Sotheby's RESULTS: Latin American Art Evening Sale - November 18, 2008 The Evening Sale of Latin American Art at Sotheby’s tonight brought $16,797,875. The highlight of the sale was Rufino Tamayo’s impressive mural, entitled America
News-Antique.com - Nov 18,2008 - Rufino Tamayo’s America, Brings $6,802,500
New York, New York, November 18, 2008 – The Evening Sale of Latin American Art at Sotheby’s
tonight brought $16,797,875. The highlight of the sale was Rufino Tamayo’s impressive mural, entitled
America, which sold to applause to a Private Collector on the phone for $6,802,500. Artist records at
auction were set for Remedios Varo, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Cildo Meireles, Thomas Jacques Somerscales, and
Dr. Atl (Gerardo Murillo). The pre-sale estimate for 78 lots in the sale was $ 21,770,000/29,235,000*.
The sale continues tomorrow with the day sale of Latin American Art at 10am and 2pm.
Carmen Melián, Head of the Latin American Department at Sotheby’s, said, “I am delighted with the results
of this evening’s session, particularly in light of the economic climate. Tonight, the sale of America broke
Sotheby’s record for a Latin American work of art at auction, surpassing Frida Kahlo’s Roots, which brought
$5,616,000 in May of 2006. We are also delighted at the great results of our three most expensive lots,
which sold with spirited bidding from all over the world. The sale total was comparable to our Evening Sale in
the spring of 2007. We saw strong interest for a wonderful section of abstract works from the 1960s and for
19th century landscapes, including a record-breaking work by Thomas Jacques Somerscales, and what must be
a record for a Cuban colonial piece of furniture at $134,500 (lot 65).”
Rufino Tamayo’s America (lot 12), which brought $6,802,500, was originally commissioned in 1955 for the
Bank of the Southwest in Houston. This work is one of five Tamayo murals which have been commissioned in
the United States and is the only one held in private hands.
An artist record was set for Remedios Varo, when Planta Insumisa (Unsubmissive Plant), lot 27, brought
$1,426,500. Executed in 1961, it reveals Varo’s life-long fascination with science and nature.
Constructif avec Rythme Dentelé, by Joaquín Torres-García, the cover of the sale catalogue and lot 21 of
the sale, sold to a bidder in the room for $842,500; and lot 16, Costruzione Geometrica, from 1929, also
by Torres-García, brought applause when it achieved $398,500, a record for a work executed by the artist
during the 1920s.
A record was achieved for a work by Carlos Cruz-Diez at auction when Fisicromia, lot 40, sold for
$254,500. The previous record, $205,000 was set at Sotheby’s New York in May of this year for
Physichromie No.743. Another work by Cruz-Diez, lot 44, Physichromie No.574, brought $146,500, well
above its pre-sale estimate of $40/60,000.
View of the Port and Bay of Valparaiso, Chile, lot 67, by Thomas Jacques Somerscales, sold for many
times its pre-sale estimate, bringing $254,500 after an extended period of bidding (est. $50/70,000) and
setting a record for the artist at auction. This doubled the artist’s previous auction record of $116,949 for
Full Sails, which sold at Sotheby’s London in May of 2000.
Another artist record was set for Dr. Atl (Gerardo Murillo), when Autorretrato, lot 70, brought $314,500.