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Latin American Art

Sotheby's

7 PM, May 29, 2008 (Lots 1-77)

10 AM, May 30, 2008 (Lots 80-282)

"Chiki Ton Pays" by Carrington

Lot 10, "Chiki Ton Pays," by Leonora Carrington, tempera and ink on canvas, 35 1/4 by 35 1/2 inches, 1944

By Carter B. Horsley

This evening's auction of Latin American Art at Sotheby's is highlighted by a major work by Leonora Carrington (b. 1917), several good works by Matta and a very nice painting by Diego Rivera.

The Carrington is Lot 10. It is entitled "Chiki Ton Pays" and is a tempera and ink on canvas that measures 35 1/4 by 35 1/2 inches. It was executed in 1944. It has an estimate of $1,200,000 to $1,800,000. It failed to sell and was passed at $1,050,000. The painting, which is large for her oeuvre and full of her Boschian penchants has been requested for an exhibition on Carrington and Remedios Varo and Kati Horna in 2010 at the Pallant House Gallery in Chicester and the Sansbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich, England.

The catalogue provides the following commentary:

"When Leonora Carrington met her future husband Chiki Weisz in 1944, she had already packed more adventures into her 27 years than most people would fit into five lifetimes. Behind her was an upper middle class Catholic childhood in Lancashire in the north of England; the scandal of an elopement, aged just twenty, with the Surrealist Max Ernst, who was more than twice her age and already married; then a searing break with him, while he was incarcerated in a labour camp; a hair-raising drive across the Pyrenees; a spell of confinement in a Spanish lunatic asylum; a first marriage to a Mexican diplomat to whom she had originally been intrpduced by Pablo Picasso; and a voyage across the Atlantic to freedom, as she puts it, both the Nazis and her family. Of the two, she is fond of saying, her family was definitely the worst. After a spell in New York, Leonora and her first husband Renato Leduc headed south to his homeland, Mexico, in search of a new life. But it was a new life that was not to be: after a few months, the couple were to go their separate ways, albeit amicably. One evening in a bar in Mexico City, Leonora met Chiki. His real name was Emerico and, a few years older than Leonora, he had been born and raised in Hungary before becoming a photographer, and the partner of fellow photojournalist Robert Capa. A Jew, he had lot almost his entire family to the Holocaust - and like many other artists and writers from Europe, he had been drawn to Mexico becuase of the country's open-door policy to refugees. Both Leonora and Chiki were a long way from home, and both were entirely without family support. Together, in Mexico City, they gathered a subsitute family around them: an inner circle that consisted of other European artists and writers. These included the Spanish painter, Remedios Varos and her poet husband and Benjamin Peret; Kati Horna, another Hungarian photographer, and her hubsand Jose Horna, a Spanish sculptor and the painter Esteban Frances....Others in their set included the Surrealist filmmaker Luis Bunel and Wolfgang Paalen and his wife, the French painter Alice Rahon. They were an intoxicating mix: lively and spirited, supportive and tight-knit, intellectual and tallented. Around them, beyond their immediate circle, was the wide world of home-grown Mexican art, itself in the throes of a fascinating period, with artists like Rufino Tamayo, Mario Izquierdo and Gunther Gerzso providing an alternative visial to the Social Realist muralists Diego Rivera, Daivd Alfaro Siqueiros and Jose Clemente Orozco."

"Le Giure" by Rahon

Lot 111, "Le Giure," by Alice Rahon, oil on canvas, 13 1/2 by 47 1/4 inches, 1945

Lot 111 is a very attractive and delicate abstraction entitled "Le Giure" by Alice Rahon (1916-1987). An oil on canvas, it measures 13 1/2 by 47 1/4 inches and was created in 1945. It has a modest estimate of $18,000 to $22,000. It sold for $18,750 including the buyer's premium as do all results mentioned in this article.

Carmine Melian, the specialist in charge of the auction, noted that many 19th Century works fared quite well in this auction. Lot 42, "Procession de la Virgen, by Edouard-Henri-Theophile Pingret, sold for $278,500, a record for the artist.

"Primavera Las Cuatro Estaciones" by Varo

Lot 113, "Primavera, Las Cuatro Estaciones," by Remedios Varo, gouache and graphite on paper, 9 3/4 by 10 5/8 inches, 1943-4

Lot 113 is an excellent gouache and graphite on paper by Remedios Varo entitled "Primavera, Las Cuatro Estaciones." It measures 9 3/4 by 10 5/8 inches and was executed in 1943-4. It has a modest estimate of $18,000 to $22,000. It sold for $21,250.

"Nue  la Chaise" by Lam

Lot 5, "Nue la Chaise," by Wilfredo Lam, tempera on paper laid down on canvas, 65 by 38 1/2 inches, 1942.

