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Phillips de Pury & Company announces highlights from its New York Latin America sale
Adriana Varejão, Açougue Song [Butcher's Song], 2000. Estimate: $500,000-700,000.

NEW YORK, NY.- Phillips de Pury & Company announced highlights from its upcoming New York Latin America auction. The spring sale is a multi-sensory aesthetic journey through Latin America’s contemporary social and philosophical evolution and includes the work of some of the region’s most significant modern and contemporary artists.

The auction has a presale combined low estimate of $4,524,500 and a pre-sale high estimate of $6,325,500.

Henry Allsopp, International Head of Latin America Department says “Phillips is again delighted to present works from the most interesting post-war and contemporary artists from the whole of Latin America. Our goal is to highlight the enormous depth and sophistication of the art produced across this vast continent.”

ADRIANA VAREJÃO, Açougue Song [Butcher’s Song], 2000, $500,000-$700,000 is a pure example of the artist’s aesthetic exploration of the role of visual culture in social progress. Varejão implements a most literal vocabulary to communicate the physical and cultural consequences of colonialism, which constitutes a leading theme in the artist’s body of work. The hanging meats allude to the butcheries of her native Rio de Janeiro, expertly juxtaposing the pleasure of local color with the underlying mortality of a deconstructed carcass. As the title suggests, each hanging piece alludes to a note from a song, adding lyricism and poetic discourse to a landscape of ominous materiality.

HÉLIO OITICICA, Metaesquema 169, 1958, $180,000 - $220,000 embodies Oiticica’s inquisitive mind and exploratory spirit during the late 1950’s. Created in the period between the artist’s Grupo Frente and Neo-Concrete affiliations, the Metaesquema series illustrates Oiticica’s development of his own artist outlook. Oiticica coined the term Metaesquema as a means to describe a work that, although schematic (esquema) in its formal development, is still open to the subjective interpretations inherent to metaphysics (meta). Oiticica’s Metaesquemas are dynamic compositions replete with both formalism and suggestion, articulating the complex and vibrant relationship between art and viewer.

MIRA SCHENDEL, Untitled, 1965, $120,000 - $180,000 and Untitled, 1955, $60,000 - $80,000 represent the ideal marriage between philosophical and material engagement. Schendel delicately applied subtle layers of paint in varying directions, gradually superimposing them and building them up into a composition that is in dialogue with itself. While the works may seem abstract in style, to Schendel each brushstroke represents an individual form actively existing within a specific plane. There is a constant oscillation between fluidity and tension, and aesthetic subtlety and material concentration. Each of her works represents a series of aesthetic and material interactions that are both unique and relatable.

VIK MUNIZ, Self-Portrait (from Picture of Magazines), 2003, presents the artist as creator, subject and viewer and encourages us to look long and hard at an image that is composed of thousands of others. From up close the piece is a colorful abstract setting, with innumerable shades, forms, and tonalities. Stepping back, the indelible figure of the artist materializes before our eyes. Self-Portrait is a dynamic center of exchanges, and Muniz’s lesson is the ultimate reversal: the true subject of this portrait is not the artist, but rather the perceptive interplay between images and viewers.

OS GÊMEOS, Electronic Eyes, 2011, $80,000 - $120,000, is a prime example of the collaborative artistic practice developed by identical twin artists Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo. Influenced by street art and Brazilian popular culture, their style is characterized by vibrant color, rich detail, and quirky figures. Electronic Eyes is a fantastical, sparse setting with two figures – a musician and a child in a robot suit - rendered in skewed perspective. They are in the midst of a performance, a phenomenon that celebrates being alive, and as their audience we are invited to take part.

ERNESTO NETO AND FRANKLIN CASSARO, A Contemporary Woman and the Shadow of the Wind, 2004, $50,000 - $70,000 is a fluid expression of the artistic visions of Neto and Cassaro, the heirs to the legacy of Brazilian Neo-Concretism. In the present lot, the surrounding membrane, which is penetrable from virtually all directions, is activated by the gushes of air from the ventilator, enabling the viewer to experience the work through a variety of senses. True to its Neo-Concrete influences, the work can only be completed and activated by the audience’s participation. The artists have created a heightened sensory experience that articulates the relationship between mind and body, and we are welcome to enter, participate, and play.

TUNGA, Lucido Nigredo XIV, 1999, $45,000 -$65,000 is emblematic of Tunga’s foray into the laws of physics and their aesthetic and philosophical connotations. The artist juxtaposes delicate materials, such as glass, with the more rugged and uncontrollable nature of magnets and iron fillings, creating an elegant display of force and energy. Lucido Nigredo XIV reflects the artist’s infinite curiosity as he applies his conceptual interests to diverse materials and situations.

Cuban–American artist ANA MENDIETA’s Untitled (Facial Hair Transplants), 1972, $30,000 -$40,000, represents her lifelong interest in probing concepts of identity, especially that of the female, and the technical process of art-making. In this piece, the process of Mendieta trying on her friend’s beard draws attention to the fact that she does not have one, thereby asserting her femininity and artistic vision in a deeply innovative and challenging way.

FERNANDO BOTERO’s Reclining Woman with Drapery, 2004, $600,000 - $800,000 and Niña comiendo helado, 1970, $300,000 - $500,000, occupy a prominent and influential place in the artist’s overarching artistic outlook and body of work. A celebrated Latin American visionary, Botero is renowned for his ability to simultaneously incorporate countless different attitudes and moods within his pieces. His paintings and sculptures can at once be humorous and tragic, sensual and grotesque, playful and serious. By way of his aesthetic approach and technical expertise, he manages to both break and uphold the rules of classical art.

Additional highlights include: LUIZ SACILOTTO, Untitled (C 8351), 1980, $35,000 – $45,000; and SÉRGIO CAMARGO, Untitled, 1971, $80,000 - $120,000.

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