Christie’s announces the spring season of Latin American Art with the live auction taking place May 23-24 and an online auction running May 18-30. Combined, the sales include over 250 lots and are expected to realize in excess of $20 million. The sales feature notable private collections including The Collection of Joan and Preston Robert Tisch, The Private Collection of Marta and Placido Domingo, The Collection of Lance Aaron, The Collection of Senator Jacob K. Javits and Marian B. Javits, and The Collection of Roy and Mary Cullen. Works from the live and online auctions will be on view May 19-23.
Leading the live sale is an iconic canvas by Fernando Botero (b. 1932), Circus People, Painted in 2007 ($1,500,000-2,500,000). The work portrays the troupe in a moment of private repose: the muscular and earringed sword swallower; the snake charmer and hissing cobra; the ringmaster with monkey; the pale Pierrot; the dog with pink ruffled collar. Framed by their trailers and the Andean foothills in the background, these performers present a vibrant tableau vivant, a variation on the family portrait, perhaps Botero’s signature theme.
Also highlighting this season’s offering is Wifredo Lam (1902-1982), Figure, painted in 1949 ($1,200,000-1,800,000), a classic incarnation of Lam’s femme cheval, her syncretic body drawn in a seductive state of transfiguration. Additional highlights include works by renowned Mexican modernists Rufino Tamayo and Diego Rivera, including Rufino Tamayo (1899-1991), Los comediantes, painted in 1986 ($800,000-1,000,000); and Diego Rivera (1886-1957), Niña con vestido rosa, painted in 1930 ($400,000-600,000).
Fernando Botero (b. 1932) has strong representation with over a dozen works across various multi-media including the monumental bronze sculpture, Reclining Woman, executed circa 2002 ($600,000-800,000); a table-top sculpture Little Bird, executed in 1988 from the Collection of Joan and Preston Robert Tisch; and exceptional examples of figural painting including Los Ricos, painted in 1967 ($800,000-1,200,000); and Aurora, painted in 1993 ($800,000-1,200,000). Additionally, featured is the landmark painting Mona Lisa painted in 1959 ($600,000-800,000), belonging to a series of work which played a significant role in Botero’s oeuvre. A work from this series titled Mona Lisa, Aged 12 (1959) became the artist’s first major acquisition by an international institution when it was purchased by the Museum of Modern Art in 1961.