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Surrealism, Botero in Latin America Auctions this Week at Christie's and Sotheby's
Tomas Sanchez (Cuban B. 1948), From the Cave of the Heart, signed and dated ‘Tomas Sanchez 05, From the Cave of My Heart, 2005”, oil on canvas, 78 ¾ x 98 ¼ in. (200 x 250 cm.) Painted in 2005. Estimate: $500,000-700,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2010.

By: Walker Simon

NEW YORK (REUTERS).- A voodoo-inspired Cuban work and a portrait of a bullfighting family by Colombian Fernando Botero top this week's Latin American art auctions at Sotheby's and Christie's in New York.

Christie's expects to see sales of up to $26 million at its auction that starts on Wednesday and Sotheby's is predicting as much as $27 million at its sale beginning on Tuesday, which would be their biggest since the spring 2008 before the financial crisis.

"There's a renovated confidence and energy in the market," said Christie's Latin American art chief.

He added that there could be a carryover from fall auctions which saw record-smashing prices for contemporary and post-war art.

The top lot at Sotheby's is Cuban surrealist Wifredo Lam's "Las Abalochas dansent pour Dhambala, dieu de l'unite."

Lam visited Haiti with Surrealism founder Andre Breton. The painting takes its name from Dhambala, a Haitian Creole word for a voodoo rainbow-serpent god, according to the auction catalog.

The 1970 work, which hung in Lam's studio, could fetch up to $2.25 million,
"One of the strengths of the Latin American art auction is Surrealism," said Carmen Melian, Sotheby's Latin American art chief.

In his 1972 "Nuestra Senora de Cajica," which is expected to sell for up to $800,000, Botero juxtaposes symbols of the Virgin Mary and the Garden of Eden. A corpulent Virgin offers an apple to a chubby male infant, his hand grasping a tiny Colombian flag. Tiny nuns, monks and priests peer from a leafy tree top. A devilish-looking black serpent slithers below the virgin's shoeless toes.

Christie's top lot, with an expected price tag of $1.5 million, is Botero's 1985 "Family Portrait" of bullfighters, three of them dressed in matador finery. The youngest is a crawling toddler with a red tie and wearing white stockings on his bulging calves.

Inspired by visits to the sprouting Mexican volcano Paracutin, Chilean artist Matta's 1942 work "Untitled" envisions earth as what he then said was "something terrific, burning, changing, transforming (and) growing."

"Untitled," which has an expected price tag of $1.2 million, mixes dropped pigment with strokes of liquid color, centered on a burning fury of fiery reds, pea-like greens and sunbeam yellows.

Sotheby's top-priced Matta, the 1944 "Children's Fear of Idols II," has a high estimate of $700,000.





Last Week News

November 15, 2010

Kunsthalle in Dresden Opens Exhibition of Works by German Artist Eberhard Havekost

Johan Thorn Prikker: Beyond Art Nouveau at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Rare Photographic Albums and Portfolios Break Records at Swann Galleries' Auction

Geert Mul and Maurer United Architects Transform Bus Stop into a Beacon for the Media Era

14th Annual Boston International Fine Art Show to be Held this Week at The Cyclorama

The Valencian Institute of Modern Art Presents Sculptures by Xavier Mascaro     

Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art Announces Details of Its Three Opening Exhibitions

Everson Presents Works by Artists from the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy

The Etchings of Etcher John Taylor Arms on View at the Chrysler Museum of Art

A Selection of Drawings and Paintings by Stephen Farthing at the Royal Academy of Arts

Delaware Art Museum Presents Ultra-Realistic Sculptures by Milwaukee-Based Artist Marc Sijan

Mark Moore Gallery Announced Its Permanent Relocation from Bergamot Station to Culver City

Babe Ruth Home Run Ball Goes for $264,500 at the Louisville Slugger Museum

The Power Plant Appoints Melanie O'Brian as New Curator of Programs

PHotoEspaña Announces Portfolio Reviews to be Held in Colombia and Nicaragua; Launch a New Online Curating Competition

DeCordova Announces Co-Curators for the 2012 Biennial: Associate Curator Dina Deitsch and Abigail Ross Goodman

"American Tapestry" Exhibition Tells 25 Stories through Collected Objects, Art

Celebrity Painter Rosson Crow and Motorcycles at the Contemporary Arts Center

November 14, 2010

Gemäldegalerie Celebrates 400th Anniversary of Caravaggio's Death with Exhibition

