June-August 2015--In 1955, Federico Aguilar Alcuaz received a scholarship grant to study at the Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid. His instructor soon noticed that he was very talented. He was asked to leave the university , as “they had nothing more to teach him”. So less than a year after his arrival in Madrid, he moved to Barcelona where he soon joined a group of artists, called “La Puñalada”. The group got together because they were against Spanish art’s conservatism. Most of the artists who joined “La Puñalada” became forerunners of modern and contemporary art in Spain, such as Tapies, Cuixart, and Tharrats.
Aguilar Alcuaz started to flourish as an artist and became well-known for his abstract paintings. He held exhibits at the highly prestigious Sala Direccion Generak, Museum of Comtemporary art in Madrid, having been the youngest then at 24 to have exhibited there. He also received several awards such as the first prize at the Premio Francisco Goya (1958) in Barcelona, where he met Don Benjamin Gayubar, who was his first and foremost sponsor amd later became at one time the biggest collector of Aguilar Alcuaz’s works. By the end of the 1950’s, he had finally adopted a change of name to what he later would be known as: Aguilar Alcuaz. The change –or better modification- of name was necessary to distinguish himself from the many others also named “Aguilar” in Spain.
May 2015--Jaime de Guzman began his fine art studies at the University of Sto Tomas where he majored in Painting. Two years later, he packed his brushes and spent nearly a year traveling and painting in Cebu, Samar and Zamboanga. It was then that he sought out Martino Abellana, mentor to many of the Cebuano artists. His paintings reflected the everyday scenes of his travels – the port of Cebu, house interiors of local artists, and the hills of Samar. He later returned to Manila to enroll as a Fine Arts student at the University of the Philippines.
Jaime had his first solo exhibit at Solidaridad Galleries in Malate, Manila in 1967. That same year, he also had a one-man show in the National Museum, quite a feat for a 25-year old who traced his origins ro Liliw, Laguna.
In the process, he had joined bohemia, or more specifically, the generation of war babies and baby boomers that had taken up from where European existentialists and American beatniks had trailed off – to become the Flower Power people by the turn of the 1960s.
September 2012--The Mangyan tribe has been included in the history of Mindoro. Spaniards have long documented the life of the Mangyan people. However, much is still to be learned from the culture of one of the Philippines’ richest ethnic group. Mangyan refers to the Philippine ethnic group living in Mindoro Island but some can be found in the island of Tablas and Sibuyan in the province of Romblon as well as in Albay, Negros and Palawan. The word Mangyan generally means man, woman or person without any reference to any nationality. Social scientists have documented Mangyan tribes into several major tribes. One of the ways to categorize them is through their geographical location. The Northern tribes include the Iraya, Alangan and Tadyawan tribes while the Buhid, Bangon Batangon and Hanunuo Mangyan comprise the tribes in the South.
July-August 2013--A geological study in Tres Hermanas in Antipolo was undertaken by the National Institute of Geological Sciences, University of the Philippines. In this site, the Plio-Pliestocene deposit was identified as Laguna Formation which consists of tuffs deposited in an alluvial setting. The radio-metric datings are 1.7 and 1.0 million years. Recovery of plant fossils and extraction of pollen grains from sediments were undertaken. The data indicated a sub-tropical moderate climate in the Plio-Pliestocene. The area was covered by a forest with thick trees and bushes of angiospermae (flowering plants) gymnospermae (pines) and ferns or pterydophytes. Grasses were present, indicating atleast partly open forest or grasslands. The presence of pine trees and ferns indicated a subtropical moderate climate, cooler that the present day climate of the area. Vertebrate fossils found were molars and tusks of Pygmy Stegodonts and pertrified remains of a giant land turtle.
April 2012 -- The press has recently been full of reports about forgeries. In Europe, fakes by Wolfgang Beltracchi have embarrassed a number of experts and collectors. In the US, a painting purportedly by Jackson Pollock that was sold for $17m is the subject of a lawsuit against the now-closed Knoedler gallery and its former president Ann Freedman. This “Pollock”, moreover, seems to be only the tip of the iceberg, since it appears to belong to a surprisingly large collection of pictures supposedly painted by leading abstract expressionist artists. This collection was allegedly brokered by a previously obscure dealer named Glafira Rosales, who is now said to be the subject of an FBI investigation. The names attached to the paintings Rosales allegedly handled include Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, Barnett Newman, Mark Rothko and Clyfford Still, as well as Pollock.
One of these paintings, supposedly from the “Elegy to the Spanish Republic” series by Motherwell, was recently confirmed as a forgery by the Dedalus Foundation as part of a court settlement. The foundation, which I head, is sponsoring a catalogue raisonné of Motherwell’s work. Our experience with this and related works makes it clear how problematic the issue of authenticity has become for scholars, collectors, gallery owners, and foundations specialising in modern painting. Sharply rising prices and an increasing scarcity of major works have created a rich environment for forgers.
March 2015--A stolen Picasso painting which was considered lost for years has resurfaced in the United States, where it had been shipped under false pretenses as a $37 Christmas present labeled as “art craft." The 1911 painting, La Coiffeuse (The Hairdresser), was discovered in December in a FedEx shipment from Belgium to Long Island City.
The US attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Loretta Lynch, filed a civil forfeiture suit on Thursday, February 26 to return the painting to France. The work is owned by the French government.
The painting, worth millions of dollars, was stolen in Paris more than a decade ago, though the theft's exact date is unclear. It had been smuggled out of a storeroom at the Centre Georges Pompidou.
The canvas was last exhibited in Munich in 1998, and then returned to Paris, where it was placed in storage at the Paris museum. It wasn't until three years later, in 2001, when officials received a loan request for the cubist landmark, that the theft was noticed. Having searched the storerooms to no avail, they declared the painting, then valued at more than $2.5 million, stolen, the New York Times reports.
October 20, 2009 -- EACOMM Corporation hosted a cocktail reception to celebrate the publication of its first book project, Private Collections. Almost three hundred guests turned up at the Isla Ballroom 3 of Edsa Shangri-La Hotel to welcome the release of the limited edition art book and to have it signed by the art collectors.
The audience had a warm and unforgettable moment that Tuesday evening. Artists and distinguished guests from the business, arts and society stood in lines to meet and have a chat with Washington SyCip, Hans Sy, David Consunji, Joey de Leon, Napoleon Abueva, Charlie Cojuangco, Joel Jimenez, Eddie Chua, Patrick Reyno, Mark Villar, Julius Babao, Arsenio Tanco, Jovenal Santiago, Manny Zialcita, Gilbert Santos, Wilmer Hontiveros, Louie Ojeda, Mikee Romero and Alexander Tan, who were recognized and honored that night.
Private Collections is available online and at Fully Booked and Powerbooks.