2017 is a landmark year for artist Fernando Zóbel

In Photo: Penitentes, 1954, oil on canvas, 91.5×65 cm, Ayala Museum Collection, Gift of Jaime and Beatriz Zobel de Ayala

Spanish-Filipino artist Fernando Zóbel was 60 years old when he died of a heart attack in Rome. It was 1984 and, most likely, he was at the peak of his career. The keepers of his legacy in the Philippines and in Spain continue to keep it alive: these are Museo del Arte Abstracto Español in Cuenca, Spain, the Ateneo Art Gallery, and the Ayala Museum in the Philippines.

Presagio, 1982, oil on canvas, 100×130 cm, private collection

The year 2017 has seen a confluence of initiatives that squarely affirms his position in the world stage. In May of this year after a 55-year absence, Fernando Zóbel returned to the ongoing Biennale Arte 2017 in Venice, Italy, in an exhibition mounted by Ayala Museum, titled Zóbel. Contrapuntos. The exhibition is among only 22 collateral events selected by artistic director Christine Macel and runs until November 26.

There is also the ongoing catalogue raisonné of Fernando Zóbel’s paintings, which began in 2016.

Untitled (Saeta), undated (probably 1958), oil on canvas, 91×121 cm, Ayala Corp. Collection

A catalogue raisonné is considered as a definitive and scholarly source on the complete body of work of highly notable artists. The publication of a catalogue raisonné is a significant development in any artist’s career.

The production itself is a major undertaking, often taking several years to complete as it involves a great number of people and institutions from all over the world. The catalogue raisonné of famous names in art, such as Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet and Pablo Picasso took between 11 to 46 years to complete. Recently, these have found great interest in the art market, as they are used as official reference for the authenticity of works.

The Ayala Museum is tasked to gather information about all known paintings by Fernando Zóbel in public and private collections in the Philippines and the rest of Asia.

From the catalogue of the Zóbel exhibition at Sala Neblí in Madrid, 1961

All information associated with ownership of the work is strictly confidential, and requests by owners for anonymity will be fully respected.

To submit information, download or accomplish the registration form at www.ayalamuseum.org/zobelcatalogue; or contact the Ayala Museum Research and Publications Team by 759-8299 or e-mailing research@ayalamuseum.org.

The Fernando Zóbel catalogue raisonné is made possible through the tripartite partnership of Fundación Juan March, Fundación Azcona (Spain) and Ayala Foundation Inc. (Philippines).


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