Lot 5 is a large, pleasant painting by Wilfredo Lam ( 1902-1982) of a nude woman in a chair in a pale palette and a Picassoesque style. A tempera on paper laid down on canvas, it measures 65 by 38 1/2 inches and was executed in 1942. It has an estimate of $500,000 to $600,000. It passed at $400,000. It has been widely exhibited and published.

"Nue  la chaise" by Lam

Lot 13, untitled, by Wilfredo Lam, oil on canvas, 50 3/4 by 38 1/2 inches, 1959

Another more traditional Lam is Lot 13, an untitled oil on canvas that measures 50 3/4 by 38 1/2 inches. Executed in 1959, It has an ambitious estimate of $450,000 to $550,000, perhaps because the large white section in the lower right corner is painted white but looks unfinished. It was passed at $400,000.

"Nina con Rebozo" by Rivera

Lot 9, "Nina con Rebozo," by Diego Rivera, tempera on linen, 31 3/8 by 23 3/8 inches, 1935

Diego Rivera (1886-1957) was one of the giants of the enormously influential group of Mexican muralists who sought to capture their country's history and spirit. Rivera was given a one-man exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in 1929 and apart from his murals many of the subjects of his paintings were children of people who worked in his house or those of his friends. This lot has an estimate of $350,000 to $450,000. It sold for $794,500.

"Danzante" by Rivera

Lot 15, "Danzante," by Diego Rivera, watercolor on rice paper, 15 by 10 3/4 inches, circa 1940s

A much smaller but more attractive work by Rivera is Lot 15, "Danzante," a watercolor on rice paper that measures 15 by 10 3/4 inches. It had an estimate of $40,000 to $50,000.It sold for $40,625 including the buyer's premium as do all results mentioned in this article. The auction sold 75 percent of the 56 offered lots in the evening auction for a total of about $6,740,000. The pre-sale estimate of $7,500,000 to $10,128,000.

Untitled by Matta

Lot 118, untitled, by Matta, oil on canvas, 26 by 30 1/8 inches, circa 1952

There are several good works by Matta (1911-2002), a leading Surrealist. Lot 118 is a lush, untitled oil on canvas that was executed circa 1952 and is an on oil on canvas that measures 26 by 30 1/8 inches. It has a very modest estimate of $35,000 to $45,000. It sold for $68,500.

Untitled by Matta

Lot 12, untitled, by Matta, oil on canvas, 79 3/8 by 88 5/8 inches, circa 1958

Lot 12 is a large untitled abstraction with a cool palette by Matta (1911-2002). An oil on canvas, it measures 79 3/8 by 88 5/8 inches and was executed circa 1958. It has an estimate of $150,000 to $200,000. It sold for $206,500.

"Oeurope Meme" by Matta

Lot 47, "Oeurope Meme," by Matta, oil and mixed media on canvas, 82 1/8 by 114 3/4 inches, 1989

Lot 47 is a very large oil and mixed media on canvas that Matta executed in 1989. Entitled "Oeurope Meme," it measures 82 1/8 by 114 3/4 inches. It has a modest estimate of $80,000 to $120,000. It sold for $242,500.

"The Thief on the Roof" by Botero

Lot 127, "The Thief on the Roof," by Fernando Botero, oilon paper laid down oin wood, 13 3/8 by 15 7/8 inches

Lot 127 is a charming oil on paper laid down on wood entitled "The Thief on the Roof" by Fernando Botero (b. 1933). It measures 13 3/8 by 15 7/8 inches and is dated 1980. It has a modest estimate of $60,000 to $80,000. It sold for $134,500.

"Two heads" by Tamayo

Lot 119, "Two Heads," by Rufino Tamayo, oil and sand on canvas, 14 by 23 3/4 inches, 1970

Lot 119 is a good oil and sand on canvas by Rufino Tamayo (1899-1991). It measures 14 by 23 3/4 inches and was painted in 1970. It is one of several works in this auction consigned by the Los Angles County Museum of Art and sold to benefit acquisitions of Latin American Art. It has a modest estimate of $90,000 to $120,000. It sold for $98,500.

"Construccion Portuaria" by Torres-Garcia

Lot 21, "Construccion Portuaria," by Joaquin Torres-Garcia, oil on cardboard laid down on styrofoam, 30 5/8 by 39 1/8 inches, 1942

Lot 21 is a dark but impressive oil on cardboard laid down on styrofoam by Joaquin Torres-Garcia (1874-1949). It measures 30 5/8 by 39 1/8 inches and is dated 1942. It has an estimate of $450,000 to $650,000. It sold for $626,500.

