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Napoleon Veloso Abueva Sold at Auction Prices

Sculptor, b. 1930 - d. 2018

Napoleon "Billy" V. Abueva (January 26, 1930 – February 16, 2018) was known as the "Father of Modern Philippine Sculpture" Through Proclamation No. 1539, He was proclaimed National Artist for Sculpture in 1976 when he was 46, making him the youngest recipient of the award to date.

Billy Abueva, as he was fondly called, was born in Tagbilaran, Bohol to Teodoro Lloren Abueva, a Bohol congressman and Purificacion Gonzalez Veloso, president of the Women's Auxiliary Service. Abueva had six other brothers and sisters: Teodoro Jr., Purificacion, Jose, Amelia Martinez, Teresita Floro, and Antonio. Born Esabelio Veloso Abueva, he was named after the younger sister of his paternal grandmother, Isabel.

He assumed the name Napoleon at the age of six, when as a student at the St. Joseph Academy in Tagbilaran, one of the nuns first called him Napoleon after Napoleon Bonaparte. The name stuck, and ever since, Abueva referenced the quote from Napoleon: "If I weren't a conqueror, I would wish to be a sculptor."

Abueva graduated in high school at the Rafael Palma College (now the University of Bohol) in 1949. He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture at the UP School of Fine Arts (now UP College of Fine Arts/UPCFA) in 1953 as one of the second batch of Fine Arts students who moved from the old campus in Padre Faura to Diliman. He was mentored by fellow National Artist for Sculpture Guillermo Tolentino.

Through scholarship grants, he was able to pursue advanced studies abroad including one from Harvard University.

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            • Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018)
              Jan. 21, 2024

              Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018)

              Est: ₱15,000 - ₱19,500

              Untitled signed and dated 1979 (lower right) brass artwork 15" x 12" x 3" (38 cm x 30 cm x 8 cm) over all size: 21" x 19" x 4 3/4" (53 cm x 48 cm x 12 cm)

              Leon Gallery
            • Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018)
              Jan. 21, 2024

              Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018)

              Est: ₱200,000 - ₱260,000

              Recliner signed and dated 1992 narra 27" x 81" x 31 1/2" (69 cm x 206 cm x 80 cm)

              Leon Gallery
            • Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018)
              Jan. 20, 2024

              Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018)

              Est: ₱90,000 - ₱117,000

              Untitled signed and dated 1982 carved wood 12" x 36" (30 cm x 91 cm)

              Leon Gallery
            • LOT WITHDRAWN
              Oct. 21, 2023

              LOT WITHDRAWN

              Est: ₱50,000 - ₱65,000

              LOT WITHDRAWN

              Leon Gallery
            • Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018)
              Oct. 21, 2023

              Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018)

              Est: ₱50,000 - ₱65,000

              Carabao signed and dated 1980 marble 4” x 12” x 4” (10 cm x 12 cm x 10 cm)

              Leon Gallery
            • Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018)
              Oct. 21, 2023

              Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018)

              Est: ₱10,000 - ₱13,000

              Medallion signed brass H: 4” (10 cm) D: 3 1/2” (9 cm)

              Leon Gallery
            • Napoleon Abueva (1930-2018)
              Oct. 21, 2023

              Napoleon Abueva (1930-2018)

              Est: ₱35,000 - ₱45,500

              Ninoy Aquino signed and dated 1998 (lower right) resin artwork: D: 23” (58 cm) W: 24” (61 cm) with frame: 28” x 28” (71 cm x 71 cm)

              Leon Gallery
            • Napoleon Abueva (b. 1930)
              Oct. 21, 2023

              Napoleon Abueva (b. 1930)

              Est: ₱20,000 - ₱26,000

              Untitled cement 9 3/4” x 9” x 4” (24 cm x 23 cm x 10 cm)

              Leon Gallery
            • Napoleon Abueva (b. 1930)
              Oct. 21, 2023

              Napoleon Abueva (b. 1930)

              Est: ₱20,000 - ₱26,000

              Untitled cement 11 1/4” x 19” x 5” (28 cm x 48 cm x 13 cm)

              Leon Gallery
            • Napoleon Abueva (1930-2018)
              Oct. 21, 2023

              Napoleon Abueva (1930-2018)

