Cruz-Diez, Torres-García, Bravo, Tamayo and More Highlight the Latin American Online Sales

Launch Slideshow

Our highly anticipated online auctions, Latin America: Modern Art Online and Latin America: Contemporary Art, will feature excellent works by the most sought after artists from the region. Latin America: Contemporary Art Online includes rare works by masters of Abstraction including Joaquín Torres-García, Jesús Rafael Soto and Carlos Cruz-Diez, along with works by coveted living artists Gabriel Orozco and Vik Muniz. Latin America: Modern Art Online features classic examples by Modernist masters, including works by Rufino Tamayo, Fernando Botero, Claudio Bravo, and more. Open for bidding concurrently from 2–26 May, the auctions represent the first time property from the Latin American Art category has been offered exclusively to online bidding. Click through the slideshow for a look at just a few of the highlight lots by the category’s most recognized artists.

Latin America: Modern Art Online
2–26 May | 12 pm

Latin America: Contemporary Art Online
2–26 May | 2 pm

Cruz-Diez, Torres-García, Bravo, Tamayo and More Highlight the Latin American Online Sales

  • Ángel Botello, Tendiendo ropa, circa 1970. Estimate $8,000–12,000.
    This sweet scene of women hanging clothes to dry, rendered in soft pastel tones, is an excellent example of Angel Botello’s style. Botello employs his characteristic abstract human forms and sharp angles to create a charming and carefully balanced composition.

  • Emilio Pettoruti, Figuras para ballet, 1918. Estimate $18,000–22,000.
    Early in his career, while living in Italy, the Argentine painter Emilio Pettoruti supported his artistic endeavors by working as a set designer for local opera and ballet companies. This charming 1918 watercolor of three ballerinas in bright costumes, bathed in the warm glow of stage lights, was exhibited at the 1920 Venice Biennale.

  • Leonora Carrington, Untitled. Estimate $15,000–20,000.
    Raised in an aristocratic British family, Leonora Carrington often struggled against the rigid expectations of high society, and was expelled in her youth from two schools for rebellious behavior. In this mysterious scene, populated with meticulously rendered human hybrid figures and fantastic creatures, a cloaked figure holds a book reading, in reverse writing, “Manners and Tone in Good Society.” This subtle inclusion suggests a satirical tone to the drawing, presenting a surrealist vision of the dark and unstable elements present in all of “good society.”

  • Matta, Untitled, circa 1966-7. Estimate $40,000–60,000.
     “Matta’s entire work is a vertiginous voyage that navigates through the chaos of human reality... The anthropomorphic and biomorphic elements in his dreamy landscapes unfold, forming sensorial sanctuaries before exploding into complete universes.  This cosmos grows from the earth and the plants.” 

    –María Berrios, “Humanized architectures: Matta, Architect,” Matta Centenario 11.11.11., Santiago de Chile, 2011, p. 193

  • Rufino Tamayo, Mujer con canasta, 1942. Estimate $20,000–25,000.
    This lovely watercolor by Rufino Tamayo, executed during his early years in New York, displays a geometric, linear balance and shimmering soft texture that illustrate the twin influences of pre-Columbian art and European abstraction on his work of this period.

  • Ricardo Martínez, Cabeza Antigua. Estimate $25,000–35,000.
    One feels in the painting of Ricardo Martinez both force and fluidity; one feels tradition, but more so one feels a rupture with tradition. These are images of mythical humanity, created not just of their moment, but also of eternity.  

    –Luis Cardoza y Aragón, Ricardo Martinez, Mexico City, 1981, p. XVIII

  • Víctor Manuel, Paisaje. Estimate $30,000–40,000.
    Víctor Manuel, a member of the Cuban modernist Vanguardia movement, was influenced by the paintings of Paul Gauguin, which he studied in Paris early in his career. Like Gauguin in his depictions of Tahiti, Manuel uses light, rapid brushstrokes and rich color to capture the heat and stillness of the tropics in his lush portrayals of Cuban villages and landscapes. As Ramón Vázquez Díaz notes, “In these landscapes, nothing happens. The sensation that emanates from them is of time detained, of eternity. With very few elements, Víctor Manuel has constructed a rustic, creole Arcadia.”   

    –Ramon Vazquez Diaz, Víctor Manuel, Madrid, 2010, p. 120

  • Fernando Botero, Woman in Profile, 1973. Estimate $18,000–22,000.
    Fernando Botero’s tender portrait of a woman, delicately rendered in graphite, embodies the lighthearted and joyful spirit that pervades the artist’s oeuvre. Beyond the soft gaze of the woman, a rustic home and rolling mountains unfold in the distance, recalling his childhood home of Medellín.

  • Claudio Bravo, Paquetes, 1965. Estimate $40,000–60,000.
    Paquetes is an excellent example of Claudio Bravo’s trompe-l’oeil style. Painted at the height of his career, this lustrous work on panel demonstrates Bravo’s mastery of old master painting techniques, as well as his fully contemporary interest in the evocative quality of these concealed, unknowable objects. 

