SOTHEBY’S SALE OF LATIN AMERICAN ART TO FEATURE WORKS BY ARTISTS FERNANDO BOTERO AND MATTA On the evening of November 20 and morning of November 21, 2007, Sotheby’s will offer an impressive selection of Latin American Art
by reversing the traditional gender roles and depicting a male nude with a fully clothed woman. Among the other works by Botero offered in this sale include a selection of bronzes and a still-life, The Copyist, from 1974 (lot 23, est. $700/900,000), a reflective take on one of Botero’s recurring themes.
The aforementioned rediscovered work, Tres Personajes, 1970, by Rufino Tamayo (lot 21, est. $750,000/1 million, pictured at left, please see separate release) was featured on the cover of the Emily Genauer book, Rufino Tamayo, the most important monograph in English about the artist. The painting beautifully captures the artist’s mature style and demonstrates his technical mastery of color and the textural possibilities of pigment and sand, a technique he pioneered in his painted works. Among the other works by Tamayo being offered is an early work, the powerfully intense psychological portrait, Bodégon con Mujer, 1928 (lot 24, est. $250/300,000).
Two key figures in Mexico’s contribution to the history of Surrealism, Leonora Carrington and Remedios Varo, are each represented with important works. Leonora Carrington’s El Baño, 1957 (lot 12, est. $300/350,000), is a whimsical work that provides us with much insight into the artist’s creative process and her unparalleled ability to transform the mundane into the marvelous. Remedios Varo’s Au Bonheur des Dames, 1956 (lot 10, est. $600/800,000, pictured at right) is loosely based on the 19th century novel of the same title by Emil Zola. In this mature work, Varo creates a fantastical world of hybrid female creatures or homo rodans who possess human characteristics along with inanimate or mechanized body parts, such as wheels in place of legs. These hybrid creatures glide about propelled by their own self-sufficient systems of locomotion, stopping briefly only to shop at the stylish Bonheur des Dames to replenish old or worn body parts. The magical yet somewhat disturbing scene recalls the Surrealists’ penchant for recreating aspects of the inner psyche or world of dreams.
The sale will also include two light onyx sculptures by the Costa Rican/Mexican artist Francisco Zúñiga: Seated Woman, 1966, Property from the Larry and Leah Superstein Collection (lot 16, est. $150/200,000) and Desnudo Agachado de Silva, 1968 (lot 61, est. $150/200,000). A selection of bronzes by the artist will also be offered. The sale will also feature a rare selection of works relating to the heroic life and legacy of the great Liberator of the Americas, Simón Bolívar, including a wonderful series of 10 Sketches for the Opera Bolívar, c. 1950, by the French modern artist Fernand Léger (lot 30, est. $150/200,000) and a study for a monument, Equestrian Statue of General Simón Bolívar, 1914 (lot 27, est. $80/100,000) by Emile Antoine Bourdelle. Armando Reverón’s Paisaje de Macuto (lot 35, est. $400/600,000, pictured below), oil and tempura on burlap, epitomizes the artist’s work from the 1930s and his desire to represent the visual and atmospheric effects of light on the landscape.
Reverón was the most important modernist painter of the late 19th and early 20th century in Venezuela.