Tasteful Pairings: Cynthia and Ivy Almario Take Over a Gallery to Create Striking Vignettes with Masterful Art and Antiques - Arts & Culture

The Atelie Almario founders participated in Gavel&Block’s upcoming Art+Design auction along with Stephanie Frondoso and Jonathan Matti.

Design duo Cynthia and Ivy Almario created vignettes that echo an emerging Filipino style for Art+Design, an upcoming event by Salcedo Auctions’ Gavel & Block.

READ ALSO: Ivy And Cynthia Almario Launch Interior Design Channel On YouTube

The women behind Atelie Almario took over the main gallery of the auction house for this purpose. Stephanie Frondoso was also tapped for the May 21 event. The art writer, curator, and artist drew from her background to install a quaint seating alcove.

Ambassador chair set, “Ginoo at Ginang,” by Dominic Rubio, “Firewood Gatherers,” by Romeo Tabuena, “Summer Bouquet,” by Juvenal Sansó, “Confidences,” by Anita Magsaysay-Ho, “A Slice of Watermelon,” by Mauro Malang Santos, and “Morning Mist,” by Juvenal Sansó

Gavel&Block’s in-house team, for their part, created a vignette done in the spirit of Jonathan Matti’s aesthetics with the designer’s imprimatur. 

For the main gallery, the Almarios  had most of the panels painted black, while retaining the original pale gray color of one long wall. The panels were also reconfigured to simulate the nooks and crannies of a home. Selecting various objects—art and antiques from the auction room lots—the designing sisters combined bright colors with distressed browns, whimsical elements with art by masters, to convey a fresh atmosphere that feels current and inviting. 

“We’re all about colors,” Cynthia says, to explain their art selection  which instantly transformed the gallery space. Antiques provide warmth, while objects, like the Baccarat animal figurines juxtaposed with a Maranaw sarimanok, add whimsy.

“Woman” by H.R. Ocampo, “Nude” by H.R. Ocampo, and three vintage wooden rudders

The final output displays the sisters’ skill in putting together vignettes, and their imaginative re-use of elements that otherwise would  have been looked over as inventory, such as 80s-era chinoiserie. 

For her part, Frondoso brought an artistic perspective to decorating, paying homage to printmaking with a selection of works by acclaimed purveyors of the medium. These include Ofelia Gelfezon-Tequi, Fernando Zóbel, and Alfonso Ossorio, to name a few. 

She also  included a range of curiosities: an antique clock repurposed as an accent piece, a copper long-spout teapot, and a diminutive map from the 1700s by Rene Augustin Constantin de Renneville, to name a few.

“Silent,” by Bryan Teves, Kulintang with decorated and colored wooden stand
Art writer, curator, and artist, Stephanie Frondoso works with local galleries and institutions while also practicing as an artist / Photo courtesy of Stephanie Frondoso

“When I encountered the Renneville map, I felt spurred to find out more about it,” Frondoso explains, “and I think this is what makes maps very special—it provides clues about history that teases one to further investigate and enter older versions of the world.”

Vintage and antique furniture and objects, like the Ambassador sofa, a baul with inlays, a bulol, and a paddle mounted on the wall, complete the setting, against which the viewer, or homeowner, can mull on the histories behind the display. 

“Each piece was selected to entice audiences to continually research and gain insights on art as part of a lifestyle,” Frondoso explains.

“Imaginary Garden,” by Kim Olivero, Mariposa chair, Carved wooden drum stool, Baccarat Torch lamp, Coromandel screen, and “Nude,” by Arturo Luz
Lladro porcelain Torero and Baroque style wall-mounted cherubs

Meanwhile, those among the perfumed set who acquired Chinese antiques some decades back would probably have a massive Coromandel screen awaiting a design maven to resurrect it back from storage.

Fret not, because low-key designer du jour Jonathan Matti heard your prayers. In the past, he has made use of a screen as the backdrop for a series of portrait paintings. For Gavel&Block, the in-house creative team, with the designer’s inspired guidance, set a large antique screen against a tangerine wall.

Its leaves are lined with a series of nudes, alongside figurative prints and drawings by different artists like National Artists Arturo Luz and Cesar Legaspi, and the modernist Lee Aguinaldo. The narrative continues to one side, where  a massive portrait by Kim Oliveros hangs  in consonance with the Oriental motif.

Coromandel screen, “Mother and Child,” by Vicente Manansala, “Man,” by Cesar Legaspi, “Nude,” by Lee Aguinaldo, “Nude,” by H.R. Ocampo, “Brittany,” by Juvenal Sansó, Ceramic pomegranate motif planter, Pedestals with pink marble trivet, Ifugao stool, Blue and orange porcelain vase

On the opposite end, Juvenal Sanso’s calming watercolor landscape makes an appearance, as if to calm the eyes before (or after, depending on where the viewing starts) the panoply of figurative works. 

A solihiya armchair is set at one end of the vignette, accompanied by a low Chinese side-table, atop which rests a glinting Baccarat crystal lamp. On the other end are Chinese vases that provide tasteful accents to enhance the set-up. All the pieces come together to create an atmosphere that feels both luxurious and welcoming. 

You can browse the online catalogue of Gavel&Block Art+Design here. The event will take place online via the Salcedo Auctions website on Saturday, May 21, 2022 at 11AM. For more information, please call +63 917 825 7449 or email [email protected].

Banner: Geometric motif rug, Ambassador chair set, Green botanical rug, Maranao inlaid baúl, Dancing bulul, David Bowie for Churchill China collectible plate

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