Lot 313
  • 313

Vicente Silva Manansala

Estimate
450,000 - 550,000 HKD
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Description

  • Vicente Silva Manansala
  • Market Vendors
  • SIGNED AND DATED 49 UPPER LEFT

  • OIL ON CANVAS

  • 74 BY 98.7 CM.; 29 BY 38 3/4 IN.

Provenance

Acquired directly from the artist

Condition

The painting is in good condition, as is the canvas. Examination under ultraviolet light reveals no indication of retouching. There are a faint marks of creasing on the bottom edge, and rub marks on the four corners, with the corresponding tiny flecks of paint loss on those locations, but the paint layers are well-preserved otherwise.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

Catalogue Note

In 1949, UNESCO awarded Manansala with a six-month grant to study at the École de Beaux Arts in Banff and Montreal, Canada. By this time he had won the first prize at the National Art Exhibition, University of Santo Tomas (1941) and had completed several major works, such as Banaklaot (1948). Manansala had exhibited his interest in modernism, breaking away from the tradition of genre painting popularised by Fernando Amorsolo. Banaklot for example, depicted three fishermen, but instead of appearing buoyant at sea, Manansala painted them back on land, struggling to pull an empty boat. Although stylistically Manansala had not created anything groundbreaking with this work, his concern for the common people and approach in interpreting them demonstrated an original mind. His serious encounter with modernism occurred when Manansala was studying in Canada. Under the guidance of Joseph Plaskett, Manansala learnt to address the problems of cubism, which became his favoured form of style of expression.

The present Lot, Market Vendors, executed in 1949, already exhibits Manansala's trademark "transparent cubism" tendencies. Superimposed facets are scattered throughout the painting, as if they are magical tinted glasses, producing a different hue with each new overlap. A crowded market scene is the painting's subject matter and the picture plane is teeming with activities, giving the artist the chance to fragmentize, distort, cut and paste the facets at every angle. As a creative journey, the painting provides a rare and valuable insight into the artist's artistic process. As an intellectual observation, Market Vendors exhibits Manansala's successful attempt at transferring the emotional resonance that is clearly obvious in previous figurative works like Banaklot, into geometric planes. Although the figures are now abstract, their spirit and sense of solidarity can still be felt in the way each facet are linked to another. Western in aesthetic but remaining sincerely Filipino, Market Vendors is one of Manansala's fantastic seminal sanctifications of humanity and labor and what it means to be truly modern.