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Sotheby's announces Latin American Art Modern & Contemporary Evening Sale
Lygia Clark, Casulo No 2. Painted galvanized metal, 11 3/4 by 11 3/4 by 6 1/2 in. Executed in 1959. Est. $250/350,000.

NEW YORK, NY.- On 20 and 21 November 2013 Sotheby’s will present the Latin American Art Modern & Contemporary Evening Sale featuring outstanding painting and sculpture by many of the continent’s leading artists. This season the evening part of the sale will be devoted to 20th century works with a wider range showcased the following day. The full pre-sale exhibition opens on 16th November with select highlights available for viewing before.

Appearing after a series of strong prices at Sotheby’s for Brazilian master Sergio Camargo, the beautiful Untitled (Relief No. 289) is the only known example of the artist’s wood constructions to be painted red (est. $700/900,000). The arresting masterpiece boasts distinguished provenance having once been in the prestigious collection of Sigmund Edelstone. With the distinctive square shape and classic white paint that are reminiscent of flowing river beds Untitled (Relief No. 21/52) is a further stand-out Camargo piece in the sale (est. $400/600,000).

Casulo (Cocoon) No 2 by constructivist Lygia Clark was once in the distinguished collection of Max Bense who founded the “Studiengalerie der TH Stuttgart” (Study Gallery of the University of Stuttgart), (est. $250/350,000). Mira Schendel was a contemporary of Lygia Clark and her Untitled (Water, Only, God, Harvest, Fire, Burn, No) appears at auction at the same time as her retrospective currently on view at Tate Modern in London (est. $100/150,000). Other Brazilian artists featured in the sale are Ismael Nery, Candido Portinari, Franz Kracjberg, Antonio Dias, Vic Muniz, Jose Damasceno, Paulo Pasta and a series of works by famed painter and landscape architect Roberto Burle-Marx.

Leading a group of nine Matta paintings is Psychological Morphology (Fleureur) from the period when he first ventured into painting with oils having previously focused on drawing (est. $800,000/1.2 million). In this work black paint is interspersed by swirling vivid colors revealing a vision of deep space.

Matta painted Les Evanisseurs qui nui Eve soeur de la nuit, Eve ennui sa soeur twelve years later in 1951 (est. $250/350,000, above right). Deeply affected by the horrors of the 1940s, these strange figures were inspired by the Matta’s collection of Polynesian wood carvings and can be seen as representing the social forces of the post-war period.

Fernando Botero
Fernando Botero is known for brilliantly reinterpreting some of the most recognizable images from art history. In Card Players he creates his own version of the famous Paul Cezanne work of the same title (est. $1.5/2 million). The painting combines many of the themes that have dominated his career including the bordellos of his native Columbia, the female nude, and the church. Religious paintings are an inspiration for the early masterpiece Our Lady of New York, a monumental canvas from 1962 (est. $800,000/1 million). As in many devotional works a large figure of the Virgin Mary dominates a painting while a much smaller figure kneels before her which the artist has painted himself giving thanks. Other Botero highlights include the masterful charcoal and pastel on canvas The Family from 1974 (est. $300/400,000) and sculpture in marble and bronze such as Dancing Couple (est. $700/900,000).

Antonio Berni is considered one of the leading social realist painters in Latin America. Los Emigrantes from 1961 is the most important work by the artist to come up for auction in many years and appears as a major exhibition of the artist’s work opens at The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston (est. $800,000/1.2 million). Los Emigrantes is a homage to Brazilian artist Lasar Segall who depicted immigrants in a signature cubo-expressionist style. In Berni’s politicallycharged version the travelers huddle together unable to afford to travel in cabins, or even steerage. Although painted just a year later Cabeza Quemada showcases a very different type of Berni work with diverse materials used to create the assemblage portrait (est. $60/80,000).

The figurative expressionism of Guillermo Kuitca is represented in the sale by three works including El Mar dulce from 1984 (est. $125/175,000). The artist drew on his Ukrainian heritage by incorporating a scene from the film Battleship Potemkin as a centerpiece of the work. Further Argentine works include Emilio Pettoruti’s Ventana Con Naturaleza Muerta from 1940 (est. $40/60,000) and the 1980 Composition In Blue by Antonio Asis (est. $40/60,000).

Other Highlights
Pintura Constructiva by Joaquín Torres-García, a classic example artist’s signature constructivist grid, is filled with his uniquely symbolic vocabulary (est. $500/700,000). The work appeared in a 1946 publication after which the whereabouts have been unknown until earlier this year when it was brought to the attention of Sotheby’s specialists.

Further major works in the sale include Rufino Tamayo’s Aviones De Paso from 1947 (est. $600/800,000), Khabyas by Claudio Bravo depicting a Moroccan vases in the artist’s signature hyperrealist style (est. $600/800,000), and Gran Azul by Jesús Rafael Soto (est. $350/450,000).

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