Art.Auctions logo

Latin American Art

Sotheby's

7PM, May 26, 2004

Lots 1-59

10:15AM, May 27, 2004

Lots 65-189

Sale 8001

"El Arbol del Pan" by Sergio Hernández

Lot 47, "El Arbol del Pan," by Sergio Hernàndez, oil and sand on linen, 70 7/8 by 118 1/8 inches, 1995

By Carter B. Horsley

This Latin American Art auction at Sotheby's has a good range of works by many important masters as well as some stunning paintings by lesser known artists.

Lot 471, for example, is a huge and striking oil on canvas by Sergio Hernández (b. 1957). An oil and sand on linen, it measures 70 7/8 by 118 1/8 inches and was executed in 1995. It has a modest estimate of $50,000 to $70,000. It sold for $48,000 including the buyer's premium as do all the results mentioned in this article. Born in Oxaca, Mexico, the artist, according to the catalogue entry, "is known for his technical mastery as well as his use of movement and energy." "He uses animal and human figures," it continued, "as symbols of a struggle for survival and uses different textures to give them a three-dimensional feeling." This work seems like a road map for a mythic world of lost but not humorless souls.

"Brotes-Sprouts" by Agustin Fernandez

Lot 137, "Brotes-Sprouts," by Agustin Fernandez, oil on canvas, 29 7/8 by 51 1/8 inches, 1955

If one were to mix the best earthy works by Rufino Tamayo and the most surrealistic works by Matta, one might end up with Lot 137, "Brotes-Sprouts," by Agustin Fernandez (b. 1928). An oil on canvas that measures 29 7/8 by 51 1/8 inches, it was executed in 1955. Although its rich palette has little to do with Arshile Gorky, surely Gorky would have found this work appealing. It is extremely painterly and one feels one could get a nice sun tan from looking at this work for a while. It has a modest estimate $18,000 to $22,000. It failed to sell. Fernandez was born in Havana and began private drawing lessons at the age of 12. He would go on to Paris where the catalogue noted that "his art was guided by Enrique Senal, Roberto Matta and the independent surrealists. He eventually settled in New York in 1972.

"Figure in White" by Tamayo

Lot 18, "Figure in White," by Rufino Tamayo, oil and sand on canvas, 39 3/8 by 31 1/2 inches, 1975

Rufino Tamayo (1899-1991) is represented by four good works in this auction, Lots 18, 10 and 40A and 44. Lot 18, "Figure in White" has an unusually bright, white and limited palette for Tamayo who is best known for his reddish and earthy tones. An oil and sand on canvas that was executed in 1975, it is a very strong work and has a modest estimate of $225,000 to $275,000. It sold for $220,800.

"Nueva York Desde La Terraza" by Tamayo

Lot 10, "Nueva York Desde La Terraza," by Rufino Tamayo, oil on canvas, 20 3/8 by 34 3/8 inches, 1937

An early Tamayo is Lot 10, "Nueva York Desde La Terraza," a 20 3/8-by-34-3/8-inch oil on canvas that was painted in 1937. It was once in the collection of Lester Wolfe and has been widely exhibited. The catalogue observes that Tamayo infrequently makes use of narrative content in his works and that here he portrays himself and his wife, Olga, on a terrace looking at the Manhattan skyline with two large watermelon slices on a table. Watermelons would figure prominently in much of his oeuvre during his long career. The lot has an estimate of $800,000 to $1,000,000. It sold for $904,000.

Lot 4, "Frutera Colmada," is a still life with watermelon and pineapple by Tamayo. Dated 1928, it is an oil an canvas that measures 26 3/8 by 18 1/2 inches. It has an estimate of $300,000 to $400,000. It sold for $444,800.

"Monumento Al Héroe Desconocido" by Tamayo

Lot 44, "Monumento Al Héroe Desconocido (Monument to the Unknown Hero)," by Rufino Tamayo, steel with unique grey patina, 80 inches high, number 2/3, 1989

Lot 44 is an imposing and handsome sculpture by Tamayo entitled "Monumental Al Héroe Desconocido (Monument to the Unknown Hero." Executed in 1989, it is 80 inches high and is steel with a unique grey patina. It is number 2/3 and has an estimate of $90,000 to $120,000. It sold for $84,000.

"White Package," by Claudio Bravo

Lot 13, "White Package," by Claudio Bravo, oil on compressed wood, 39 3/8 by 59 inches, 1968

There are numerous works by Claudio Bravo (b. 1935) in the auction, most notably Lot 13, "White Package," a large and very fine oil on compressed wood. It measures 39 3/8 by 59 inches and is dated 1968. It has an estimate of $900,000 to $1,000,000. It sold for $1,016,000.