              Est: ₱25,000 - ₱32,500

              Fredesvinda signed and dated 1976 narra 9 1/4” x 5 1/2” x 17” (23 cm x 14 cm x 43 cm)

              Leon Gallery
            • Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018) - Pandanggo sa Ilaw (Fandango of Light)
              Sep. 09, 2023

              Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018) - Pandanggo sa Ilaw (Fandango of Light)

              Est: ₱700,000 - ₱910,000

              Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018) Pandanggo sa Ilaw (Fandango of Light) ca. 1960 cement H: 72" x L: 15" x W: 23" (182 cm x 38 cm x 58 cm) Accompanied by a certificate issued by Amihan Abueva confirming the authenticity of this lot The "Pandanggo sa Ilaw" (lit. Fandango of Lights) is a traditional Filipino dance from Lubang Island in the province of Occidental Mindoro. The dance involves the deliberate yet graceful balancing of oil lamps (tinghóy in the Tagalog lexicon) or small candles in glasses while elegantly dancing to the tune of a 1930s musical composition by Antonino Ramirez Buenaventura, a native of Baliuag, Bulacan and a National Artist for Music. Native stories tell that the "Pandanggo sa Ilaw" was said to have originated as a ritual dance for prosperity in fishing, the primary source of livelihood for the people of Lubang Island. At dawn, the fishermen would be journeying to the shore guided by the women holding candles as they embark on another journey of toiling in the seas. Some stories tell of the dance being performed as a homage to the fluttering of fireflies at night. Whatever its origins, the "Pandanggo sa Ilaw” has become a cultural trademark and treasure not only of the two Mindoro provinces— Occidental and Oriental—but of the entire nation as well. Napoleon Abueva, the “Father of Modern Philippine Sculpture” and National Artist for Sculpture, depicts in the work at hand the “Pandanggo sa Ilaw,” employing the elegant solidity of cement, thus, evoking the sophistication and refinement the dance inherently possesses. One can easily imagine the woman delicately dancing to the accompaniment of the exuberant music composed by Buenaventura, making this classic piece an intersection of two national artists—a dialogue between Abueva and Buenaventura. (Adrian Maranan)

              Leon Gallery
            • Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018) - Modern 5-Seater Bench
              Sep. 09, 2023

              Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018) - Modern 5-Seater Bench

              Est: ₱2,000,000 - ₱2,600,000

              Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018) Modern 5-Seater Bench signed and dated 1975 hardwood 23" x 129 1/2” x 34 1/2” (58 cm x 329 cm x 87 cm) Accompanied by a certificate issued by Amihan Abueva confirming the authenticity of this lot Noted for his contributions to not only Philippine art but the tenets of Filipino sculpture as well, Napoleon Abueva has undoubtedly influenced a whole generation of Filipino artists. Abueva's sculptural style encompassed a wide range of subjects and themes, from social commentary to cultural heritage. He seamlessly blended traditional Filipino elements with modern techniques, creating a distinct visual language that resonated with audiences both locally and internationally. His profound understanding of materials allowed him to experiment with various mediums, including wood, stone, metal, and even utilized used materials which was virtually unheard of during the time. Abueva's ability to transform seemingly ordinary materials into extraordinary works of art demonstrated his mastery and versatility as a sculptor. Whether it was the graceful curves of a wooden figure or the imposing presence of a monumental metal sculpture, each piece bore his signature touch. Beyond materiality, Abueva managed to create pieces that were distinctly Filipino, effectively creating a visual language that no longer largely relied upon an ultimately Western approach. Abueva's contributions to Philippine art extended beyond his own creations. He played a crucial role in fostering artistic talent and elevating the status of sculpture in the country. As a professor at the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts, he mentored and inspired generations of Filipino sculptors, imparting his knowledge, skills, and artistic philosophy. Many of his students went on to become influential artists themselves, further expanding the legacy of Philippine modern sculpture. (Jed Daya)

              Leon Gallery
            • Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018)
              Jul. 29, 2023

              Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018)

              Est: ₱50,000 - ₱65,000

              Tribute to Higher Education signed and dated 1971 (upper right) aluminum 20” x 8 1/2” (51 cm x 21 cm)

              Leon Gallery
            • Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018)
              Jul. 29, 2023

              Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018)