LACMA Announces First Ever Thematic Exhibition of Renowned American Sculptor David Smith

Explore The Strange World of Albrecht Dürer at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute

Almost 500 Lots of Russian Art Included in the Russian Art Sale at Christie's

Major Alberto Vargas Retrospective Opens at the San Francisco Art Exchange

Site-Specific Wall Drawing Installation by Renowned Artist Pat Steir at Sue Scott Gallery

First Rank Exhibition Soberly Named Pointillism Opens at Artvera's in Geneva

Collection of 40 Rarely-Exhibited Abstract Prints by Jules Olitski at the Everson Museum of Art

First Retrospective of Designer Hella Jongerius at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Texas-Based Gaston & Sheehan Sells Spoils of Bernard Madoff's Lavish Life in New York

Contemporary Photographer Sally Mann's The Flesh and The Spirit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Curious George: The Art of Margret and H. A. Rey at the Contemporary Jewish Museum

Oasis of Colour in Contemporary Aboriginal Painting at the Art Gallery of South Australia

New Drawings by Robert Morris at Sprüth Magers in Berlin

Poignant Reminder of Harsh Realities of WWI for Sale at Bonhams

Tropical Forest Diversity Increased During Ancient Global Warming Event

Chaired by Michael Portillo, Art Fund Prize Judging Panel Announced for 2011

Gagosian Opens a New Gallery in Geneva

Expert Handwriting Analysis Concludes "Secret Mark" Not a Forgery

Jesus Wasn't Born in Bethlehem, According to Biblical Scholar

November 13, 2010

Boston's Museum of Fine Arts Unveils New $504 Million Art of the Americas Wing

Collection of American Furniture, Paintings and Works on Paper Acquired by the National Gallery

Sotheby's Announced It will to Offer Important Works on Behalf of the Beaverbrook Foundation

Bortolami Presents Its Second Solo Exhibition of Work by Israel-Born Artist Avner Ben-Gal

Artist David Hockney Applies Brush to Dog Bowls at Bonhams & Butterfields Auction

RISD Museum Showcases the Human Figure in Show About the Use of the Artist's Model Through Time

Most Comprehensive Exhibition of the Work of Thornton Dial to Premiere at the IMA in 2011

Exhibition of Outstanding Works on Paper from IVAM's Collection Opens in Valencia

80 Previously Unseen Works by Stephen Shore in First Exhibition in Berlin at Sprüth Magers

Gratz Family Portraits Reunited at Philadelphia's Rosenbach Museum & Library

Exhibition Explores the Conceptual Process of British Installation Artist Andy Goldsworthy

Pot o' Gold: Family's Old Vase Fetches $83 Million at Small Suburban London Auction House

40-Year Retrospective Exhibition of the Work of Tony May Opens at San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art

Strong, Colorful Surreal Paintings by Philemona Williamson at June Kelly Gallery

Art Basel Miami Beach 2010 Announces Art Public: 9 Public Art Works in Miami Beach

Neglect Threatens Many of Italy's Cherished Ruins

Metropolitan Museum to Undertake Major Redesign and Reconstruction of its Fifth Avenue Outdoor Plaza and Fountains

onedotzero and Wieden + Kennedy Announce 2011 Partnership

November 12, 2010

First Images of the Interior of Teotihuacan Tunnel Captured by Camera on Small Robot

Sotheby's to Offer the Rochefoucauld Grail: Witness of the Legend of King Arthur

London's Natural History Museum Urged to Stay Out of Isolated Latam Area

Spoils of Bernard Madoff's Lavish Life on Auction Block at a Manhattan Hotel this Saturday

International Shortlist for the Third Prix Pictet, World’s Leading Prize in Photography, Announced

Spectacular Tiffany, Frank Lloyd Wright Windows Lead Luxe Array of Fine Art at Morphy's

Chinese Emperor's Personal White Jade Dragon Seal Sells for £2.7 Million at Bonhams

Photographer Mick Rock's Images that Defined Rock n' Roll on View at Idea Generation Gallery

London Exhibition at Wellcome Collection Examines Centuries of Drug History

Masters of Photography Featured in Stieglitz, Steichen, Strand at Metropolitan Museum

Trunk Tells of the Leaving of Liverpool; New Acquisition a Reminder of Child Migrant Story

