Ayala Museum builds Fernando Zobel catalogue raisonne

October 9, 2017



Angel Yulo

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

Zobel catalogue raisonne
UNTITLED (Saeta); Undated (probably 1958); Oil on canvas; 91 x 121 cm; Ayala Corporation Collection

2017: A Landmark Year for Zóbel

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 Biennale Arte 2017 in Venice, Italy in an exhibition mounted by Ayala Museum titled Zóbel. Contrapuntos. The exhibition was among only 22 collateral events selected by artistic director Christine Macel and runs until November 26, 2017.

ICARO; 1962; Oil on canvas; 137.5 x 200 cm; Ayala Corporation Collection

READ MORE: Hermès Home Collection Features Alvaro Siza Chair

Building a Zobel catalogue raisonne

There is also the ongoing Zobel catalogue raisonne of paintings, which began in 2016. 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 an equally 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 raisonne of famous names in art such as Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, and Pablo Picasso took between 11 to 46 years to complete. Recently, catalogues raisonnés are of great interest in the art market, as they are used as official reference for the authenticity of works.

Together with the Fundación Juan March and Fundación Azcona in Spain, Ayala Museum is looking for information and images of all known paintings (some 2,000 works) by the Spanish-Filipino artist Fernando Zóbel (1924-1984) from private and public collections in the Philippines and the rest of Asia.

EL BALCON II; 1964; Acrylic on canvas; 97.7 x 97.7 cm; Ayala Museum Collection Gift of Enrique Zobel

So if you have a Zóbel, get in touch!

The Ayala Museum is tasked to gather information about all known paintings by Fernando Zobel in public and private collections in the Philippines and the rest of Asia. All information associated with ownership of the work is strictly confidential, and wishes 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 calling (632) 759 82 99 or emailing [email protected].

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

Photos courtesy of Ayala Museum

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