Seven Records Fall at First Half of Christie’s Latin American Sale

Five records were set by Cuban artists.

Rufino Tamayo Sandias (1969). Photo: Christie's.

Demonstrating the growing strength of the sector, the first half of Christie’s Latin American Art sale on Tuesday totaled $17.6 million and notched an impressive seven world auction records.

Lively bidding took place throughout the duration of the sale as the auction brought in strong results for the house.

The evening’s top lot came from the Lewin Family Collection—as Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo’s work Sandias (1969) changed hands for $2.1 million.

Cuban artists performed particularly well with Christie’s marketing a selection of masterworks from a private collection under he banner of Cuba Moderna. The strategy paid off as five of the seven records set on Tuesday were from the category. The windfall was led by Mariano Rodriguez’s Palea de gallos (1942).

Records were also set for Cubans Carlos Enríquez’s, whose painting Héroe criollo (1943) realized $967,500; Victor Manuel’s Carnaval (Escena de comparsa), which sold for $319,500; René Portocarrero’s Paisaje de La Habana (1961), which brought in $295,000; and Fidelio Ponce de León, whose painting Joven con Pecera (1935) sold for $112,500.

Sergio Camargo Untitled (1970). Photo: Christie's.

Sergio Camargo Untitled (1970). Photo: Christie’s.

Elsewhere Argentine artist Guillermo Kuitca’s triptych Deng Haag—Praha (1989) sold for $511,500, setting a record for the artist, and Uruguayan artist Pablo Atchugarry’s recent work Untitled (2015) sold for $439,500, also setting an auction record for the artist.

Other highlights from the sale include Brazilian artist Sergio Camargo’s Untitled (1970), which sold for $1.5 million; Colombian artist Fernando Botero’s A Family (1997), which sold for $1.2 million; and Uruguayan artist Joaquín Torres-García’s Port of New York (1923), which sold for $775,500.

It was only last week two world records were for Latin American female artists Carmen Herrera and Mira Schendel were set at Phillips 20th Century and Contemporary sale. Now, after a solid first half, things look promising ahead of the second part of the sale, which continues on Wednesday night at Christie’s headquarters.


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