Latin American Art

Legendary Masters: The Brillembourg Capriles Collection

By Sotheby's
Sotheby’s is honored to present one of the most legendary private holdings of 20th-century Latin American art—an extraordinary selection of works presenting a reimagined framework of modern art in the Americas

A ssembled over forty years of passionate collecting and connoisseurship, the Brillembourg-Capriles Collection is anchored by an iconic cubist painting by Diego Rivera from 1916, a monumental Totem by Wifredo Lam executed in 1957, a rare Blue period landscape by Armando Reverón dated 1920, and an outstanding 1943 Universal Constructivist work by Joaquín Torres-García. Also represented in the Collection are key works by Fernando Botero, Armando Morales, Matta, and Rufino Tamayo who together encompass the rich talent and artistic vitality found throughout the Americas.

Distinguished by groupings of leading artists from Latin America recognized around the world for their original contribution to the story of modernism, The Brillembourg-Capriles Collection presents a museum-quality ensemble of legendary masterworks. Exceptional in their quality and executed at the height of the artistic maturity of their creators, these extraordinary works evidence the formal and stylistic innovation of the avant-garde in Latin America.

Modern Evening Auction

View 1 of Lot 28: Reflets d'eau
Wifredo Lam
Reflets d'eau
Estimate: 1,500,000 – 2,500,000 USD

The Collection is led by the first Totem by Wifredo Lam ever to appear at auction: Reflets d’eau is a masterwork of unparalleled dynamism, a defining work from his outstanding production from the 1950s estimated to sell for $1.5/2.5 million. The last in a cycle of four canvases in this monumental format, it is marked by the elusive hybrid symbology and elegant draftsmanship that are characteristic of Lam’s output in this critical period.

Whether engaged with aspects of Cubism, Surrealism, Constructivism, Pop Art and other movements, the works featured in this [Collection] offer new ground for understanding international avant-garde movements of the 20th century and the global contributions made by Latin America’s artists.
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, June 2013

View 1 of Lot 30: Nature morte aux trois citrons jaunes
Diego Rivera
Nature morte aux trois citrons jaunes
Estimate: 1,800,000 – 2,500,000 USD

Nature morte aux trois citrons jaunes, one of Diego Rivera’s largest and most accomplished Cubist compositions from the peak of his Cubist period in Paris will highlight the sale at an estimate of $1.8/2.5 million. This emblematic work embodies Rivera’s distinct approach to Cubism through vibrant color and highly textured surfaces.

View 1 of Lot 31: Figura bajo un uvero
Armando Reverón
Figura bajo un uvero
Estimate: 250,000 – 350,000 USD
Within the panorama of Latin American painting, and from the perspective of its evolution, the figure of Armando Reverón (1889-1954) is indisputably outstanding, although this has been acknowledged only somewhat belatedly
Alfredo Boulton

Figura bajo un uvero, estimated at $250/350,000 is an extremely rare example from Armando Reverón’s brief and highly celebrated Blue period. Exquisitely rendered in luscious and iridescent blue tones, it is a key work from this seminal formative period.

View 1 of Lot 29: Composición constructiva de estructura coloreada | 《建築構造圖》
Joaquín Torres-García
Composición constructiva de estructura coloreada
Estimate: 700,000 – 900,000 USD

Composición constructiva de estructura coloreada is an outstanding work by Joaquín Torres-García deeply embedded in Neoplasticism and the symbology inherent in Universal Constructivism. The composition recalls the classical constructive universal paintings of 1930 to 1932 and yet the signs have taken on a deeply personal character that was absent in the early 1930s. The work is estimated at: $700/900,000.

Modern Day Auction

Superlative examples of Mexican modernism from the Collection will be on offer in our day auction of Modern Art. The group is highlighted by exceptional works by David Alfaro Siqueiros from 1954: El reto (estimate: $250,000-350,000) and Rufino Tamayo’s Pájaros liberados (estimate: $350/450,000).

View 1 of Lot 176: Pájaros liberados
Rufino Tamayo
Pájaros liberados
Estimate: 350,000 – 450,000 USD

Additional important works by Wifredo Lam, Mujer con pájaro (estimate: $250/350,000) and Matta will also be featured in the November Modern Art Day Sale. Painted in 1953, Soul without Terror is a striking large-scale canvas from Matta’s mature production (estimate: $250/350,000).

Further distinguishing the great depth of the Collection is El secuestro, 1966 an important large-scale work by Fernando Botero, and a highlight of our day auction of Contemporary Art. In El secuestro (estimate $400,000/600,000), Botero satirizes the systemic violence in Latin America in a narrative style that alludes to Italian Renaissance panel painting.

View 1 of Lot 177: El secuestro
Fernando Botero
El secuestro
Estimate: 400,000 – 600,000 USD

Modern Day Highlights

Contemporary Day Auction

Other contemporary highlights include an important painting by Jacobo Borges from 1973 (estimate: $20/25,000 ) and a charming example of Antonio Segui’s representative style from the 1990s (estimate: $30/40,000).

Tanya Capriles de Brillembourg

Aside from being a fervent collector, Tanya Capriles de Brillembourg was educated to show profound conscience and social responsibility. As a leading Ibero-American philanthropist, she created the Children’s Cancer Foundation of Venezuela, whose work is still carried out to this day in Caracas and throughout the interior of the country. As part of this initiative, she was one of the first to understand the need to build shelters for mothers of children with cancer. When, due to the political climate in her native country, she moved to Miami in 2003, Tanya immediately founded SaludArte Foundation, a growing nonprofit organization in America and Spain that offers medical assistance to families with financial needs and brings art programs, social integration and educational activities to hospitals, schools and correctional facilities. As a philanthropic project dedicated to music, theatre, dance, and the arts, the foundation’s pillars are: creARTE, integrARTE, educARTE, and curARTE, a complete cultural program of rehabilitation, integration, and assistance for the community.

Mrs. Brillembourg is an Honorary Trustee at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. She is on the Board of Directors of one of the most important media groups in Latin America, the Capriles Group in Venezuela that, among other ventures, publishes the third-largest newspaper in the region. She is a founding member of the art festivals PINTA London and PINTA New York. She sponsors and works with the New World Symphony, Miami Beach, Florida, where she is a member of the Trustees Committee. She has been a member of the Guardian Angels of Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami for over sixteen years. Through her generosity in supporting museums and exhibitions around the world and in lending her coveted collection most recently to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Brillembourg-Capriles Collection has not only championed the international appreciation for Latin American Art but also inspired the original and gifted scholarship that will continue to redefine the category in the twenty-first century.

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