NEW YORK, NY.- Sothebys
spring evening sale of Latin American Art in New York brought a total of $6,740,000 (est. $7.5/10.1 million) and was 75% sold by lot. The sale was led by Diego Riveras Niña con rebozo from 1935 which sold for $794,500, well above a high estimate of $450,000. Auction records were established tonight for Enio Iommi, Mercedes Pardo, Andreas López, Édouard-Théophile Pingret and for a sculpture by Hugo Demarco and a work on paper by León Ferrari. 50% of the lots sold tonight achieved prices in excess of their high estimate. The auction continues tomorrow (May 28, 2009) at 10 am.
Carmen Melian, Head of Sothebys Latin American Art department, said, Overall we were very pleased with tonights sale, which achieved a 75% sell-through rate. There were several happy surprises--- Diego Riveras superb tempera on linen Niña con Rebozo achieved a spectacular result, as did Brazils Candido Portinari, whose Cangaceiro tripled its low estimate. One trend witnessed tonight was the great success of the non-figurative tradition: JoaquínTorres-García and Matta did exceptionally well. Reflecting this trend were the results brought by artists of the kinetic movement. Mercedes Pardo and Enio Iommi both set records tonight, and Jesús Rafael Soto, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Luis Tomasello, and Gego also brought strong prices., These artists have had a growing international following in the past 5 years. We were also encouraged by the high prices achieved for 19th Century views of Latin America with the record-setting result for Édouard-Théophile Pingrets Procesión de la Virgen, which sold for $278,500, well above its high estimate (est. $150/200). We look forward to another successful sale tomorrow morning.
Following the strong price achieved by the top lot were JoaquínTorres-Garcías Construcción Portuaria which brought $626,500 (est. $350/450,000) and Rufino Tamayos imposing Girl with Yellow Flowers from 1946 which sold for $530,500 (est. $500/700,000). Also among the top ten lots were two works by Fernando Botero Mother Superior sold for $362,500 (est. $300/400,000) and Zurbarán Pinta a Santa Dorotea soared past a high estimate of $175,000 to sell for $242,500. Three works by Francisco Zuñiga also performed well, achieving prices within or in excess of their estimates.
The artists Silvia agachada from 1972 sold for $278,500, easily surpassing the high estimate of $175,000.