Nottingham Contemporary's First Year a Complete Success with Record Visitor Figures

Ancient Tablets Reveal Mathematical Achievements of Ancient Babylonian Culture

Exciting, Cutting-Edge Contemporary Video Installations at Philbrook Museum of Art

Hattie McDaniel's Personal Presentation Script from 'Gone with the Wind' on the Auction Block

Acclaimed Pop Artist Romero Britto and American Hero Astronaut Buzz Aldrin Launch an Artistic Vision for Reaching Mars

United Kingdom Government Art Reveals Ministers' Nostalgic Tastes

Ashwellthorpe Triptych to Go on Show at Norwich Cathedral

November 11, 2010

Pop! Christie's Sets New World Auction Record for Lichtenstein Achieving $42.6 Million

Exhibition Places New Acquisitions in the Context of MoMA's History of Collecting

$35 Million Andy Warhol Coke Bottle Lifts Sotheby's Contemporary Art Auction

Metropolitan and Egypt Announce Initiative to Recognize Egypt's Title to Objects from Tut's Tomb

Alexander McQueen's Iconic Designs to be Celebrated in Spring 2011 at the Metropolitan

Legendary Souvenir Chess Piece from 1897 to be Offered at Christie's South Kensington

Winner of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Prize Announced at the National Portrait Gallery

Exceptional Group of Modern and Contemporary Artworks on Offer at artnet Auctions

One of Only 19 Fabergé Snuff-Boxes with Portrait of Emperor Nicholas II Offered by Christie's

Amon Carter Museum of American Art Announces Andrew J. Walker as Director Designate

Sotheby's Auction of Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art Brings £14 Million

Japanese Medicine Container Makes World Record in an International Sale at Bonhams

Sale of Modern and Contemporary Turkish Art at Antik A.S. in Istanbul Totals $ 10.2 Million

Curtain Closes on a Successful Abu Dhabi Art 2010

Two Artists Explore the Ruins of the 20th Century at the Hirshhorn

Ancient Temples Highlight Egyptian Lake Cruise

Disabled Veterans Memorial has DC Groundbreaking

Mark Polizzotti Named Publisher & Editor in Chief at Met Museum

National Gallery of Canada and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art Forge a New Partnership

November 10, 2010

Christie's Expects to Sell "Ordination" by Nicolas Poussin for £15 to £20 Million

Social Realist Artist Jack Levine Dies on Monday at New York City Home at Age 95

Schiele's 'Procession' Sells for euro4.4 Million at im Kinsky Kunst Auktionen GmbH Auction House

Ground Broken on Frank Gehry's $81 Million Underground Utility Space at Philadelphia Art Museum

Playwright Spalding Gray's Archive Acquired by University of Texas' Harry Ransom Center

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Grand Rapids Art Museum Marks 100th Anniversary with Exhibition Diana, A Celebration

Marianne Boesky Gallery Opens First Exhibition of the Works of Alighiero Boetti

Sotheby's Announces Sales of Russian Paintings, Icons, Fabergé and Works of Art

Julien's Auctions Announces an Auction of "Icons & Idols" Memorabilia and Ephemera

Sotheby's to Offer For Sale The Celebrated Collection of Stuart Cary Welch

Andrew Gadd Further Develops His Themes of Isolation and Social Brutality at Agnew's Gallery

Sotheby's to Offer a Rare Interior of Furniture by French Art Deco Atelier Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann

Saint Louis Art Museum Accepts Major Gift of Japanese Prints from Charles and Rosalyn Lowenhaupt

French Design Phenom Patrick Jouin Makes His American Museum Debut at Museum of Arts & Design

Fire Damages Neil Young Memorabilia

Portrait of Drury Lane's Best Known Lady Macbeth to Be Offered at Bonhams

Robert Wilson, Co-Founder of Jupiter Artland, Becomes Chair of Edinburgh Art Festival

Guercino's "King David" and "The Cumaean Sibyl with Putto" Displayed Together at the National Gallery

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4.- Getty Foundation and partners launch free of charge online art collection catalogues

5.- Historic photos of dead Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara resurface in small Spanish town

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7.- O'Keeffe painting sells for more than three times the previous world auction record for any female artist

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9.- artnet Auctions offers a later example of Yayoi Kusama's important Infinity-Nets series

10.- 'Degenerate art' should go back to museums: German advisor Jutta Limbach



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