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article imageNY Latin American art auctions led by Surrealist, Mexican works

By Nancy Houser     Nov 19, 2012 in Entertainment
New York - At the top of New York’s art auctions, Christie's and Sotheby's, are a surrealist painting by Chilean artist Roberto Matta and an anonymous life-sized portrait of Aztec emperor Moctezuma II, part of a growing Latin American art field for buyers.
The colonial portrait of Moctezuma II, the Aztec chieftain killed by Spanish conquistadors, is expected to bring approximately $1 million. Roberto Matta's surrealist piece is expected to bring even more. It is hoped by art experts that the demand for Latin American art will be record sales, based on the $1 billion of art expected to sell in three days in New York.
"Just thinking of what just happened, of $1 billion of art sold in three short days in New York City is quite a phenomenon," said Axel Stein, head of Sotheby's Latin American department. "We're very interested in seeing what the result of that will be for Latin American art,” according to Reuters.
Three days of sales at the auction houses are expected to bring top lots such as Roberto Matta's 1943 oil on canvas "Nada" (Nothingness); Mexican Dr. Atl's "Manana Luminosa" (Luminous Morning), a 10-foot (3-meter-wide) 1942 landscape of a semi-arid plateau dotted by snowcapped volcanoes in the distance; Diego Rivera's "Retrato de Doña Laura Villaseñor" at $150,000; and Portrait of the Moctezuma II.
Meanwhile, the high-priced lots from Christie's auction house are a bronze sculpture by Colombian Fernando Botero, "Horse," done in 1999, which has a pre-sale estimate of $700,000 to $1 million; another Botero work, a 1981 painting "Nun Eating an Apple, estimated up to $700,000; and Mexican master Diego Rivera's 1926 "Madre e Hijos" (Mother and Children), is expected to sell for $800,000.
The United States has a growing Hispanic and Latino population, as represented in the 2012 election results, also representing a new constituency of collectors and museum-goers. However, according to the NY Times ... there is a crop of curators who are more internationally minded.
" 'There is a multilingual generation of U.S. curators,' said Susana Torruella Leval, a trustee at the Metropolitan Museum of Art who formerly served as the director of El Museo del Barrio. To Latin American art experts, the larger world is discovering what they have known all along: that the field is rich and worthy of attention."
Diego Rivera s 1926  Madre e Hijos  (Mother and Children)
Diego Rivera's 1926 "Madre e Hijos" (Mother and Children)
HANDOUT/Reuters
Fernando Botero s 1932   Nun Eating an Apple
Fernando Botero's 1932 "Nun Eating an Apple"
Christie's Auction House
Fernando Botero s 1932  Horse
Fernando Botero's 1932 "Horse"
Christie's Auction House
Dr. Alt s  MAÑANA LUMINOSA ; LOT SOLD. 1 650 500 USD
Dr. Alt's "MAÑANA LUMINOSA"; LOT SOLD. 1,650,500 USD
Sothebys Auction House
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