              Est: ₱100,000 - ₱130,000

              Tribute to Higher Education signed and dated 1971 (upper right) aluminum 20” x 8 1/2” (51 cm x 21 cm)

              Leon Gallery
            • Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018)
              Jul. 29, 2023

              Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018)

              Est: ₱10,000 - ₱13,000

              Untitled signed and dated 1977 (lower right) resin 36” x 16” (91 cm x 41 cm)

              Leon Gallery
            • Napoleon Abueva (b. 1930)
              Jul. 29, 2023

              Napoleon Abueva (b. 1930)

              Est: ₱30,000 - ₱39,000

              Pieta signed hardwood 21” x 19” x 9” (53 cm x 48 cm x 23 cm)

              Leon Gallery
            • Napoleon Abueva (b. 1930)
              Jul. 29, 2023

              Napoleon Abueva (b. 1930)

              Est: ₱40,000 - ₱52,000

              Untitled cement 9 3/4” x 9” x 4” (24 cm x 23 cm x 10 cm)

              Leon Gallery
            • Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018)
              Jul. 29, 2023

              Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018)

              Est: ₱50,000 - ₱65,000

              Carabao signed 2/6 copper 2 1/4” x 11 1/2” x 4” (6 cm x 29 cm x 10 cm) Tanod signed and dated 1979 (lower right) hardwood 19 1/2” x 58” x 3” (49 cm x 147 cm x 8 cm)

              Leon Gallery
            • Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018)
              Jul. 29, 2023

              Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018)

              Est: ₱120,000 - ₱156,000

              Untitled signed and dated 1971 (lower right) wood with frame: 15 3/4” x 29 1/2” (40 cm x 75 cm) artwork: 8 3/4” x 21” (22 cm x 53 cm)

              Leon Gallery
            • Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018)
              Jul. 29, 2023

              Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018)

              Est: ₱120,000 - ₱156,000

              Untitled signed and dated 1971 (lower right) wood with frame: 15 3/4” x 29 1/2” (40 cm x 75 cm) artwork: 8 3/4” x 21” (22 cm x 53 cm)

              Leon Gallery
            • Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018)
              Jun. 17, 2023

              Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018)

              Est: ₱1,200,000 - ₱1,560,000

              Modern 4-Seater Bench signed and dated 1975 (right) mangkono wood 21" x 88" x 24" (53 cm x 224 cm x 61 cm) Accompanied by a certificate issued by Mulawin Abueva confirming the authenticity of this lot PROVENANCE Private Collection, Manila Noted for his contributions to not only Philippine art but the tenets of Filipino sculpture as well, Napoleon Abueva has undoubtedly influenced a whole generation of Filipino artists. Abueva's sculptural style encompassed a wide range of subjects and themes, from social commentary to cultural heritage. He seamlessly blended traditional Filipino elements with modern techniques, creating a distinct visual language that resonated with audiences both locally and internationally. His profound understanding of materials allowed him to experiment with various mediums, including wood, stone, metal, and even utilized used materials which was virtually unheard of during the time. Abueva's ability to transform seemingly ordinary materials into extraordinary works of art demonstrated his mastery and versatility as a sculptor. Whether it was the graceful curves of a wooden figure or the imposing presence of a monumental metal sculpture, each piece bore his signature touch. Beyond materiality, Abueva managed to create pieces that were distinctly Filipino, effectively creating a visual language that no longer largely relied upon an ultimately Western approach. Abueva's contributions to Philippine art extended beyond his own creations. He played a crucial role in fostering artistic talent and elevating the status of sculpture in the country. As a professor at the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts, he mentored and inspired generations of Filipino sculptors, imparting his knowledge, skills, and artistic philosophy. Many of his students went on to become influential artists themselves, further expanding the legacy of Philippine modern sculpture. (J.D.)

              Leon Gallery
            • Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018) Abstract
              Apr. 22, 2023

              Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018) Abstract

              Est: ₱60,000 - ₱78,000

              Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018) Abstract signed and dated 1979 (bottom) wood 5 1/2” x 7” x 1 1/4”(14 cm x 18 cm x 3 cm) PROVENANCE: Tawalisi Antique House Inc.