"Los Hilos Del Destino" by Remedio Varo

Lot 22, "Los Hilos Del Destino," by Remedio Varo, oil on masonite, 23 5/8 by 13 7/8 inches, circa 1956

Remedios Varo (1908-1963) is a very fine, important and poetic Surrealist. Lot 22, "Los Hilos Del Destino," is an interesting oil on masonite that was painted circa 1956 and measures 23 5/8 by 13 7/8 inches. It has an estimate of $240,000 to $280,000. It failed to sell. Varo was born in Gerona, Spain and moved to Paris in 1937 where she was introduced to the Surrealists and exhibited with them that year. She moved to Mexico in 1940.

"Funambulistas" by Remedio Varo

Lot 11, "Funambulistas," by Remedio Varo, tempera on board, 14 7/8 by 10 1/4 inches, 1944

Lot 11 is another Varo, entitled "Funambulistas." A tempera on board,it measures 14 7/8 by 10 1/4 inches. Executed in 1944, it has an estimate of $130,000 to $160,000. It failed to sell.

Matta is represented by several interesting late works that are not as amorphous as his early works but just as dramatic.

"Oeurope meme" by Matta

Lot 48, "Oeurope Meme," by Matta, oil on canvas, 81 7/8 by 116 1/8 inches, 1989

The most striking work by the great Surrealist Matta (1911-2002) is Lot 28, "Oeurope Meme," an oil on canvas that measures 81 7/8 by 116 1/8 inches. Executed in 1989, it has a conservative estimate of $125,000 to $175,000. It failed to sell. While some of his late work is a bit garish, this is an extremely rich and painterly work that would make Jean Dubuffet smile. Perhaps a soccer game, it is extremely animated and dramatic.

"Role Renverse" by Matta

Lot 114, "Role Renverse," by Matta, oil and acrylic on canvas, 62 3/4 by 92 1/2 inches, 1987

Lot 114 is a simpler but more violent composition by Matta that he painted in 1987. Entitled "Role Renverse," it is an oil and acrylic on canvas that measures 62 3/4 by 92 1/2 inches. Here Matta almost seems influenced by Wilfredo Lam in the outlines of the grotesque figures but what is quite interesting is the right half of the painting where he has employed bright colored squiggles to add vibrancy and energy to the work. It has a very modest estimate of $60,000 to $80,000. It failed to sell.

"Leda Demain" by Matta

Lot 53, "Leda Demain," by Matta, oil on canvas, 56 1/4 by 81 1/4 inches, 1983

Another large late Matta is Lot 53, "Leda Demain," an oil on canvas that measures 56 1/4 by 81 1/4 inches. Executed in 1983, it has a modest estimate of $70,000 to $90,000. It sold for $78,000. It is yet another glimpse into the artist's very wild and formidable imagination.

"Grand Composition" by Wilfredo Lam

Lot 23, "Grande Composition," by Wilfredo Lam, oil and charcoal on canvas, 51 1/8 by 63 3/8 inches, 1966

Wilfredo Lam (1902-1982) delights in spiky, surreal figures usually floating in monochromatic backgrounds. Lot 23, "Grand Composition," is a fine example of his style. An oil and charcoal on canvas, it measures 51 1/8 by 63 3/8 inches. It was executed in 1966 and has an estimate of $180,000 to $200,000. It sold for $355,200.

"Personages" by Lam

Lot 121, "Personages," by Wilfredo Lam, oil on canvas, 19 5/8 by 15 7/8 inches, 1975

Another good Lam example is Lot 121, "Personages," an oil on canvas that measures 19 5/8 by 15 7/8 inches. Executed in 1975, it has an estimate of $25,000 to $35,000. It sold for $36,000.

"Tres Figuras" by Lam

Lot 175, "Tres Figuras," by Wilfredo Lam, charcoal and pastel on Fabriano paper, 30 by 22 1/8 inches, 1969

Lot 175 is even more effective, perhaps because of its white background. This Lam is a charcoal and pastel on Fabriano paper that measures 30 by 22 1/8 inches. Executed in 1969, it has a modest estimate of $20,000 to $25,000. It sold for $30,000.

"Nahuatl" by Siqueiros

Lot 132, "Nahuatl," by David Alfaro Siqueiros, acrylic and mixed media on paper mounted on wood, 50 by 26 1/8 inches, 1965

Lot 132, "Nahuatl," is a very powerful work by David Alfaro Siqueiros (1896-1974). An acrylic and mixed media on paper mounted on wood, it measures 40 by 26 1/8 inches and was executed in 1965. It has a very conservative estimate of $25,000 to $35,000. It sold for $30,000.

