Lot #016

Romeo Tabuena

Mother and Child
oil on canvas
20” x 16” (51 cm x 41 cm)
Starting Bid : Php 200,000
HP + BP : Php 467,200
Provenance Private Collection, Singapore
While Romeo Tabuena is known for his monochromatic landscapes of nipa-huts, farmers and carabaos done in an exquisite style, with attenuated figures spread out in large, tonal areas suggesting early morning fog, he was somewhat influenced by Chinese painting and went through considerable evolutions.
The painting shows Romeo Tabuena’s other side to his art, which came early in his career expressed in dark oil paintings, some of which reflected the “proletarian” concerns of the period. In this work, the figures in the background have an almost expressionist distortion with no happy elements to relieve the labored atmosphere.
There have been other facets and turns to Tabuena’s evolution, specifically, when he famously settled in Mexico some years after, and developed a colourful prismatic style with folk subjects.