              Leon Gallery
            • Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018) A Carved Medallion
              Apr. 22, 2023

              Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018) A Carved Medallion

              Est: ₱3,000 - ₱3,900

              Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018) A Carved Medallion signed (right) brass D: 3 1/2” (9 cm)

              Leon Gallery
            • Napoleon V. Abueva (1930 - 2018)
              Jan. 22, 2023

              Napoleon V. Abueva (1930 - 2018)

              Est: ₱20,000 - ₱26,000

              Untitled signed and dated 1962 brass 2” x 8” x 2 1/2” (5 cm x 20 cm x 6 cm)

              Leon Gallery
            • Napoleon V. Abueva (1930 - 2018) Untitled
              Dec. 03, 2022

              Napoleon V. Abueva (1930 - 2018) Untitled

              Est: ₱120,000 - ₱156,000

              Untitled signed and dated 1977 (bottom) carved wood 12" x 34 3/4" (30 cm x 88 cm) PROVENANCE Acquired directly from the artist Napoleon Abueva’s strength as a foremost modernist sculptor lies in his Filipino sensibility. That he employed Philippine hardwood and depicted primarily native scenes is tangible proof of his genuine appreciation for his roots. Such is the case with this 1977 piece. In the work at hand, Abueva depicts two familiar scenes. The one on the right is that of a pig roasting or ‘paglelechon’ in the native lexicon. The other side is a still life of a kitchen, in which elements of a typical Filipino kitchen are depicted. When viewed as a whole, it can be deduced that Abueva evokes a busy preparation for a vibrant fiesta, with which the Philippines has come to be associated and renowned. Like the exuberant character of Philippine fiestas, Abueva’s artistry teems with a passion for and an ecstatic celebration of Filipino culture. (A.M.)

              Leon Gallery
            • Napoleon V. Abueva (1930 - 2018) - Untitled
              Oct. 23, 2022

              Napoleon V. Abueva (1930 - 2018) - Untitled

              Est: ₱20,000 - ₱26,000

              Napoleon V. Abueva (1930 - 2018) Untitled signed and dated 1979 (bottom) wood 2” x 19” x 5” (5 cm x 48 cm x 13 cm)

              Leon Gallery
            • Napoleon V. Abueva (1930 - 2018) - Untitled
              Oct. 23, 2022

              Napoleon V. Abueva (1930 - 2018) - Untitled

              Est: ₱60,000 - ₱78,000

              Napoleon V. Abueva (1930 - 2018) Untitled signed and dated 2005 (base) wood 14” x 5” x 5” (36 cm x 13 cm x 13 cm)

              Leon Gallery
            • Napoleon V. Abueva (1930 - 2018) - Untitled
              Oct. 23, 2022

              Napoleon V. Abueva (1930 - 2018) - Untitled

              Est: ₱80,000 - ₱104,000

              Napoleon V. Abueva (1930 - 2018) Untitled brass 12” x 12 1/2” (30 cm x 31 cm)

              Leon Gallery
            • Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018) - Untitled
              Oct. 23, 2022

              Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018) - Untitled

              Est: ₱150,000 - ₱195,000

              Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018) Untitled signed and dated 1965 (top) hardwood 31” x 17” x 25” (79 cm x 43 cm x 64 cm) foot stand: 4” x 17” x 14” (10 cm x 43 cm x 36 cm) PROPERTY FROM THE ROD PARAS-PEREZ COLLECTION

              Leon Gallery
            • Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018)
              Jul. 30, 2022

              Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018)

              Est: ₱50,000 - ₱65,000

              Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018) Untitled 2005 brass mounted on wood 12” x 9 1/4” x 4” (30 cm x 24 cm x 10 cm)

              Leon Gallery
            • Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018)
              Jul. 30, 2022

              Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018)

              Est: ₱10,000 - ₱13,000

              Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018) A Carved Medallion signed brass H: 3 1/2” (9 cm) D: 3 1/2” (9 cm)

              Leon Gallery
            • Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018)
              Jul. 30, 2022

              Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018)

              Est: ₱50,000 - ₱65,000

              Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018) Carabao signed and dated 1978 brass 3” x 12 1/2” x 6” (8 cm x 31 cm x 15 cm) Accompanied by a certificate issued by Sergia Abueva confirming the authenticity of this lot

              Leon Gallery
            • Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018)
              Jul. 30, 2022

              Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018)

              Est: ₱40,000 - ₱52,000

              Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018) Untitled signed and dated 1976 hardwood 21 1/2” x 20 1/2” (55 cm x 52 cm)

              Leon Gallery
            • Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018) - Oblation
              Apr. 23, 2022

              Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018) - Oblation

              Est: ₱20,000 - ₱26,000

              Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018) Oblation fiberglass in antique bronze 19” x 10” x 4” (48 cm x 25 cm x 10 cm)

              Leon Gallery
            • Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018) - A carved medallion
              Apr. 23, 2022

              Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018) - A carved medallion

              Est: ₱5,000 - ₱6,500

              Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018) A carved medallion signed brass H: 4” (10 cm) D: 4” (10 cm)

              Leon Gallery
            • Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018) - Untitled
              Apr. 23, 2022

              Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018) - Untitled

              Est: ₱40,000 - ₱52,000

              Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018) Untitled signed and dated 1997 (bottom) brass H: 12” (30 cm) D: 5 1/2” (14 cm)

              Leon Gallery
            • Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018) - Three Dancers
              Apr. 23, 2022

              Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018) - Three Dancers

              Est: ₱40,000 - ₱52,000

              Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018) Three Dancers signed and dated 1998 (lower right) brass 17” x17 1/2” (43 cm x 44 cm)

              Leon Gallery
            • Napoleon V. Abueva (1930 - 2018) - Untitled
              Apr. 23, 2022

              Napoleon V. Abueva (1930 - 2018) - Untitled

              Est: ₱50,000 - ₱65,000

              Napoleon V. Abueva (1930 - 2018) Untitled signed and dated 1976 wood and brass 16” x 13” x 3 1/2” (41 cm x 33 cm x 9 cm)

              Leon Gallery
            • Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018) - Untitled
              Apr. 23, 2022

              Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018) - Untitled

              Est: ₱50,000 - ₱65,000

              Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018) Untitled signed and dated 1979 (lower right) brass 11 1/3” x 22 3/4” (28 cm x 57 cm)

              Leon Gallery
            • XIV Station of the Cross
              Mar. 12, 2022

              XIV Station of the Cross

              Est: ₱580,000 - ₱650,000

              Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018) XIV Station of the Cross Signed and dated '1989' (lower right) Fiberglass 100 x 100 cm (39 x 39 in) Accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity issued by Abueva Arts and Sculpture Design signed by Maria Amihan V. Abueva

              Salcedo Auctions
            • Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018) - Untitled
              Mar. 05, 2022

              Napoleon Abueva (1930 - 2018) - Untitled

              Est: ₱180,000 - ₱234,000

              Untitled signed and dated 1969 (upper right) wood 11 1/2" x 20" x 2 1/2" (29 cm x 51 cm x 6 cm) PROPERTY FROM THE CORITO KALAW COLLECTION PROVENANCE: Acquired directly from the artist As a sculptor who mastered the techniques and approaches of both academic representational style and modern abstraction, Napoleon Abueva transformed and shaped Filipino sculpture. Abueva created sculptures that adhered to Modernism integrated into his Filipino sensibility through utilizing indigenous and contemporary materials. Although Abueva was at the forefront of Modernism in Philippine sculpture, he constantly rejected such designation, saying: “One’s imagination and feeling towards a certain subject should be interpreted in one’s chosen medium, irrespective of the prevailing style of the period as the subject is best fitted for execution, for a good piece of art transcends any period and has perpetual value.” Either in figuration or abstraction, Abueva’s works evoke potency and sensitivity en masse.

              Leon Gallery
            • Napoleon V. Abueva (1930 - 2018)
              Jan. 29, 2022

              Napoleon V. Abueva (1930 - 2018)

              Est: ₱100,000 - ₱130,000

              Napoleon V. Abueva (1930 - 2018) Mother and Child signed and dated 1993 bronze 14 1/2” x 8” x 6 1/2” (37 cm x 20 cm x 17 cm)

              Leon Gallery
            • Napoleon V. Abueva (1930 - 2018)
              Jan. 29, 2022

              Napoleon V. Abueva (1930 - 2018)

              Est: ₱50,000 - ₱65,000

              Napoleon V. Abueva (1930 - 2018) I Am The Life signed brass 13” x 17 1/2” (33 cm x 44 cm)

