As a member of the pre-War Thirteen Moderns collective, H.R. Ocampo was among the first practitioners of non-objective art in the Philippines and led the Neo-Realist movement from the 1950s until his death in 1978. During this time Ocampo wrote that he became increasingly “less interested in capturing a photographic semblance of nature” and was “more preoccupied with the creation of new realities in terms of stress and strain.”
Drawing on science fiction and fantasy, Ocampo pioneered a form of abstraction that depicted the landscapes, sunshine, rain and flora and fauna of his archipelago home. Painted in the last year of H.R. Ocampo’s life, 1978, Revelation-E presents the artist’s final stages of his creative powers and achieves a total detachment from referentiality. A slow, and methodical self-taught painter, the artist took great care and a lot of time for each piece. However, he made up for his low productivity by consistently applying his remarkably acute sensitivity to colour in order to create biomorphic forms. Rendered in warm, tawny oranges, bold yellows and deep reds, the present lot displays richness in the interlocking synchronization of shape, colour and form. It is because of works such as this that the artist was posthumously named a National Artist for the Visual Arts in 1991.