Latin Masters Diego Rivera, Rufino Tamayo and José Clemente Orozco Now on View

Launch Slideshow

Masterworks by some of the biggest names in Latin American Art feature prominently in the upcoming Impressionist & Modern Art Evening and Day sales on 12–13 November in New York. From the drama of José Clemente Orozco’s La Conquista depicting the brutal devastation of the Spanish conquest, to the smoldering drama of Rufino Tamayo’s 1947 painting of a volcano eruption that shook the world, commanding works by Latin American artists take their rightful place among their fellow masters of the 20th century. The works are on view in New York now through 13 November.

Latin Masters Diego Rivera, Rufino Tamayo and José Clemente Orozco Now on View

  • Diego Rivera, Luna sobre el mercado, 1929. Estimate $1,500,000–2,000,000.
    Rivera employs his modernist visual language to depict these women as cultural archetypes, emphasizing the vibrance of their skirts adjusted tightly around their bodies, their huipiles embroidered with bright geometric bands, their carefully braided hair and the architectural petticoats of the skirts, distancing himself from the narrative and the picturesque.
  • José Clemente Orozco, La Conquista, circa 1942. Estimate $600,000–800,000.
    Orozco heightens the dramatic tension, abject violence of the scene, and the idea of the clash of two cultures through expressive, jagged brushstrokes that assault the canvas. The artist also strategically uses a contrasting color palette to invoke duality: steely cold greys for the Spanish conquest and warm reds and browns for the ravaged bodies of the indigenous figures.
  • Rufino Tamayo, Paisaje del Paricutín (Volcán en Erupción) [Landscape of El Paricutín], 1947. Estimate $1,300,000–1,800,000.
    In his painted canvas of 1947, Paisaje del Paricutín, Rufino Tamayo seems to visualize the eyewitness’s oral account of a volcano eruption near the town of Uruapan, focusing on the nocturnal scene and sparks of red and orange lava that both burst open and rain down like artificial fire from the sky. Beyond the specificity of this violent outburst as a local natural phenomenon that captivated the world, Paisaje del Paricutin needs to be understood in relation to a series of works the artist produced during the war years, in which he had begun to incorporate references to the cosmos, the birth of the atomic age and veiled references to crisis and trauma.
  • Miguel Covarrubias, The Tree of Modern Art—Planted 60 Years Ago, 1933. Estimate $100,000–150,000.
    First published in the May 1933 issue of Vanity Fair—The Tree of Modern Art, Planted 60 Years Ago is Miguel Covarrubias’ most celebrated drawing. With exactly fifty leaves, each individually dedicated to a pioneering artist, the Tree of Modern Art – Planted 60 Years Ago visualizes the historiography of the modern art movement over two centuries. This diagram built upon seven firmly grounded roots representing the foundational masters of modernity – Eugène Delacroix, Honoré Daumier, Jacques-Louis David, Nicolas Poussin, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Gustave Courbet and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot – has become known as the most accurate interpretation of an interconnected movement spanning temporal and geographic constraints.
  • Ángel Zárraga, El Lector Juan Ramón Jiménez, 1917. Estimate $200,000–300,000.
    El Lector Juan Ramón Jiménez is an outstanding example from Angel Zárraga’s brief period of Cubist production. One of very few portraits executed in this style, the painting depicts the Nobel Prize-winning Spanish Modernist poet Juan Ramón Jiménez, whom Zárraga came to know well during his years in Paris and Madrid as a young artist. Zárraga masterfully manipulates color in his Cubist work to support the underlying geometry of his compositions. Here, he plays with subtle distinctions of white and cream both to capture the effect of sunlight and to draw a subtle, meaningful connection between the soft white of the pages and the sitter’s alabaster visage, a visual nod to Jiménez’s identity as a poet.
  • Juan O'Gorman, Paisaje de un Sueño Diurno, 1942. Estimate $60,000–80,000.
    Juan O’Gorman, the famed Mexican Modernist architect perhaps best known for designing Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo’s iconic Casa Azul in Coyoacán outside Mexico City, left his architectural practice in 1935 to dedicate himself to easel painting. Paisaje de un sueño diurno is emblematic of his accomplished artistic practice, presenting a bird’s eye view of a finely detailed vast network of mines and rolling, arid hills in an imagined Mexican landscape that recalls both Surrealist imagery and the sweeping geographies depicted by Mexican Modernists such as Dr. Atl.
  • David Alfaro Siqueiros, El Pedregal, 1954. Estimate $250,000–350,000.
    In El Pedregal Siqueiros uses his fascination with the modern material and his experimentation with its accidental effects to conjure the harsh rocky landscape formulated by the lava fields of the Pedregal (volcano rock), a vast territory to the south of Mexico City. Unlike other artists who also depicted the Pedregal, Siqueiros capitalizes on pyroxlin’s volatile associations to express not the inert rock, but its origins as a forceful, exploding volcano (Pyroxylin is chemically related to nitrocellulose, or gun cotton, which is an explosive.) Vibrant colors coagulate on the surface here to create a wondrous fiery mix.
  • Alfredo Ramos Martínez, La India de los floripondios, circa 1932. Estimate $800,000–1,200,000.
    The simplicity of Ramos Martínez’s forms belies the extraordinary complexity of his color. The soft blush of the lotus and textural vibrations of the white floripondios against the rich turquoise backdrop elevate La India de los floripondios out of the mundane into a world of pure beauty. These jewel-like colors are chosen not only for their visual effects but for their evocative qualities, the contrast of blue and white conjuring classical Western depictions of the Virgin Mary while the rich green of the leaves recalls jade, a deeply revered material for the Olmec and Mayan cultures symbolically associated with the eternal cycle of life and death.
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Latin American Art Will Be Offered In These Auctions

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