Anita Magsaysay-Ho earned the distinction of being the only woman to be admitted to the pantheon of the Thirteen Moderns. After attending the University of the Philippines School of Fine Arts, she studied at the School of Design under Victorio C. Edades, the highly acclaimed artist who is commonly regarded as the core leader of neo-realist group.
For brief period, Anita was labelled the 'Female Amorsolo' as both share the passion for women and genre subjects. The affiliation however, is not more than this sharing of the common subjects. Anita essentially works in a different epoch and her works are influenced by the modernist movement in the Philippines of the 50s when the various Western 'isms' were introduced to the Filipino artists in quick successions and almost simultaneously.
It was commented that " subjects included women harvesting fruit, gathering sheaves of grain, or selling fish in the market, the artist emphasized movement and bustling interaction by means of bold, vigorous brushstrokes and strong tonal contrasts of light and dark. Brisk, decisive lines become a marked tendency to simplify forms into basic geometric shapes: triangles for the bananas and rectangle for the skirts, thereby creating a lively counterpoint of sharp, angular forms. Here, the women briefly exchanging words and glances shifts positions and carry out the stages of a process within a closed space that is entirely occupied by their figures, with some cropping along the four sides." (Alice Guerrero Guillermo, 'A Woman's Journey to Selfhood in Art', Anita Magsaysay-Ho: A Retrospective, Manila, 1989, p. 18).
It is clear that the features of Anita's feminine subjects in contrast to Amorsolo's are generalised, abbreviated and angulated, marked by sharp profiles. With a mixture of warm and dark hues of red, brown and yellow, the colours are applied and interlaced vigorously over the canvas to form the figures. Amorsolo's demure beauties has formulated the aesthetics of a generation and Anita manages to suggest an alternative vision by the fifties which also manages to be relevant to the Filipino sensibilities.