Christie's sold a total of $17.6 million and Sotheby's $15.1
million in the sales Wednesday, which also set an auction record
for Ernesto Icaza, a turn-of-the-century Mexican painter.
"The auction reflected the strength of the current market for
Latin American art," said Virgilio Garza, Christie's head of
Latin American art. "There were a lot of new buyers, some of
them American and South American."
Christie's top lot was Torres-Garcia’s 1931 "Composition TSF"
painting, which sold for $1.6 million.
Also known as "Constructivo Universal," its rectangular grids
encase symbols of global links, such as wireless
telecommunications, sea-borne travel and a hot air balloon.
"Composition TSF suggests a personal and cosmic universe through
its arrangements of signs set in a shallow relief within a
box-like structure shaded in black, white, grey and ochre," said
Marysol Nieves, a Christie’s Latin American specialist.
At Sotheby's, Torres-Garcia's "Grafismo Infinito," from 1937,
went for just over $1 million.
In it, he attempts to create a universal pictograph language,
including references to Inca stonework and principles in
classical Western architecture, said Axel Stein, Sotheby's Latin
American art chief.
At Christie's, Botero's 1969 "Man Going to Work” sold for
$1.4 million. It depicts a man leaving his house under the gaze
of his much larger baby and wife. The garden is framed by
snow-capped mountains and a smoking volcano.
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"It is the quotidian made strange,” Garza said. “It has the sense of
the uncanny such as in a (painting by Belgian surrealist Rene)
At Sotheby's, Clark's 1960 "Bicho-Em-Si-Mid (No. IV) fetched $1.2
The sculpture, which consists of hinged plates, is designed to be
manipulated by viewers to create a variety of configurations to
recall the limitless forms of a "bicho," a Portuguese word for
Clark, who died in 1988, has drawn growing foreign interest. New
York's Museum of Modern Art earlier this month opened a
retrospective of her work.
A 12-painting set, which sold for $905,000, depicting charros, or
skilled Mexican horsemen and rodeo riders, set an auction record for
Mexican Rufino Tamayo's 1939 "Mujer con Sandia" also set an auction
record for a work on paper of the artist, going for $473,000.
(Editing by Patricia Reaney and Bernadette Baum)
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