The Magnificent September Auction 2019

September 14,2019 | 02:00 PM
G/F Eurovilla 1, Rufino corner Legazpi Street, Legazpi Village, Makati City, Philippines

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Anita Magsaysay-Ho   (1914-2012)

Girls with Fan
signed and dated 2002 (lower left)
oil on canvas (denim jacket)
26” x 23” (66 cm x 58 cm)


PHP 3,000,000

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Sotheby's, Southeast Asian Paintings, Singapore, October 6, 2002, Lot 79

          Anita Magsaysay-Ho stylizes a denim jacket in 2002 as she paints it with her signature imagery of two women sporting bright colored bandanas.

          Magsaysay-Ho’s work centered around the central tenets of Modernism, garnering her inclusion in the Filipino artist group the Thirteen Moderns  — the only woman to do so.

          Leonor Orosa Goquinco once wrote about the hinted duality of Anita Magsaysay-Ho’s woman or women: “Set firm on the ground, strong and serene, Magsaysay-Ho’s female figure is projected from the painter’s poetic inner eye in a pose of arrested motion — motion-stilled in   timelessness, their lean lines offset the soft curves of a basket; they   are shy, diffident, modest, brown, Philippine and Oriental; they are   enigmatic as only the artist can depict". 

          The women reveal another side to the artist’s provincial expression   by their awkward vitality and tendencies toward exaggeration and  angularity.  The artist’s main concern was not, of course, anatomical   correctness but the overall formal completeness of the painting.   

          With the development of her expressive powers came a corresponding  study of technical processes.  There is also a decreasing naturalism,   a heightening of distortion and tension.  The nuanced disproportions were not spontaneous but the result of calculated pictorial decisions. Even more than these formal parallels, the innate human dignity with which poverty and physical misfortune are not depicted may be counted as one of Anita Magsaysay-Ho’s most magnanimous traits as a painter.

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