Carter B. Horsley
The Spring 2007 Latin American
at Christie's is highlighted by a wonderful work by Remedios Varo,
numerous excellent works by Rufino Tamayo, Matta and Fernando
Botero and good examples by Alexander Xul Solar, Francisco Toledo,
Wilfredo Lam, Armando Morales and Mario Carreno.
Lot 15, "Exploracion de las
rio Orinoco," is a superb painting by Remedios Varo (1910-1963).
An oil on canvas, it measures 18 by 15 3/4 inches and was painted
in 1959. It was the cover illustration of a book on the artist
by Janet A. Kaplan that was published in 1988 by Abbeville Press,
New York. It has a modest estimate of $400,000 to $600,000. It
sold for $1,273,000, an auction record for the artist, including
the buyer's premium as do all results mentioned in this article.
The auction was very
successful with 90
percent of the lots selling for a total of $21,671,000 including
the buyers' premiums. Records for set for 12 artists.
Tamaya, Lot 13, "Hombre,"
is handsome acrylic and sand on canvas that measures 37 by 50
1/4 inches. Executed in 1979, It has an estimate of $250,000 to
$350,000. It sold for $577,000.
"Pareja en gris,"
is a very fine oil and sand on linen by Tamayo that measures 37
1/2 by 51 inches. Painted it 1981, it has an estimate of $300,000
to $400,000. It sold for $457,000.
is a fine Tamayo, an oil and sand on canvas that measures 51 3/4
by 76 3/4 inches. Painted in 1985, it has an estimate of $600,000
to $800,000. It sold for $769,000.
un ojo," is a 1989 oil and sand on canvas by Tamayo. It measures
51 1/8 by 37 3/8 inches. It has an estimate of $350,000 to 4450,000.
It sold for $541,000.
the nicest Tamayo at
Christie's is in the day sale, Lot 212. Entitled "Cabeza
en rojo," it is an oil and sand on canvas that measures 8
1/4 by 14 inches and was painted in 1971. It has an estimate of
$60,000 to $80,000. It is propertyof the Los Angeles County Museum
of Art and is being sold to benefit its acquisitions of Latin
American art. It sold for $79,000.
is a large and classic
work by Fernando Botero (b. 1932) that is entitled "El domingo
por la tarde." An oil on canvas, it measures 69 3/4 by 70
inches and was painted in 1967.
catalogue entry for this
lot by Deborah Cullen, the director of curatorial programs at
El Museo del Barrio, notes that Botero's "fleshy, eroticized
figures exist in serene netherworlds," adding that "He
utilizes a vocabulary of simple, voluptuous forms that structure
strong compositions." "They appropriate or allude to
the long history of painging; accessible yet enigmatic, his figures
exist in spaces of fantasy, subtle decadence, over-ripeness,"
an estimate of $1,400,000
to $1,800,000. It sold for $1,553,000.
is a delightful sculpture
of a boy on a toy horse by Botero. Executed epoxy resin and synthetic
hair in an edition of six in 1977, it measures 60 by 33 by 28
1/2 inches. It has an estimate of $200,000 to $300,000. It
sold for $289,000.
is a nice scene of frolicking
monkeys by Francisco Toledo (b. 1940). A graphite and oil on masonite
laid down on wood panel, it measures 16 by 20 inches and was painted
in 2002. It has an estimate of $50,000 to $70,000. It sold
is a large, strong and
important work by Matta (1911-2002) entitled "Le recontre
du vitreur avec le forcat de la lumiere (en hallucination premiere).
An oil on canvas, it measures 76 by 98 inches and was executed
catalogue entry for
this lot, Susan L. Aberth noted that after World War II, the artist
"infused his scenes with a palpable sense of fear,"
adding that "His paintings grew larger in size (as is evidenced
here) in order to portray on a monumental scale strange, humanoid
entitites enmeshed in mechanistic webs that hinted at torture
and brutality.....[It] omits the natural references and luminous
veils of color of his earlier work from the 1940s. In lieu of
this is the nightmarish world of the factory, replete with metallic
conveyor belts that capture and pierce the flesh of these monstrous
creatures. although operating as a metaphor for the impersonal
killing machines of modern warfare, it could also refer to the
murderous efficiences of the German death camps. Apocalyptic in
feeling, it is a hell of our making...."
an estimate of $700,000
to $900,000. It failed to sell.
is a colorful and strong
abstraction by Matta that he painted in 1948. Entitled "Sacage,"
it is an oil on canvas that measures 39 1/4 by 39 1/2 inches.
It has an estimate of $150,000 to $200,000. It sold for
is a good abstraction
by Gunther Gerzso (1915-2000) entitled "Personaje muro verde."
An oil on masonite, it measures 21 1/2 by 10 3/8 inches and was
executed in 1965. The work was once in the collection of Jacques
and Natasha Gelman of Mexico City. In the catalogue entry, Salomon
Grimberg notes that this work was original much larger and cut
down by the artist. It has an estimate of $40,000 to $60,000.
It sold for $145,000.
Lot 199 is an excellent work by
(b. 1927) entitled "Three Women at the Beach." An oil
and beeswax on canvas, it measures 23 1/2 by 28 1/2 inches and
was painted in 1983. It has an estimate of $60,000 to $80,000.
It sold for $73,000.
Tres bañastas, coche, perro, enana sosteniendo un espejo,
párjaros," is an excellent oil and beeswax on canvas
by Morales. It is a classic example of his marvelous technique
that combines an interesting surface texture with sombre palettes,
strong compositions, classical motifs and a wonderful sense of
mystery. It measures 28 3/4 by 39 1/4 inches and was painted in
2000. It has an estimate of $120,000 to $180,000. It sold for
is a monumental sculpture
of wood and C-clamps by Kcho (b. 1970). It measures 156 by 120
by 90 inches and was created in 1996. It has a very modest estimate
of $12,000 to $18,000. It sold for $73,000.
is a very strong and
striking charcoal and pastel on paper by Wilfredo Lam (1902-1982).
It measures 27 3/4 by 39 1/4 inches and was executed in 1959.
It has a modest estimate of $25,000 to $30,000. It sold for
works of Alejandro Xul
Solar (1897-1963) have the delightful whimsy and color of Paul
Klee. Lot 143, "Bichos y plantas," is a color pencil
on paper mounted on cardboard by the artist that measures 9 by
6 inches. It was executed in 1935. It has an estimate of $35,000
to $45,000. It failed to sell.
is a stunning acrylic
and wood construction on panel abstraction by Mario Carreno
Entitled "Project for a mural," it measures 14 by 148
1/2 inches and was executed in 1959. It has an estimate of $40,000
to $60,000. It sold for $58,600.