NEW YORK.- Sotheby's fall sale of Latin American Art on November 16-17, 2004 will include exceptional works by Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Rufino Tamayo, Claudio Bravo and Francisco Zúñiga as well as offerings from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The property will be on exhibition in Sotheby's 10th floor galleries from November 12th to 15th. The sale is expected to bring in excess of $11.5 million.
Kirsten Hammer Dueck, Vice President and Director of Latin American Art, said: "It is rare for Sotheby's to offer in ,a single sale so many iconic works by such a wide range of masters of Latin American Art. In one sale we have the highly unusual inclusion of works by husband and wife Rivera and Kahlo. This is our strongest sale since 2000, and a high watermark of the Latin American Art field."
Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo - The sale will feature the works of one of the most famed alliances between artists, Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. Two extraordinary paintings by Mexican master Rivera will be offered, highlighted by Maternidad, 1954, painted near the end of the artist's career, depicting a small child, Rivera's grandson and namesake, cradling a ball imprinted with a map of the world, while other children nearby amuse themselves with toys and a small bird (est. $900,000/$1.2 million).
Another key Rivera work is a portrait of Delfina Flores (pictured on page 1, right), 1937, perhaps the most famous of his young models. Delfina was the daughter of domestic servants in the Rivera household, and Rivera presents the young woman just emerging from her childhood (est. $700/900,000). This work is National Patrimony of Mexico and in accordance with Mexican law cannot leave the country. It will therefore not be on exhibit in New York but will be sold from the catalogue. Frida Kahlo's signed Niña Tehucana, Lucha María (Sol y Luna) from 1942 (est. $800,000/1 million) was done shortly after Rivera and Diego reunited and married for the second time. Following their reconciliation, Pre-Columbian motifs appear in Kahlo's work with increasing frequency. In this work, she uses the sun/moon iconography in a serene and deceptively simple composition. In particular, the Mesoamerican concept of duality seems to echo the couple's own struggle for reconciliation of their disparate yet conjoined natures. This work is also National Patrimony of Mexico and in accordance with Mexican law cannot leave the country. Both Delfina Flores and Niña Tehucana, Lucha María (Sol y Luna) will be exhibited at Sotheby's Mexico (Campos Eliseos 325-5 Polanco) and may be viewed there by appointment.
Rufino Tamayo, Claudio Bravo and Francisco Zúñiga - Rufino Tamayo is well-represented by the rare large-scale oil Vaso Azul, 1940 (est. $700/900,000). In Vaso Azul, Tamayo used a disarming simplicity to manipulate the tenets of Cubism and meld them with his own vision, presenting a still life rendered in the rich tones of Mexican cobalt blue, red, white and pink. From Claudio Bravo's package series is I Love You Sepia, pictured left, 1969, combining a trademark theme with a window scene set against the sky (est. $350/450,000). From the Collection of Philip and Muriel Berman is Mexican artist Francisco Zúñiga's Desnudo de Dolores. In it a young nude woman tenderly hugs her limbs in one of the artist's iconic female poses. Dating to 1976, the present bronze is estimated to sell for $200/250,000.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - Selections from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) will be sold to benefit the Acquisition of Latin American Art, including Rufino Tamayo's Hombre Con Pelota, signed and dated 1971 (est. $300/400,000). Gustavo Montoya's Still Life, signed, will also be offered by the museum (est. $10/15,000). Being sold to benefit the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, are three works by Claudio Bravo: his Moroccan Boy Playing with Dog, 1987, in charcoal on gray paper (est. $18/22,000); Little Cat, 1970, an oil on canvas (est. $18/22,000); and Philippine Boy, 1968, in conté crayon and charcoal on paper (est. $10/15,000).
Mario Carreño - A section of Cuban works by Mario Carreño, acquired directly from the artist in the 1940s by David Harriton, a glass artist and a friend of Carreño, have never before been seen by the public. Cuban art encountered increasing popularity in the mid-twentieth century after a landmark exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. The political situation in Europe encouraged a new wave of collecting in the United States, specifically of Mexican and Cuban art. Included in the sale are Carreño's La Isla de Cuba, pictured right, 1948 (est. $80/100,000), Agua (est. $20/30,000) and El Pescador (est. $15/20,000).
The Discovery of Arturo Michelena's L'Enfant Malade - A work by Venezuela's most renowned painter of the nineteenth century, Arturo Michelena's L'Enfant Malade, signed, 1887, is among the early highlights from the sale. "Lost" since 1926, L'Enfant Malade is one of Michelena's most famous paintings. He presented this monumental work to the 1887 Paris Salon where he won the Gold Medal, second class, the highest honor a foreign artist could receive at the Salon. The image is so prized that the Galería de Arte Nacional keeps the study of this composition enshrined in Caracas. The painting was purchased from the Vincent Astor sale in 1926 by Florida developer and art collector Owen Burns, as Burns was a business partner of John Ringling, the circus magnate and patron of the arts. Sotheby's traced the painting to the John and Mable Ringling Museum in Sarasota, Florida. L'Enfant Malade had been carefully kept in custody for the Burns Estate since the late 1940s.
Among the nineteenth century landscape section of the sale is Valle De Mexico, a work by Mexican landscape painter José María Velasco. Painted in oil on artist's board and signed, the work depicts the expansive countryside of the Valley of Mexico (est. $18/22,000).
A section of choice Contemporary works will feature works from the Estate of Sarabel Florsheim, including Jesús Rafael Soto's Untitled, pictured below, circa 1959, made of painted wood with metal elements (est. $60/80,000). Also on offer is an Untitled work by Ana Mendieta, circa 1984-85 (est. $15/20,000).