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Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Latin America Theme Auction to be Held at Phillips de Pury & Company

Phillips de Pury & Company presents LATIN AMERICA, a theme auction offering a cross section of quality works of contemporary art, design and photographs for sale on October 3rd at the company’s Chelsea galleries in New York. Building on the success of our established core auctions, the theme sales are a new global program which will commence with the first theme auction NOW: Art of the 21st Century in London on September 26, 2009 (viewing date start on the 19th of September).

Nickolas MurayThe second in the newly created theme series, LATIN AMERICA will compose a survey of work by established and emerging artists which are inspired by, reflect on and embody the spirit of the region and the culture of Latin America. A new innovative catalogue in the form of an art and lifestyle magazine has been developed to accompany these sales and will include interviews with key art world figures such as artists, curators and collectors. The Latin America issue will feature editorials with Vik Muniz and Tiqui Atencio.

Innovative hanging and installation for the previews of these sales will simultaneously showcase quality pieces from each department creating an exciting synergy and dialogue between various types of works which are united under a single theme.

Contemporary Art
Contemporary highlights include the illuminatingly abstraction by Jorge Pardo’s Untitled #6, 2002, estimated between $25,000 – 35,000. Additional highlights include Tung’s Exogenous Axis, 2000. Estimated between $40,000- 60,000, Tunga’s work powerfully stands out as a transformative aesthetic representation of the female form. Candida Höfer’s Colegio Nacional de Buenos Aires, 2006, estimated between $60,000 – 80,000, is a detailed architectural perspective of a stacked, vacant Buenos Aires library. Höfer is a classic example of one of the artists featured who, although not of Latin American origin, has been heavily influenced by the culture as demonstrated throughout her career.

In addition, Roberto Matta’s Antropopus, 1971, estimated between $40,000 –60,000, showcases a stylized sense of space through a diffused compositional landscape. Vik Muniz’s Maria Callas (Diamond Divas), 2004, estimated between $70,000 – 90,000 is a sparkling color photograph employing Muniz’s signature manipulation of material through illusionary appropriation.

This session will also include Rufino Tamayo’s Mujer en un interior estimated between $400,000 – 500,000; and José Clemente Orozco’s Naturaleza Muerta (Autorretrato) estimated between $300,000 – 400,000.

Phillips de Pury & Company’s Latin America sale will present select design works by mid-century craftsmen as well as contemporary stars from Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela, Cuba, and the United States. Alex Heminway, Director of Design, New York: “We’re proud to open our fall auction season in New York with this group of Latin American design. Whether it’s a lively fabric cluster from the Campana Brothers or more reverential wood craftsmanship from Joaquim Tenreiro, Latin designers have and are producing some of the best works of the last half century.”

Designers to be offered include postwar masters Oscar Niemeyer, Sergio Rodrigues, Joaquim Tenreiro, José Zanine Caldas, Jorge Zalszupin, as well as contemporary stars Fernando & Humberto Campana, Hugo França and Julia Krantz.

Among the highlights of Brazilian design is a working prototype dining table by Pritzker Prize laureate Oscar Niemeyer, a giant of 20th century architecture. The table, built in 1990 from stainless steel, wood and glass, will be offered with an estimate between $25,000 – 35,000.

Active for nearly sixty years, renowned craftsman Sergio Rodrigues has built some of the most memorable examples of Brazilian design, among them the “Mucki Long Bench”(ca. 1958) and the “Tonico Sofa” (ca. 1963), both represented here at estimates between $7,000 – 9,000 and $12,000 -18,000, respectively.

Photographs highlights include Nickolas Muray’s arresting color photograph, Frida Kahlo on Bench, ca. 1938 estimated between $10,000-15,000. After meeting in 1931, Kahlo and Muray began a decade long affair during which Muray photographed the artist repeatedly. This image has become one of the most iconic photographs of Kahlo capturing her traditional Mexican dress and unique style while further demonstrating Muray’s pioneering use of color photography. Kahlo is the subject of other works to be offered by photographers Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Lola Álvarez Bravo, Héctor Garcia and Juan Guzman.

Emblematic of his staged studio photography that began in the mid 1970s, Brazilian photographer Mario Cravo Neto’s O Deus de Cabeca (Lord of the Head), 1988, estimated between $7,000 – 9,000, draws upon the spirituality and religious aspects of the Indigenous, Portuguese and African cultures in Neto’s hometown of Bahia. Additionally, Robert Frank’s Peru, 1948, will be offered at an estimated between $15,000 – 25,000.

Two of the most well-known images by Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide will be offered including Mujer Angel (Angel Woman, Sonora Desert), 1980 and Nuestra señora de las iguanas (Our Lady of the Iguanas), 1979, both estimated between $3,000 – 4,000. Other highlights include a broad selection of works by Latin American photographers or themed works by artists Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Edward Weston, Tina Modotti and Henri Cartier-Bresson and contemporary works by Luis González Palma, Vik Muniz, Andres Serrano, Michael Eastman and Simon Norfolk.

Modern and Contemporary Editions
Contemporary Editions highlights Beatriz Milhazes As Irmas (The Sisters), 2003 a colorful screenprint of a whimsically hued flowering formation, estimated between $14,000 – 18,000. Other Modern and Contemporary Editions highlights include works by Jorge Pardo, Guillermo Kuitca, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Rufino Tamayo and Roberto Matta.

Asserting the continuous growth of Latin American art, Phillips de Pury & Company is proud to announce this inaugural sale which reflects on past generations and comments on the direction of this highly influential region. A newly formatted, large scale catalogue publication to be produced in conjunction with the auction, including expanded art and market editorial with special features.

The Latin America sale will be followed by the MUSIC sale in November in London (viewing starts on the 9th of November, auction date November 21st, 2009) in November and then by the New York, New York sale in New York in December 2009 (viewing starts on the 7th of December and the sale date is on the 12th of December).

Image: Nickolas Muray, Frida Kahlo on White Bench #30, 1938, Color carbon print, Image: 14 ½ x 11 ½ inches. © Nickolas Muray Photo Archives