New World Auction Records at Christie’s Latin American Art Sale

artwork: The top lot was Miguel Covarrubias' Offering of Fruits for the Temple, 1932 (detail). - Christie’s established a new world auction record for the artist, realizing $1,022,500 — more than three times the high estimate of $300,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd. 2011.

NY.- Christie’s Latin American Art Sale achieved a strong total of $22,571,450 (£13,763,079/ €15,895,387). Held in two sessions on May 26 and 27, the sale was sold 75% by lot, 79% by value and established an impressive 14 new world auction records. The top lot was Miguel Covarrubias Offering of Fruits for the Temple, 1932, for which Christie’s established a new world auction record for the artist, realizing $1,022,500 — more than three times the high estimate of $300,000.

The magnificent painting was inspired by one of the Mexican artist’s extended trips to Bali in the 1930s. Covarrubias’ pictorial ode to the idyllic beauty of the Balinese women shows a group of beautiful women elegantly balance baskets of fruit on their heads, swathed in brightly colored sarongs. South American artists performed exceedingly well as Ecuadorian artist Oswaldo Guayasamín’s Quito en rojo, realized $314,500; Colombian master Edgar Negret’s Mask realized $80,500 and Peruvian artist Fernando de Szyszlo’s Paclla Pampa (Campo Desolado), 1969 achieved $182,500 — all world auction records for the artists. Another significant world auction record was established a sculpture by the artist Rufino Tamayo, whose Figura sideral from 1990 realized $494,500.

Virgilio Garza, Head of Latin American Paintings at Christie’s comments: “The market for Latin American art is strong, as proven in our successful sale held on Thursday and Friday. We are pleasantly surprised by the significant prices achieved for Latin American masters who have reaffirmed their status as pioneers of Modernism in the region, such as Mexican artist Miguel Covarrubias. Soaring above its high estimate of $300,000, Covarrubias’ Offering of Fruits for the Temple is considered to be one of the artist’s great masterpieces and has been in a private collection until now. Works of art by South American artists inspired buyers from across the globe. Such works that performed exceedingly include those by Edgar Negret from Colombia, Fernando de Szyszlo from Peru and Oswaldo Guayasamín from Ecuador.”

artwork: Julio Larraz (Cuban b. 1944) - "Bingham at Noon", 1966 - Oil on canvas 49 x 69 3/8 in. (124.5 x 176.2 cm.) - Sold for $326,500 at Christie's.

In addition to Covarrubias, new world auction records were achieved for the following artists:

• Julio Larraz (Cuban, b. 1944), Bingham at Noon, 1996. Price Realized: $326,500
• Oswaldo Guayasamín (Ecuadorian 1919-1999), Quito en rojo. Price Realized $314,500
• Fernando de Szyszlo (Peruvian b.1925), Paclla Pampa (Campo Desolado), 1969. Price Realized: $182,500
• Ricardo Martínez (Mexican 1918-2009), Untitled, 1956. Price Realized: $146,500
• Julio Alpuy (Uruguayan 1919-2009), Paisaje constructivista de Montevideo, 1957. Price Realized: $110,500
• Ernesto Deira (Argentinean 1928-1986), Untitled, 1964. Price Realized: $96,100
• Jorge Jiménez Deredia (Costa Rican b. 1954), Genésis recuerdo profundo, 2005. Price Realized: $86,500
• Alipio Jaramillo (Colombian 1913-1999), Zafra Price Realized: $120,100
• Edgar Negret (Colombian b. 1920), Mask Price Realized: $ 80,500
• Miguel Rio Branco (Spanish/Brazilian b. 1946), Barroco/Novena. Price Realized: $ 37,500
• Isabel de Obaldía (Panamanian b. 1957), Ojos arenados. Price Realized: $17,500
• Nicolás García Uriburu (Argentinian b. 1937), Ombu Price Realized: $74,500
• Rufino Tamayo, (Mexican 1899-1991) Figura sidereal 1990 Price realized: $494,500 * world auction record for a sculpture by the artist*