests to adore


The centerpiece of the auction, however, is National Artist Jose Joya’s most talked about and most coveted creation, Space Transfiguration. According to his sister Josefa Joya Baldovino, this piece was inspired by NASA’s first attempt to reach the moon.


Another Jose Joya painting as presented by Josefa Joya Baldovino to the Board of Trustees of the Asian Cultural Council. From L to R Ernest Escaler, Chairman of ACC, Malu Gamboa, Rajo Laurel, Josefa Baldovino, Ching Cruz, Dr. Joven Cuanang and Andre Baldovino


The writer Alice Guillermo says Joya’s passion for abstract expressionism led him to experiment with bigger and bolder formats. Hence, Space Transfiguration never made its way to the Venice Biennale where it was slated to be shown in 1962; the 60” x 70” work wouldn’t fit the aircraft door. It took the Joyas a long time to decide if they were willing to part with the painting which is believed to be Joya’s favorite.

The ACC played An integral part in the growth of Jose Joya, the council’s very first visual arts grantee to be sent to United States to develop and explore his craft. “For an artist to be good in his craft, he has to be exposed to the world. We give opportunities to artists to broaden their horizon,” says ACC Chair Ernest Escaler.


A Jose Joya masterpiece up close


Ang Kiukok’s Fish, also part of the ACC Art Auction placed at the top of the elegant staircase of the Cruz’s manor


Continuing with this tradition, a portion of the proceeds from the auction will fund another grant to send a Filipino artist abroad.

The Art Auction will commence on March 3, 2 in the afternoon at the Leon Gallery.

For more on the auction, check out


Photos by Chris Clemente