Carter B. Horsley
The Spring 2006 Latin American
at Sotheby's is highlighted by a fine painting by Fernando Botero
(b. 1932), good works by Rufino Tamayo
Lot 46, "The Musicians," is a
classic work by Fernando Botero (b. 1932). An oil on canvas, it
measures 85 1/2 by 74 3/4 inches and was executed in 1979. It
has an estimate on request. It sold for $2,032,000 including
the buyer's premium as do all results mentioned in this article,
a new auction record for the artist.
Another very fine Botero
painting is Lot 35,
"Pajaritoen el techo," a 50-by-38-inch oil on canvas.
It was executed in 1969 and has a modest estimate of $120,000
to $180,000. It sold for $268,000.
Lot 56, "Horse," shown below,
a fine bronze sculpture that was executed by Botero in 2003 and
is numbered 2 of 6. It is 38 3/4 inches high and has a provenance
of $350,000 to $450,000. It sold for $408,000.
There are several good works by
(1899-1991) in the auction. The best is Lot 55, "Tres Personages
en blanco," a 38 1/4-by-51-inch oil and sand on canvas. Executed
in 1971, it has a lovely palette and three other-worldly figures.
It has an estimate of $350,000 to $450,000. It sold for
Lot 44, "Hombre frente de un
by Rufino Tamayo, is a lush, dark and very fine abstraction. An
oil on canvas, it measures 18 by 21 3/4 inches and was painted
in 1961. It has a conservative estimate of $60,000 to $80,000.
It sold for $150,000.
Lot 21, "Naturaleza muerta con
is a strong early still life by Tamayo. An oil on canvas, it measures
16 by 20 inches and was painted in 1931. It has an estimate of
$400,000 to $600,000. It sold for $531,200.
Lot 33 is a very large and
dazzling work by
Mathias Goeritz (1915-1990). The painting is gold paint on stainless
steel mounted on wood and it measures 110 by 178 inches. It was
executed in 1970. It was one of two murals that was commissioned
for the Atlantic Richfield Company for their twin ARCO Towers
in Los Angeles. It has an estimate of $200,000 to $300,000.
It sold for $340,800.
Lot 48 is a pleasant acrylic on
"Babbeh/Zaide" by Leonora Carrington (b. 1917). It measures
24 by 30 inches and it was executed in 1987. It has an estimate
of $70,000 to $90,000. It sold for $78,000. The
depicts an afterlife reunion of grandparents.
Lot 24 is a quite dynamic and
oil on canvas by Matta (1911-2002). Executed circa 1954, it measures
45 1/4 by 57 inches. It has a modest estimate of $100,000 to $150,000.
It sold for $180,000.
Lot 64 is a strong and
beautiful Carrara marble
abstract sculpture by Pablo Atchugarry (b. 1954). The 40 1/2-inch-high
work was executed in 2005. It has an estimate of $30,000 to $40,000.
It sold for $84,000.
Francisco Toledo (b. 1940) is
one of the great
living Latin American artists. Lot 40, "Peces en el lodo,"
is a good example of his rich palette and fine compositional sense.
A gouache on paper, it measures 28 by 39 3/4 inches. It was painted
in 1978. It has an estimate of $120,000 to $180,000. It sold
Lot 51, "Untitled
is a fine self-portrait by Toledo that was painted in 1966. An
oil on canvas, it measures 15 1/2 by 11 1/2 inches and was once
in the collection of David Douglas Duncan. It has an estimate
of $45,000 to $55,000. It sold for $96,000.
Lot 201 is a terrific ink and
gouache on pergamine
paper by Toledo that is entitled "Las alegres comadres."
It measures 20 by 26 inches and depicts two dancing skeletons.
It was painted in 1991. It has an estimate of $30,000 to $40,000.
It failed to sell.
Lot 12 is a good, classic
watercolor on rice
paper by Diego Rivera (1886-1957). Entitled "El Curandero,"
it measures 18 3/4 by 24 1/4 inches and was executed in 1948.
It has an estimate of $120,000 to $160,000. It sold for
One of the most striking works
in the auction
is Lot 32, "Ancetres a venir (Los ancestros pour venir),"
by Wolfgang Paalen (1905-1959). A 10-by-13 1/4-inch oil on canvas,
it was painted in 1957. It has an estimate of $40,000 to $60,000.
It sold for $60,000.
The cover illustration of the
Lot 22, an untitled gouache on paper by Wilfredo Lam (1902-1982)
that measures 39 by 27 1/2 inches. Executed in 1944, it has an
estimate of $600,000 to $800,000. It sold for $1,304,000.
The catalogue provides the
by Susan L. Aberth of Bard College:
"This untitled gouache by the
Wilfredo Lam dates from one of the most fecund and innovative
decades of his artistic career when, after returning to his native
island after a fifteen-year stay in Europe, he was reinvigorated
by his Afro-Cuban cultural heritage. Contributing to its rarity
is the fact that unlike many of the works from this period, including
his well-known The Jungle in the Museum of Modern
New York of 1943, this work on paper is not mounted on canvas.
Instead, as fresh and vivid as when it was painted, it emanates
an aura of experimental freshness and excitement. As if materializing
before our very eyes a female figure appears, her sarificial knife
gleaming in the shimmering light, a numinous entity from another
dimension. The translucent and dappled nature of the paint application
contributes to the sensation of atmospheric movement, providing
the viewer with a momentary glimpse of an unfolding psychic drama."
Lot 128 is a superb bronze
by Gunther Gerzso (1915-2000). Executed in 1988, it is 18 3/4
inches high. It has an estimte of $20,000 to $25,000. It
Lot 147, "Ruinas de la Toree de
is a very interesting ink and pencil on paper by Juan O'Gorman
(1905-1982). It measures 22 by 13 3/4 inches and has an estimate
of $25,000 to $35,000. It sold for $45,600.