• Press release
  • |
  • New York
  • |
  • For immediate release
  • |
  • 30 October 2018

PRESS RELEASE: Christie's Latin American Art Sale | November 2018

LIVE AUCTION | November 20-21 | ONLINE AUCTION | November 17-28

RUFINO TAMAYO (1899-1991), Hombre feliz, oil on canvas,Painted in 1947. Estimate: $2,000,000-3,000,000.

New York –Christie’s announces the fall season of Latin American Art with the live auction taking place November 20-21 and an online auction running November 17-28. Combined, the sales include over 250 lots, offering a comprehensive selection from 18th-century colonial painting through modern and contemporary masterpieces, and together the sales expect to realize in excess of $18 million. Featured are works from private collections including Property to Benefit Art for Access at Bennington College, The Collection of A. Jerrold Perenchio, Property from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Gary Cooper and The Estate of Martha Hanes and Calder Willingham Womble. Works from the live and online auctions will be on view November 17-20 at Christie’s Rockefeller Plaza.

Leading the sale is the stunning canvas, Hombre feliz by Oaxacan artist Rufino Tamayo (estimate: $2-3 million). Painted in 1947, a year when Tamayo was actively challenging the so-called Mexican School, art historian Anna Indych-López explains that “Hombre Feliz and the works of this period represent this increased universalism and a determined and strategic participation in the international avantgarde.” The cover lot, also by a noted contemporary Mexican master is by Francisco Toledo, Tortuga poniendo huevos which was painted in 1973 (estimate: $900,000-1,200,000). Growing up around forests and marshes in Oaxaca shaped Toledo’s work which art historian Abby McEwen states “often celebrate[s] the syncretic spirituality of the indigenous world, depicting fantastic creatures in myriad states of metamorphosis and in intimate rituals of creation and consummation.” In Tortuga poniendo huevos, Toledo conjures his image of the seasonal nesting event where thousands of female turtles come ashore to lay their eggs.

The sale includes a strong selection of seven  fresh-to-market works by the artist Diego Rivera most of which were acquired directly from the artist himself. From Property to Benefit Art for Access at Bennington College is a rare example of a work executed during Rivera’s brief stay in Moscow (1927-28), Communards (Comuna de Paris), a 1928 gouache painting commissioned for the weekly Soviet magazine, Krasnaya Niva, (Red Field) later displayed at the MoMA retrospective of Rivera’s work in 1931 (estimate: $100,000-150,000). This work both celebrates the anniversary of the Russian Revolution and pays tribute to the 1871 uprisings of the Communards in Paris with clear visual links to Eugène Delacroix’s, Liberty Leading the People. The other six Rivera works depict Mexican children, two of the six are oil on canvas paintings executed in 1939, Niña con muñeca de trapo (estimate: $600,000-800,000) and Retrato de Inesita Martínez which comes from The Estate of Martha Hanes And Calder Willingham Womble (estimate: $500,000-700,000). Both works have remained in the same American family collections since they were acquired directly from the artist in the late 1930s-early 1940s.

Additional highlights include a Rufino Tamayo oil painting, Portrait of Mrs. Gary (Veronica) Cooper, the wife of Hollywood’s original leading man, Gary Cooper (estimate: $150,000-200,000), an important colonial work painted in 1744, The Assumption of the Virgin by Nicolás Enríquez that was included in the recent landmark Mexican colonial exhibition, Painted in Mexico, 1700–1790: Pinxit Mexici , a rare work by Cuban vanguard artist Mariano Rodríguez, from his “Mexican“ period Educando (estimate: $300,000-400,000) and a selection of sculptures, paintings, and drawings by the Colombian master Fernando Botero.

Complementing the live auction is the Latin American Art online sale, taking place from November 17-28, which includes over 60 lots, and features a selection of Mixografía© prints by Rufino Tamayo from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Sold to Benefit the Acquisitions of Latin American Art and a unique selection of tabletop sculpture by artists including Nadín Ospina, Pablo Atchugarry and Enio Iommi.

About Christie’s

Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business. Renowned and trusted for its expert live and online auctions, as well as its bespoke private sales, Christie’s offers a full portfolio of global services to its clients, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s has a physical presence in 46 countries, throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, with flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. It also is the only international auction house authorized to hold sales in mainland China (Shanghai).

Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $200 to over $100 million. In recent years, Christie’s has achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction (Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, 2017), for a 20th century artwork (Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, 2022) and for a work by a living artist (Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, 2019). Christie's is also recognised as a reference for prestigious single owner collections, having auctioned 8 of the 10 most important collections in history.

Christie’s Private Sales offers a seamless service for buying and selling art, jewellery and watches outside of the auction calendar, working exclusively with Christie’s specialists at a client’s individual pace.

Recent innovations at Christie’s include the groundbreaking sale of the first NFT for a digital work of art ever offered at a major auction house (Beeple’s Everydays, March 2021), with the unprecedented acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of payment. As an industry leader in digital innovation, Christie’s also continues to pioneer new technologies that are redefining the business of art, including use of hologram technology to tour life-size 3D objects around the world, and the the creation of viewing and bidding experiences that integrate augmented reality, global livestreaming, buy-now channels, and hybrid sales formats. 

Christie’s is dedicated to advancing responsible culture throughout its business and communities worldwide, including achieving sustainability through net zero carbon emissions by 2030, and actively using its platform in the art world to amplify under-represented voices and support positive change.

Browse, bid, discover, and join us for the best of art and luxury at: www.christies.com or by downloading Christie’s apps. The COVID-related re-opening status of our global locations is available here.