Lot 34
  • 34

Rómulo Macció (b. 1931)

80,000 - 100,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Rómulo Macció
  • Los Casilleros
  • signed lower right; also signed, titled and dated 1962 on the reverse
  • 76 3/4 by 50 3/4 in.
  • (195 by 129 cm)
oil on canvas


Gift from the artist to the previous owner (1974)
Private Collection, Paris


Madrid, Instituto de Cultura Hispánica, El Arte Actual de América y España, May, 1963, no. 2


The canvas is unlined and well stretched. There is a pinhole along the left edge 5 in. from the bottom. There are significant abrasions 8 in. from the bottom edge on the left with paint losses about this. There is a ½ in. diameter circular hole in the bottom of the work with another slightly smaller hole to the left. There is a 10 in. strip of paint loss along the right side of the lower edge most likely from a significant scratch. There is another 1/8 in. hole in the lower left quadrant, 9 in. from the right edge and 12 in. from the lower edge. There are several additional holes in the painting including a ¼ in. hole along the left edge, 10 in. from the top and a ¼ in. hole along the upper right edge, 4 in. from the top and 12 in. from the right. There is a 1 in. vertical perforation in the red area at the upper center of the work. There is paint loss to the upper right and left corners consistent with frame abrasions. There is also a 5 by 3 in. repaired L-shaped tear in the upper left corner, 5 in. from the left edge and 12 in. from the top edge. The tear is beginning to unravel slightly in the corner and there is significant craquelure surrounding this. There is a piece of heavy paper adhered to the tear from the reverse.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.

Catalogue Note

The Nueva Figuración or New Figuration was an Argentine vanguard movement active from 1961-65 and whose members included the artists Ernesto Deira, Rómulo Macció, Luis Felipe Noé and Jorge de la Vega. The main focus of the Nueva Figuración was to question the "institution of painting" by proposing a new image of the human being and its context.  Their contribution was concomitant with the widespread mid-twentieth century transition seen in western practices, where the traditional concept of the work of art underwent profound changes.  The group participated along with other artists in the passage from modern to contemporary art.  

The members of the Nueva Figuración brought together the most diverse elements in what Deira dubbed the "explosion of painting."  Each one of these artists developed his own singular language.  Noé and de la Vega went furthest along the conceptual path by creating a structural rupture which Noé later called the "broken vision."  Beginning in the 1960s, Noé's poetics focused on the term "chaos" as a conceptual objective, where the purpose was to deconstruct the pictorial support.  Between 1963 and 1966, de la Vega worked on his well-known series Bestiario.  While Deira's pictorial language was characterized by his particular and varied use of the line, which functioned as a rational tool for creating an intimate rapport with the human figure.  One of the main features of Macció's paintings was his ability to offset extremely expressionist figures with vigorous gestures and ambiguous spaces in opposition to the traditionally clear conception of space.

Mercedes Casanegra is an art historian and curator. Most recently she organizad the exhibition Jorge de la Vega, Obras 1961-1971, MALBA-Colección Constantini, Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (2003)