"Paisaje: Naranja-Azul-Verde" by Gerzso

Lot 41, "Paisaje: Naranja-Azul-Verde," by Gunther Gerzso, oil on masonite, 23 5/8 by 32 inches, 1974

Gunther Gerzso (1915-2000) is one of the great Latin American abstract artists. Lot 41, "Paisaje: Naranja-Azul-Verde," is a fine work by him that is an oil on masonite that measures 23 5/8 by 32 inches. Executed in 1974, it has a modest estimate of $50,000 to $60,000. It failed to sell.

Lot 12, "Paisaje Verde No. 1," is another Gerzo that is a more complex but less colorful composition. An oil on masonite, it measures 23 3/4 by 31 7/8 inches and was executed in 1969. It has an estimate of $50,000 to $60,000. It sold for $78,000.

"Luna Menguante" by Mérida

Lot 111, "Luna Menguante," by Carlos Mérida," acrylic and petroplastic on parchment mounted on polished wood, 31 3/8 by 23 3/8 inches, 1972

Carlos Mérida (1891-1984) is another fine Latin American abstract artist, but his style is more obviously influenced by Latin American cultural history. Lot 111, Luna Menguante," is a good work by him that is acrylic and petroplastic on parchment mounted on polished wood. It measures 31 3/8 by 23 3/8 inches. Executed in 1972, it has an estimate of $35,000 to $45,000. It sold for $60,000.

"Ubiquity" by Mérida

Lot 120, "Ubiquity," by Carlos Mérida, mixed media on Tahitianpaper mounted on masonite, 21 by 15 inches, 1976

Lot 120, "Ubiquity," is another good Mérida. It is mixed media on Tahitian paper mounted on masonited. It measures 21 by 15 inches and was executed in 1976. It has an estimate of $25,000 to $30,000. It sold for $21,600.

"Al Galope" by Francisco Toledo

Lot 122, "Al Galope," by Francisco Toledo, watercolor and ink on paper, 8 1/4 by 10 3/4 inches, circa 1970

Francisco Toledo (b. 1940) is an artist of high consistency, brilliant palettes, and fabulous technique. Lot 122 is typical of him. Entitled "Al Galope," it is a watercolor and ink on paper that measures 8 1/4 by 10 3/4 inches. Executed circa 1970, it has a modest estimate of $18,000 to $22,000. It failed to sell.

"Little Bird on a Perch" by Botero

"Lot 19, "Little Bird on a Perch," by Fernando Botero, bronze with steel perch, 55 1/4 inches by 9 1/2 by 5/3/4 inches, 1988

Fernando Botero (b. 1933) is an artist's whose sculptures are more impressive than his paintings perhaps because his "inflated" style is more sensuous in sculpture. (His paintings, of course, are extremely amusing and delightful and fine, too.) Lot 19, "Little Bird on a Perch," is a very fine work by Botero that was executed in 1988. It has an estimate of $125,000 to $175,000 and is number 2/2. It failed to sell.

 

"Llantas" by Betsabee Romero

Lot 174, "LLantas," by Betsabee Romero, five carved rubber ties, each 31 inches in diameter, 2001

Lot 174, "Llantas," is a group of five rubber tires whose treads have been carved in bas-relief by Betsabee Romero (b. 1963). Executed in 2001, the lot, which is very striking, has a modest estimate of $12,000 to $18,000. It sold for $42,000.

Christie's has elected to hold its Spring 2004 Latin American Art auction in Paris rather than in New York.

 

See The City Review article on the Fall 2003 Latin American Art auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2003 Latin American Art auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2003 Latin American Art auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2003 Latin American Art auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2002 Latin American Art auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2002 Latin American Art auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2002 Latin American Art auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2002 Latin American Art auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2001 Latin American Art evening auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the November 19, 2001 Latin American Art evening auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Latin American Art evening Auction at Sotheby's in the spring of 2001

See The City Review article on the Latin American Art evening auction at Christie's, May 30, 2001

See The City Review article on the Fall 2000 Latin American Art auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Spring Latin American Art auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2000 Latin American Art auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Fall 1999 Latin American Art auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Spring, 1999 Latin American Art auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on The Latin American Sale at Christie's in New York in June, 1999

Recap of Pre-Columbian Art auction at Sotheby's, Nov. 23, 1998

Use the Search Box below to quickly look up articles at this site on specific artists, architects, authors, buildings and other subjects




Home Page of The City Review