Passions and Obsessions

Jerry Elizalde Navarro’s major works at Salcedo Auctions

June 25 sale highlights the National Artist’s freedom with experimentation and commitment to constant change

J. ELIZALDE NAVARRO, The Red Kimono, Tokyo', 1965, Oil on plywood

At Salcedo Auctions’ Finer Pursuits: Important Philippine Art & Rare Collectibles, a live and online auction on Saturday, June 25, 2022, 2 p.m., among the pieces are three artworks by National Artist J. Elizalde Navarro.

Jerry, as he was called in the art circle, was not one to get tied down to a single thing. In his 40-year career, he had done painting, sculpting, drawing, printmaking and graphic design. His art ranged from abstract expressionism to cubism to pointillism, drew from Balinese and Japanese influences, and included depictions of the female form, to mention a few. He worked with oil, acrylic, watercolor, assemblages, mixed media.

Commitment to change, it turned out, was Jerry Navarro’s commitment to artistic freedom, which he believed also meant to be free from expectations. The three Navarro pieces to be auctioned at the Finer Pursuits are The Red Kimono, Tokyo, Reflections Through My Mother’s Eyes, and Summer Storm. These give us a glimpse of the artist’s constant experimentation.

The Red Kimono, Tokyo depicts two nude models—on the left is a woman with a red cloth draped on her arms, on the right is a man dressed in white, looking at the woman. This rich, sensuous painting showcases Navarro’s expertise in rendering human figures. Navarro was well known for depicting the female form.

J. ELIZALDE NAVARRO, ‘Reflections Through My Mother’s Eyes’, 1993, Oil on canvas

In Reflections Through My Mother’s Eyes, the Balinese influence on Navarro is evident. With playful strokes of bold colors, this piece departs from the soft, languid human form against a geometric background in Red Kimono. Navarro’s abstract painting comes with an explosion of energy, so palpable in Reflections.

J. ELIZALDE NAVARRO, ‘Summer Storm’, 1992, Oil on canvas

Summer Storm is another bold and colorful abstract painting. But while in Reflections, the white space is utilized to highlight the playful lines, here the variously colored fluid forms fill the canvas, the hues overflowing into each other.

Navarro’s pursuit of artistic freedom, his innovation and experimentation, and his resistance against social pressures make the highlight of his works in Finer Pursuits well deserved.

The upcoming auction will also feature other important Philippine art and rare collectibles.

Finer Pursuits: Important Philippine Art & Rare Collectibles live and online auction is on Saturday, June 25, 2022, 2p.m. Register to bid and browse the catalog at The auction preview begins on Thursday, 9 June and runs daily from 9AM-5PM at NEX Tower, 6786 Ayala Avenue, Makati City. For inquiries, email [email protected] or phone +632 8 8230956 | +63 917 591 2191. Follow @salcedoauctions on Instagram and Facebook for updates.

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