              Leon Gallery
            • Napoleon V. Abueva (1930 - 2018)
              Jan. 29, 2022

              Napoleon V. Abueva (1930 - 2018)

              Est: ₱50,000 - ₱65,000

              Napoleon V. Abueva (1930 - 2018) Crucifix signed and dated 1976 13” x 11” 2 1/2” (33 cm x 28 cm x 6 cm)

              Leon Gallery
            • Napoleon V. Abueva (1930 - 2018)
              Jan. 29, 2022

              Napoleon V. Abueva (1930 - 2018)

              Est: ₱6,000 - ₱7,800

              Napoleon V. Abueva (1930 - 2018) Untitled signed and dated 1992 wood 24 1/2” x 5 1/2” x 2” (62 cm x 14 cm x 5 cm)

              Leon Gallery
            • Napoleon V. Abueva (1930 - 2018)
              Jan. 29, 2022

              Napoleon V. Abueva (1930 - 2018)

              Est: ₱60,000 - ₱78,000

              Napoleon V. Abueva (1930 - 2018) Untitled signed and dated 1979 (lower right) brass 13 1/2” x 32 1/2” (34 cm x 83 cm)

              Leon Gallery
            • Napoleon V. Abueva (1930 - 2018) Code of Kalantiaw
              Sep. 11, 2021

              Napoleon V. Abueva (1930 - 2018) Code of Kalantiaw

              Est: ₱500,000 - ₱650,000

              Property from the leonardo and Armida Siguion-Reyna collection Napoleon V. Abueva (1930 - 2018) Code of Kalantiaw signed and dated 1977 (lower right) white marble on wooden base marble: 13" x 12" x 11" (33 cm x 30 cm x 28 cm) base: 4" x 15 1/2" x 13 3/4" (10 cm x 39 cm x 25 cm) P 500,000 Provenance A gift from the artist to Leonardo Siguion-Reyna   As a master of both academic representational style and modern abstraction, Napoleon Abueva transformed and shaped Filipino sculpture. By using indigenous and modern materials, Abueva created sculptures that adhered to a modernist approach integrated into his Filipino sensibility. Abueva deeply admired marble for its luminosity, durability, and natural physical properties. With marble, Abueva was able to create sculptures with excellent polish. Its malleable yet sturdy quality allows it to be easily sculpted, with uniform properties in all directions when fine-grained. Being identified with Modernism that emphasized awareness of our national sensibility, Abueva’s heightened consciousness of our identity and culture can be discerned in this piece depicting the “Code of Kalantiaw,” a mythical pre-colonial system of punishment in the Maragtas epic. This piece is Abueva’s marble rendition of his iconic “Code of Kalantiaw” (1953) which was among the artist’s earlier works and one of his entries to the 7th AAP Annual Art Exhibition. The sculpture is a “drawing in space,” employing symbolic representations of the sun, anthill, crocodile, whip, and boiling water – instruments of punishment inflicted for the crimes committed by pre-colonial natives. Despite its refuting by historian William Henry Scott in the late 1960s, Abueva’s depiction of the code is wildly imaginative – one that has undoubtedly made a picturesque subject for the artist’s work. National Artist Francisco Arcellana writes in one of the earliest written critiques of Abueva’s work: “There is no end to [the] Code of Kalantiao as a piece of sculpture… [It] celebrates a new consciousness in the sculptor; a new consciousness with the old detachment.” Although Abueva was at the forefront of Modernism in Philippine sculpture, he constantly rejected such designation, saying: “One’s imagination and feeling towards a certain subject should be interpreted in one’s chosen medium, irrespective of the prevailing style of the period as the subject is best fitted for execution, for a good piece of art transcends any period and has perpetual value.” Either in figurative or abstract, Abueva’s works evoke potency and sensitivity en masse

              Leon Gallery
            • Napoleon V. Abueva (1930 - 2018)
              Jul. 17, 2021

              Napoleon V. Abueva (1930 - 2018)

              Est: ₱120,000 - ₱156,000

              Napoleon V. Abueva (1930 - 2018) Untitled signed and dated 1997 (bottom) brass H: 12” (30 cm) D: 5 1/2” (14 cm)

              Leon Gallery
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