Magnificent Results for Mexico City Consignors

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Located in a dynamic cultural nexus with an avid collecting base, Sotheby’s Mexico City is an integral resource for clients, providing a full range of services, resulting in remarkable consignments and sales across categories and around the globe. From an experimental Diego Rivera landscape to a luminous Yayoi Kusama Infinity-Net painting, many impressive artworks have come to auction through the Mexico City office. Click ahead to read the stories of ten of these significant works with Mexican provenance.

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Magnificent Results for Mexico City Consignors

  • Jeff Wall, Overpass. Sold at Sotheby’s New York for $672,500.
    A figure of the photography community since the 1970s, Jeff Wall is best known for his large-scale photographic compositions, which vary in subject matter from street scenes to ornately staged interiors. “Like painting, my work is very much about composition. That is where the feeling flows – more so than in the expressions on faces or the possible social meanings. But I am not trying to imitate painting. In fact, my pictures are as close to Robert Frank or Paul Strand as they are to painting or cinema,” said Wall in a 2015 interview with the Guardian.

  • Oscar Dominguez, Paisaje cósmico. Sold at Sotheby’s London for £100,000.
    Paisaje cósmico is a vivid example of Domínguez's cosmic landscapes – visionary worlds in which tangible points of reference are obscured. The cosmic element of these works was alluded to by André Breton as early as 1939 in his seminal text “Des tendances les plus récentes de la peinture surréaliste.” The first owner of this painting was Leonora Carrington, the artist and writer who met Max Ernst in 1936 at the International Surrealist Exhibition in London. She returned to Paris with him and quickly became a part of Surrealist circles where she would have met Domínguez.

  • Fernand Léger, La Femme aux clés. Sold at Sotheby’s New York for $3,612,500.
    The present work is one of the earliest examples of Léger’s juxtaposition of floating objects and figures and exemplifies the powerful influence of Surrealism on the his aesthetic around 1930. During this period, Léger shifted his focus away from the industrialism of his post-war compositions toward more natural and biomorphic forms as seen in the present composition featuring a woman and keys.     


  • Leonora Carrington, Santuario. Sold at Sotheby’s New York for $250,000.
    As did fellow women surrealist artists Remedios Varo, Leonor Fini, and Dorothea Tanning, the English-born Carrington capitalised upon key interests such as magic and the occult to help shape a pictorial vocabulary in a way that was distinctly her own. At the outbreak of the Second World War, she fled Europe for Mexico, where she would live for most of the rest of her life. The country’s vibrant landscape and mixed cultures offered her a luscious source of inspiration, and her work vastly matured there, becoming progressively complex and cryptic over the decades.

  • Yayoi Kusama, Infinity-Nets. Sold at Sotheby’s New York for $744,500.
    Prolific Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama began her Infinity-Nets series in the late 1950s. Composed through repetitive, yet individual motions, intricate webs of paint emerge across the canvas. Kusama explained, “My net paintings were very large canvases without composition—without beginning, end or center. The entire canvas would be occupied by a monochromatic net. This endless repetition causes a kind of dizzying, empty, hypnotic feeling." The present work, with its shimmering gold hovering over a rich black background, sold for well over its high estimate at auction in 2016.


  • Rufino Tamayo, Sandías y naranja. Sold at Sotheby’s New York for $2,292,500.
    Previously in the collection of actress and fashion icon Audrey Hepburn, Sandías y naranja evokes a fascinating – and somewhat forgotten – cultural momemt: a time of unprecedented exchange between Mexico’s artistic milieu and the Golden Age of Hollywood. 

  • Gunther Gerzso, Naranja-verde-azul. Sold at Sotheby’s New York for $300,000.
    Naranja-verde-azul is indicative of Gerzso’s mature work, a distinctive style of geometric abstraction characterised by the synthesis of Cubist formalism and Constructivist ideals along with his lifelong passion for Pre-Columbian architecture and mythology. In 1963's Price and Meaning Octavio Paz wrote, “Gunther Gerzso. Rumor has it that he is our best abstract painter. That is quite true, but it is not the whole story. He is one of the great Latin American painters.” In this masterful painting, irregular overlapping planes transform into a “veiled” illusory labyrinth, exemplifying Gerzo at his best. 



     

  • Diego Rivera, Paisaje cerca de Toledo. Sold at Sotheby’s New York for $1,212,500.
    Not only was Diego Rivera the most recognised painter of the Mexican muralist movement of the first half of the 20th century, he was also a leading exponent of the European avant-garde between the years of 1911 and 1921 and a leading Cubist painter from 1913 onwards. This remarkable landscape from 1913 corresponds to a moment of intense experimentation when both traditional compositional elements and avant-garde notions of space are synthesised.

  • Eugene von Guérard, View of the Granite Rocks at Cape Woolamai 1872. Sold for $976,000 AUD.
    An Austrian-born artist, Guérard was active in Australia from the 1850s to the early 1880s and is best known for his monumental landscapes. This painting , depicting Cape Wollamai on Phillip Island in Victoria, Australia, exemplifies his keen eye for detail and dramatic light and shadow. The dramatic work nearly doubled its low estimate when it sold at Sotheby’s in May 2017.  
  • John William Godward, Leaning Against a Column. Sold at Sotheby’s London for £187,500.
    Godward was a prolific painter of classical subjects and throughout his 40-year career he focused solely on an imaginary, idyllic Greek and Roman world. He was considered one of the brightest stars of the Victorian era and was admired for the archeological accuracy of his depictions of classical architecture. This picture is a rediscovery, only known from a slight pen and ink sketch annotating a letter to Godward’s agent, Thomas McLean, dated 26 September 1901.

  • Rolex “Paul Newman” Daytona circa 1966. Sold at Sotheby’s New York for $125,000.
    This rare stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with tri-colour white, black, and red dial far exceeded its estimate when it came to auction in December of 2016. 



     

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