Botero, Torres-Garcia paintings lead Latin American art sales in NY
By Walker Simon
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A family portrait by Colombian artist Fernando Botero and works by Uruguayan artist Joaquin Torres-Garcia and Brazilian sculptress Lygia Clark led Latin American art auctions in New York.
Christie's sold a total of $17.6 million and Sotheby's $15.1 million in the sales Wednesday, which also set an auction record for Ernesto Icaza, a turn-of-the-century Mexican painter.
"The auction reflected the strength of the current market for Latin American art," said Virgilio Garza, Christie's head of Latin American art. "There were a lot of new buyers, some of them American and South American."
Christie's top lot was Torres-Garcia’s 1931 "Composition TSF" painting, which sold for $1.6 million.
Also known as "Constructivo Universal," its rectangular grids encase symbols of global links, such as wireless telecommunications, sea-borne travel and a hot air balloon.
"Composition TSF suggests a personal and cosmic universe through its arrangements of signs set in a shallow relief within a box-like structure shaded in black, white, grey and ochre," said Marysol Nieves, a Christie’s Latin American specialist.
At Sotheby's, Torres-Garcia's "Grafismo Infinito," from 1937, went for just over $1 million.
In it, he attempts to create a universal pictograph language, including references to Inca stonework and principles in classical Western architecture, said Axel Stein, Sotheby's Latin American art chief. Continued...