Inspired by the evolutionary, and sometimes revolutionary, aspects of art history, Salcedo Auctions’ The Well-Appointed Life 2019 examines and celebrates man’s quest for beauty. Sometimes crystal clear, other times elusive, our contemplation of the alluring is a reflection of changing times and also the manner in which we have come to understand ourselves. 

Just as artists and artisans have expressed their inner curiosity with both subject and technique through the ages, Salcedo Auctions invites guests to discover a full spectrum of light, color, and harmony at the heart of The Well-Appointed Life, once again co-presented with The Peninsula Manila, in the Important Philippine Art sale taking place on Saturday, the 21st of September, 2pm at the Rigodon Ballroom. 

Leading the procession of this year’s highlights is Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo’s ‘La Pintura,’ an oil on canvas in true French Impressionist style depicting a woman standing in front of an unfinished canvas. Hidalgo captures the essence of the moment in varying pastel hues distilled by light, the softness of his brush strokes highlighting the femininity of his subject. Immediately, the viewer’s eye is drawn by the cerulean of her frock to the center, then upwards to the bright red of the ribbon in her hair that is echoed by the blush colored pinstripes of her dress. But it is the elusiveness of Hidalgo’s 19th century-era muse, so mysteriously turned away from us, that is most captivating. 

Hidalgo’s work is accompanied by that of his contemporary, Juan Luna y Novicio, whose rare 1881 watercolor ‘Venezia’ closely hews to a style known as Costumbrism, which was popularized by Spanish artists in the 19th century. ‘La Virgen María Leyendo un Libro’ a rare work by Luna and Hidalgo’s predecessor, Simón Flores y de la Rosa who is recognized as the first Filipino artist to have received an international award, is also included in the lineup.  

National Artist Jose Joya uses luminous colors to usher us into modern times with his 1960 oil on board work. Here, colors are contrasted to dynamic effect and hues are applied in varying opacity to give the work balance. Vicente Manansala reins in Joya’s abstractionism with his own style of cubism through which he captures a bright and busy market scene as well as the different shapes of the human form. In counterpoint, Ang Kiukok’s ‘Seated Figure’ is an arresting subject even its stationary form, balanced with a solemn palette. A similar muted tone is echoed in the monochromatic hues of Juvenal Sanso’s ‘Typewriter,’ a rare example from his figurative period.  A remarkable addition to this year’s line-up is ‘Verandah’ a recently discovered work from a New York collection by Roberto Chabet. Another artwork worth noting is Onib Olmedo’s verdant painting of a young man leading a horse on an overcast day.

The collection also boasts exemplars from across Mauro Malang Santos’ career such as a playful city scene from the 1950s, a pleasantly muted painting of a woman from 1973, a nighttime skyline done in rich blues from 1972, and a charming group from 2001. The lineup of modern artists culminates in a stunning 2003 acrylic on canvas by National Artist BenCab, who drapes his muse in a seemingly mundane glossy material that frames her face perfectly, elevating her beauty ethereally. 

Ramon Orlina explores the equally enchanting effects of light through his chosen medium of glass, just as Solomon Saprid and Napoleon Abueva depict familiar native motifs in metal and marble. Eduardo Castrillo captures a moment in metal with his 1979 brass work ‘Graceful Charm’ in which a woman’s hair is blown aside by a gust of wind.

Lao Lianben opens the lineup of contemporary artists with his 2009 acrylic on canvas ‘Buddhist Television’ in which the artist uses shape and color to draw the viewer’s gaze from the center to the outer edges of the painting. In similar minimalist strain, Maria Taniguchi highlights the creative and technical process of art in her brick paintings series. Elaine Navas, Rodel Tapaya, Ricky Ambagan, and Ronson Culibrina make use of culturally loaded images to encourage the re-examination of personal and societal experience while Marina Cruz‘s highly personal works marry the classical and abstract to capture the many intimate moments that make up The Well-Appointed Life.

Preview starts on the 13th of September and runs through the 20th of September, 10am-6pm at the Upper Lobby of the Peninsula Manila and at the flagship headquarters at the NEX Tower along Ayala Avenue. The online catalogue is available at

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