• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 1907

    Latin American Sale Evening Session

    19 - 20 November 2007, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 45

    Pedro Coronel (Mexican 1923-1985)

    Pájaros al aire

    Price Realised  


    Pedro Coronel (Mexican 1923-1985)
    Pájaros al aire
    signed, inscribed and dated 'Pedro Coronel, SAN JERONIMO, 1978.' (on the reverse)
    oil on canvas
    47½ x 46¾ in. (120.7 x 118.7 cm.)
    Painted in 1978.

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    Painted at the height of his career as a gifted draftsman, sculptor and painter, the luminous Pájaros al aire, from 1978, represents the art of Pedro Coronel at its best. He is best known for paintings, such as this one, that offer expansive fields of color, texture and interlocking, semi-abstract forms. These sensuous, organic shapes often have human attributes and seem rooted in Coronel's profound admiration of pre-Columbian sculpture. Each work is a chromatic exercise masterfully resolved; each seems to illustrate almost mythic narratives in which nature and humans commune. Pájaros al aire, is underscored by a subtle eroticism. In this painting an embracing couple whose skeletal features are drawn on the thick impastos--intermingle with birds set free into the wind, perhaps an analogy to desire about to be unleashed.

    Born in the city of Zacatecas, Mexico in 1923, Coronel set out for Paris in 1946 where he attended workshops overseen by Victor Brauner and Brancusi. This experience would shape his work profoundly. Throughout his life he divided his time living and working between Mexico and France. His work has been the subject of major solo exhibitions in Mexico, France, Italy, Japan and Brazil. An avid collector, shortly before his death the artist donated his collection of pre-Columbian, Greco-Roman, Medieval and Asian works of art along with his personal work to his native Zacatecas, where a museum that bears his name now stands.

    Pre-Lot Text



    Exhibition catalogue, Pedro Coronel: Retrospectiva, Mexico City, Museo de Arte Moderno; Zacatecas, Museo Pedro Coronel, INBA, Instituto Zacatecano de Cultura, p. 112 (illustrated in color).


    Mexico City, Museo de Arte Moderno; Zacatecas, Museo Pedro Coronel, Pedro Coronel: Retrospectiva, April- October 2005.