NEW YORK, N.Y.- Phillips de Pury & Company
announces the highlights from its Latin American Contemporary Art auctions. The Evening auction will feature 33 lots with a low estimate of $5,935,000 and a high estimate of $8,205,000. The Day auction will comprise of 104 lots with a low estimate of $1,099,000 and a high estimate of $1,585,500.
For years the Latin American sales in New York have been almost exclusively focused on Figurative art of a particularly regional nature, not representing well the extraordinary artistic production of Brazil , which of all the countries in Latin America best understood and absorbed Modernist art of Europe and North America . In 1950 Max Bill had a major retrospective in São Paulo and in 1953 Picassos Guernica was brought to the newly formed São Paulo Biennial, the second oldest art biennial in the world. For 60 years Brazil has produced generation after generation of radical and progressive contemporary artists; these men and women not only absorbed Brazilian cultural influences into their work but also drew upon and understood the cutting edge of contemporary art on other continents. The Phillips sale will showcase on the international auction market the importance of modernist and contemporary art produced in Latin America . Henry Allsopp, Worldwide Head of Curated Sales and Exhibitions.
LATIN AMERICA EVENING SALE
Highlights of the Evening auction include:
Adriana Varejão, Ambiente Virtual II, 2001 (estimate $500,000-700,000). This is the first time a work from Varejãos acclaimed Sauna series has been offered at auction. With this series of works Varejão relates spaces that despite having distinctive functions and belonging to different locations resemble themselves through the use of tiles, a unifying motif in the artists oeuvre.
Lygia Pape, Livro dos Caminhos (Book of Paths), 1963/1976 (estimate
$150,000 250,000). This work, from the Dos Caminohos series, is the first major work by the artist has come on the international market. Central to the philosophy of the Neo Concrete movementthat the viewers participation is essential to the realization and understanding of the workPapes Books suggest a type of narrative despite being constituted by different arrangements of forms.
Leon Ferrari, Untitled, 1978 (estimate $750,000 950,000). Best know for cage-like assemblages that resemble buildings under conduction, Ferraris Untitled, 1978 dates to a seminal period for the artist, reflecting his engagement in resistance to political repression concurrent with his exile in Sao Paolo (1976 84). Ferarri worked closely with Mira Schendel with whom he shared a major retrospective exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art in 2009. This landmark work is the first of this size and calibre to come to the auction market.
Hélio Oiticica, Metaesquema n°161, 1958 (estimate $280,000 350,000) and Metaesquema n°193, 1958 (estimate $220,000 280,000). These two works are stunning examples of Oiticicas early investigations into the perceptual properties of color in space. Completed at the age of only 21, they emerge as the theoretical drive in his subsequent Neo-Concrete spatial reliefs that so radically changed the direction of Brazilian contemporary art. Oiticicas retrospectively titled Metaesquemas are among the most highly sought after and influential artworks of the Brazilian modern period.
Ivan Serpa, Série Amazonica, N°27, 1970 (estimate $220,000 280,000). Serpas Série Amazonica reflects the visual language associated with the Neo-Concrete movement. The gentle use of curves and undulation, however, as well as the vibrant palette of turquoise, pink and green, bring to mind a profoundly expressive figuration, reminiscent of Pop Art and Tropicália. Série Amazonica, N°27 is a rare and large-scale painting by one of the most influential and visionary artists in the Brazilian constructivist avant-garde.
Mira Schendel, Disco Zero, 1971 (estimate $250,000 350,000); Untitled (from Cadernos Series), 1970-1971 (estimate $120,000 180,000); Untitled, 1965 (estimate $100,000 150,000). Mira Schendel is widely recognized as one of the most significant and influential Brazilian artists of the twentieth century. Phillips de Pury & Company is proud to offer a group of works that capture the extraordinary poetic sophistication of the famed conceptual artist which chart the depth of her production from abstract painting to text based three dimensional works. Her art is distinguished as much by its acute material sensitivity as by its profound, far-reaching, and consistent connection to philosophical thought.
Jesús Rafael Soto, Cubo y esfera virtual, 1994 (estimate $600,000 800,000) and Cubo virtual azul y negro,1983 (estimate $600,000 800,000). Perhaps the best known of the geometric artists being offered in the sale, the two works by Soto are a first at auction and mark the first moment that one of his signature hanging installation works has been offered for public sale.
In Cubo virtual azul y negro, 1983, the collective density of the thin aluminium rods envelops the eye from within the space, testing the boundaries of perception and spatial interaction. The space is full but the uniformity of the rods and the interplay of the colors make it seem mobile, almost fluid.
Cubo y esfera virtual, 1994 emerged from Sotos lifelong mission of creating art that directly interacts with people in both physical and intellectual ways. Like Sotos public works, Cubo y esfera virtual has the ability to continuously revolutionize its setting.
Cildo Meireles Espaços Virtuais: Cantos (Virtual Spaces: Corners), 1973/1976 (estimate $100,000 150,000) and Fontes (Bauhaus version), 1992/2008 (estimate $120,000 180,000). Duchampian genius is evident in these two works by the master conceptualist Cildo Meireles, who was the first Brazilian artist to be given a full retrospective by the Tate in 2008 - 2009.
Vik Muniz Brigitte Bardot (Diamond Divas), 2004 (estimate $100,000 150,000). From one of the best-known and widely acclaimed series of the famed Brazilian contemporary artists, Brigitte Bardot, 2004 is a masterwork of Munizs first set of media goddesses executed in brilliant-cut diamonds. In shaping the immortal Bardot from a medium as lustrous as she, Muniz presents us with an awe-inspiring and elegant marriage of subject and style.