Carter B. Horsley
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.
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.
catalogue provides the
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
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."
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.
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.
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.
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
at $400,000. It has been widely exhibited and published.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
total for the evening
and day sales was $9,422,625 with 64.3 percent of the offered
26, "Formas Continuas,"
by Enio Iommi, sold for $43,750, a record for the artist.
29, "Sin Titulo,"
by Mercedes Pardo, sold for $53,125, a record for the artist.
41, "La Madre Santissima
de La Luz," by Andreas Lopez, sold for $50,000, a record
for the artist.
153, untitled, by Lidya
Buzio, sold for $10,000, a record for the artist.
171, untitled, by Elsa
Gramcko, sold for $25,000, a record for the artist.
177, "Sarten IV,"
by Ronald Moran, sold for $10,000, a record for the artist.
180, untitled, by Mauro
Piva, sold for $7,500, a record for the artist.
by Rene Francisco (Rodriguez), sold for $18,750, a record for
(Fleurissante)," by Oswaldo Vigas, sold for $56,250, a record
for the artist.
- LXVII," by Jose Antonio Davila, sold for $25,000, a record
for the artist.
by Enrique Grau, sold for $43,750, a record for the artist.
219, "Paisaje Jugoso
con Caballo I," by Irene Sierra Carreno, for $53,125, a record
for the artist.