Botero's bronze "Horse" top seller at NY Latam art auction

Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:46pm EST
 
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By Walker Simon

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Colombian artist Fernando Botero's "Horse" sculpture was the highlight of Christie's Latin American auction, which also set a record for Cuban-born artist Tomas Sanchez.

Botero's 1999 bronze work with dark brown patina, fetched $938,500 at the sale late on Tuesday and Sanchez's 2005 acrylic on canvas "Buscador de Paisajes," (Landscape Searcher), sold for $626,500, Christie's said.

"The energetic, selective market for Latin American art was highlighted by modern masters such as Botero," said Virgilio Garza, the auction house's Latin American art chief, of the sale which totaled $13.6 million for 61 works of the 79 on offer.

A 1981 Botero painting, "Nun Eating an Apple," which Christie's described as a whimsical representation of Original Sin, showing a portly nun with a bible in her left hand and the forbidden fruit in her right, went for $602,500.

"The apple can represent temptation," Garza explained. "She looks like she's almost being caught, with her eyes glancing outside the frame."

Sanchez's record-setting work shows a miniscule man contemplating an overwhelming forest. Willowy trees form a canopy over a creek and a patch of light blue sky and a pink stripe on the horizon shine through breaks in the foliage.

Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo's 1970 oil and sand on canvas "Tres personajes en un interior" (An Interior with Three Characters) was another highlight of the sale. It sold for $698,500.

A Diego Rivera painting, "Portrait of Linda Christian," was another favorite, fetching $578,500. It was painted in 1947, the year before the Hollywood actress married actor Tyrone Power and played opposite Johnny Weissmuller in his last Tarzan film, "Tarzan and the Mermaids."   Continued...

 
Undated photo shows Colombian Fernando Botero's "Horse," a 1999 bronze sculpture which sold for $938,500 on Tuesday evening at Christie's Latin American art sale. REUTERS/Christie's Auction House/Handout