Christie’s Spring Season of Latin American Art, totals $31,258,125

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Rufino Tamayo (1899-1991), Los Comediantes, 1986. Oil on canvas. Sold for: $1,572,500

Christie’s Latin American Art live auction totaled $19,492,375 with 85% sold above the low estimate across the two sale sessions May 23-24. Active in-room, phone, and online participation was seen from established collectors to new buyers with registered bidders across 36 countries, spanning the Americas, Asia, and Europe. Together with the Latin American works included in The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller, the spring season for the category thus far totals $31,258,125, with the online sale continuing through May 30.

The top lot of the sale was Rufino Tamayo (1899-1991), Los comediantes, painted in 1986, from the Private Collection of Marta and Placido Domingo, which realized $1,572,500, against a low estimate of $800,000. Strong results were achieved for select works by Fernando Botero (b. 1932) across various media, with his landmark painting Mona Lisa painted in 1959, realizing $1,032,500; the large scale sculpture Reclining Woman, executed in 2002, realizing $1,068,500; and a table-top sculpture Little Bird, executed in 1988 from the Collection of Joan and Preston Robert Tisch, more than doubling its estimate, selling for $444,500. Exceptional prices were realized for colonial works, which were 100% sold and witnessed deep bidding across all lots offered, including Juan Francisco de Rosa’s Virgen del Rosario, which sold for $372,500, more than 30x its estimate.

Within the sale, world auction records were set for artists Agustín Cárdenas, Augusto Torres, Roberto Fabelo, Los Carpinteros, Olga Albizu, and Juan Francisco de Rosa. Earlier this season, Latin American works from The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller, greatly surpassed initial estimates with Diego Rivera’s The Rivals, setting a new auction record for the category, selling for $9,762,500, and Fernando Botero’s Oranges, realizing $1,872,500, establishing the record for a still-life by the artist.

Virgilio Garza, Head of Latin American Art: “The strong results witnessed this season reinforce the global appetite for Latin American art from colonial works through contemporary art and secures Christie’s market leadership for the category. Christie’s remains committed to the field and the department will continue to offer dynamic auctions spanning all periods of Latin American Art, utilizing our ever-growing online platform and private sales program to enhance our traditional sales strategy. In addition to dedicated auctions, we are honored to feature masterpiece works within stand-alone collections, headlined this season by the exceptional prices achieved for Latin American works from the Rockefeller Collection, led by Diego Rivera’s masterpiece, The Rivals, which sold for a record-breaking $9.76 million, the highest price paid for any Latin American artist at auction, and Fernando Botero’s Oranges, which sold for $1.87 million, more than six times its low estimate establishing the record for a still-life by the artist.” 

This season’s offering of Latin American art continues with a painting by Fernando Botero, Dancers, included in the upcoming Contemporaries: Voices from East and West Evening Sale on May 26 in Hong Kong and the Latin American Art online sale continues through May 30.

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