  • Carlos Cruz-Diez, Physichromie no. 2540, 2008. Estimate $60,000–80,000.
    Widely considered as one of the leading artists of the Op-Kinetic movement, Carlos Cruz-Diez’s groundbreaking “Physichromie” works challenge the traditional form of painting and concepts of color. Inspired by Edward H. Land’s (the future co-founder of the Polariod Company) 1959 Scientific American magazine article “Experiments in Color Vision” – which offered one of the most progressive experimental studies on the human optics of color vision at the time – Cruz-Diez embarked upon a challenge that few artists had undertaken before, “to liberate color from the two-dimensional plane” and transform it into a constantly changing “physical experience.” The Physichromie is Cruz-Diez’s solution. A product of the combined words “physical” and “chromatic, the Physichromie is simply defined by Cruz-Diez as meaning a “light trap” that can capture and change color and, more importantly, requires us as viewers to become active participants with the work itself.

  • León Ferrari, Untitled, 1978. Estimate $25,000–30,000.
    Forced into exile as a consequence of Argentina’s fervent political instability, León Ferrari fled Buenos Aires and settled in São Paulo from 1976–1991. During this time, Ferrari returned to his abstract aesthetics of the 1960s resulting in the creation of complex metal constructions. Executed in 1978, this work is a prime example from this vital period of creative production. Aptly described by Brazilian art critic Arcay A. Amaral, the elaborate metal sculptures are “linear galaxies” that at first glance appear as “prototypes of imaginary buildings simultaneously musical and poetic.” Ferrari’s work can be found in the collections of major international institutions such as New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA); the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and the Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires (MALBA), amongst others.

  • Omar Rayo, Tauramena, 1970. Estimate $22,000–28,000.
    Tauramena is a key example of Columbian artist, Omar Rayo’s, signature geometric aesthetic. Characterized by a restrained use of color and painted strips which resemble intertwined ribbons and knots, Rayo’s acrylic paintings successfully create optical illusions that give the impression of varied depth and dimension.

  • Vik Muniz, Pegadas (João Pereira, Mina de ferro), from Earthworks, 2005. Estimate $7,000–9,000.
    One of the most celebrated Contemporary artists working today, Brazilian artist Vik Muniz is known for his photographic-parodies of art historic and culturally provocative imagery. For his Earthworks series, Muniz looks to the pioneering phase of Land Art during the 1970s as his source of inspiration. Creating monumental drawings in the soil of an iron mine in Brazil, Muniz “used GPS guides, retro diggers and helicopters to produce and photograph gigantic earthworks that depicted extremely banal objects such as a pair of scissors, a saucepan or an electric outlet.” As he states, “my intention [was] to treat the earth as a single unifying depository for all ideas and concepts; the source of all human activity can only be reflected in the way it leaves traces on its immediate environment.”

  • Joaquín Torres-García, Metaphysical Composition, circa 1938. Estimate $15,000–20,000.
    Involved in several of the early avant-garde movements that were bourgeoning in both the United States and Europe, including Cubism and Neo-Plasticism amongst others, it was not until Joaquín Torres-García’s experimentation with Constructivism during the latter half of the 1920s while living in Paris, and a serendipitous and fateful meeting with Piet Mondrian, that Torres-García was able to establish an unexpectedly new visual language that came to full fruition by the early 1930s: Universal Constructivism. This 1938 drawing, Metaphysical Composition, is an important example of Torres’ grid-like compositions – inspired by Incan stonework – made between 1935 and the early 1940s. Restrained in color pallet, the patterning and layering of rectangular shapes in varied scales create a harmony of shadow and light while it also evokes the architectural semblances of ancient temple-like structures.

  • Fernando de Szyszlo, Mar de Lurín, 1995. Estimate $50,000–70,000.
    Peruvian-born Fernando De Szyszlo is a key figure in the abstract art movement of Latin America. While studying in Europe in his early 20s, De Syszlo absorbed the influences and artistic currents of the time. Upon his return to Peru, he became one of the major catalyzing forces in energizing a new approach to art making, one that veered away from the traditionally, academic figurative aesthetic to a more radical, non-representational and abstracted style. The present painting, Mar de Lurín, captures De Szyszlo’s hallmark aesthetic: rich with saturated color and a technical display of three-dimensional paint texture, he successfully manipulates light and shadow to evoke a mysterious and spiritual essence. The act of painting is "the motor of a dream, to make physical something that is a feeling, a quest for the sacred," he said.

  • Carlos Mérida, Connubio en La Solana, 1971. Estimate $40,000–60,000.
    Long regarded as a pioneer of Mexican modernism, the work of Carlos Mérida is characterized by intensely colorful, geometric figures organized in an almost free-form arrangement. Mérida was a key contributor in driving the resurgence of interest and awareness in Mesoamerican art forms and aesthetic sensibilities, using them as a basis of inspiration for his own abstract aesthetic. Having traveled throughout Europe extensively during the 1920s, the development of his signature, abstract approach also took cues from the masters of the avant-garde movements of the time such as Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Wassily Kandinsky, and Paul Klee.

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