"Untitled (study for mural)" by Siqueiros

Lot 98, "untitled (study for mural)," by David Alfaro Siqueiros, oil and gouache on paper laid down on wood, 25 5/8 by 19 3/4 inches, 1968

Lot 98 is an excellent untitled study for a mural by David Alfaro Siqueiros (1896-1974). An oil and gouache on paper laid down on wood, it measures 25 5/8 by 19 3/4 inches. Executed in 1968, it has a modest estimate of $15,000 to $20,000. It sold for $15,000.

"Hombre y Pescado" by Toledo

Lot 102, "Hombre y Pescado," by Francisco Toledo, gouache and ink on paper, 12 1/2 by 19 inches, circa 1967

Lot 102 is a fine gouache and ink on paper by Francisco Toledo (b. 1940). Entitled "Hombre y Pescado," it measures 12 1/2 by 19 inches and was painted circa 1967. It has a modest estimate of $12,000 to $18,000. It sold for $23,750.

"Mar de Lurin, Estudio" by Estudio

Lot 191, "Mar de Lurin, Estudio," by Fernando de Szyszlo, oil on canvas, 55 3/4 by 31 1/2 inches, 1989

Lot 191 is an abstraction entitled "Mar de Lurin, Estudio," by Fernando de Szyszlo (b. 1925). An oil on canvas, it measures 55 3/4 by 31 1/2 inches and was created in 1989. It has a modest estimate of $18,000 to $22,000. It sold for $15,000.

"Avila Negra" by Gerzso

Lot 34, "Avila Negra," by Gunther Gerzso, oil and sand on canvas, 57 1/8 by 38 1/8 inches

Lot 34 is a large and dramatic abstraction by Gunther Gerzso (1915-2000). Entitled "Avila Negra," it is an oil and sand on canvas that measures 57 1/8 by 38 1/8 inches. It is dated 1961. It has a modest estimate of $90,000 to $120,000. It sold for $104,500.

Untitled by Gego

Lot 27, untitled, by Gego, stainless steel, 19 3/4 by 18 by 17 inches

Lot 27 is fine stainless steel sculpture by Gego (Gertrudis Goldschmidt) (1912-1994). It measures 19 3/4 by 18 by 17 inches. It has an estimate of $40,000 to $60,000. It sold for $194,500.

"Cabeza #2" by Palacios

Lot 187, "Cabeza #2," by Alirio Palacios, watercolor and crayon on handmade cardboard, 57 by 31 1/8 inches, 2002

One of the loveliest works in the auction is Lot 187, "Cabeza #2," by Alirio Palacios (b. 1938). It is a watercolor and crayon on handmade cardboard and measures 57 by 31 1/8 inches. It was created in 2002. It has an interesting texture and is reminiscent of great Italian Renaissance portraits of young ladies. It has a modest estimate of $15,000 to $20,000. It sold for $25,000, a record for the artist.

The total for the evening and day sales was $9,422,625 with 64.3 percent of the offered lots selling.

Lot 26, "Formas Continuas," by Enio Iommi, sold for $43,750, a record for the artist.

Lot 29, "Sin Titulo," by Mercedes Pardo, sold for $53,125, a record for the artist.

Lot 41, "La Madre Santissima de La Luz," by Andreas Lopez, sold for $50,000, a record for the artist.

Lot 153, untitled, by Lidya Buzio, sold for $10,000, a record for the artist.

Lot 171, untitled, by Elsa Gramcko, sold for $25,000, a record for the artist.

Lot 177, "Sarten IV," by Ronald Moran, sold for $10,000, a record for the artist.

Lot 180, untitled, by Mauro Piva, sold for $7,500, a record for the artist.

Lot 185, "Heaven," by Rene Francisco (Rodriguez), sold for $18,750, a record for the artist.

Lot 188, "Floreciente (Fleurissante)," by Oswaldo Vigas, sold for $56,250, a record for the artist.

Lot 212, "Ofrendas - LXVII," by Jose Antonio Davila, sold for $25,000, a record for the artist.

Lot 215, "Pareja," by Enrique Grau, sold for $43,750, a record for the artist.

Lot 219, "Paisaje Jugoso con Caballo I," by Irene Sierra Carreno, for $53,125, a record for the artist.

 

See The City Review article on the Spring 2009 Latin American Art auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2008 Latin American Art auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2008 Latin American Art auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2008 Latin American Art auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2008 Latin American Art auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2007 Latin American Art auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2007 Latin American Art auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2007 Latin American Art auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2006 Latin American Art auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2006 Latin American Art auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2005 Latin American Art auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2005 Latin American Art auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2005 Latin American Art auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2004 Latin American Art auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review Article on the Spring 2004 Latin American Art auction at Sotheby's

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

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