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Ronald Ventura: Big and Small

Ayala Museum welcomes the summer season with a new exhibition entitled Ronald Ventura: Big and Small, Joel Mendez, MD Collection, featuring early works by the region’s most sought-after contemporary artist today.

Considered by many to be the most exciting artist to emerge from the Philippines in the beginning of the 21st century—a view intensified after his stately painting Grayground fetched a record-breaking 1.1 million USD at the 2011 Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong—Ventura is first and foremost admired for his technical mastery of the classical human figure.


The works featured in Big and Small include over a hundred male and female nude paintings and anatomical studies dating as early as 1998 until the mid-2000s from the collection of physician and gallery owner Joel Mendez, MD. Ventura’s dramatization of the human form is apparent regardless of the size of his canvas, hence the title of exhibition.

Marking a very early period in Ventura’s career, the collection, in the truest sense, strips his art off its characteristic potpourri of imagery and reveals what lies at its very foundation: the human body and its language. Art critic Alice Guillermo makes note of this in the book Realities: Ronald Ventura when she said “the basis of his art is his mastery of anatomy, so that having gone through the entire gamut of male and female nudes in all postures, stances, and attitudes, he has assumed the capability of distorting the human body, clothed or unclothed, or of morphing it in the most unexpected ways.”

Ronald Ventura: Big and Small, Joel Mendez, MD Collection is presented under Ayala Museum’s Collector Series exhibition program, which aims to expand the understanding and appreciation of local and international art by providing the opportunity to view artworks that are usually not seen in public, especially a body of work of a single artist whom a collector admires.

The show will run from March 17 to April 26 May 31, 2015 at the Ayala Museum Ground Floor Gallery. For inquiries, visit or call 759 82 88 or email

IMAGE DETAILS. Ronald Ventura. IN MEMORIAL (Detail). 2001. Mixed media. 226 x 152.4 cm. Joel Mendez, MD Collection

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