49 world records set in Christie's and Sotheby's Latin American sales


Sotheby's and Christie's both held Latin American art sales this week, with a combined total of 49 world records set for artists at auction.

Matta Révolte des contraires
A long overdue recognition

Both auction houses posted spectacular results, with Sotheby's totalling $26.8m and Christie's realising $27.7m.

Matta's Révolte des Contraires achieved the highest bid of both auctions when it sold 100.4% above its high estimate of $2.5m. Setting a new world record for the artist, the 1944 work made just over $5m at Christie's.

Christie's head of Latin American paintings, Virgilio Garza, described the sale as "a long overdue recognition for one of the most influential artists of the 20th century".

Brazilian works performed exceptionally at Christie's, with 100% of the country's offerings sold. The sale, which ran May 22-23 in New York, also saw strong demand for Argentinian artists.

Latin America's most popular "operational" artist, Carlos Cruz-Diez, continued a run of auction success when the world record set in April was beaten again in the Christie's sale. Physichromie 164 sold for $722,500, against an estimate of $250,000-350,000.

The Sotheby's auction, also in New York, was led by Wifredo Lam's Idolo, which came in just behind Christie's top lot at $4.5m. It achieved yet another record for the artist at auction, selling 52% above its initial valuation of $2-3m.

Sergio Camargo's Hommage á Fontana saw the second highest bids in the May 24 sale, realising $1.5m against its high estimate of $800,000. The sale represents an impressive 92.3% increase on estimate.

The ground-breaking results highlight the current buoyancy of the global art market, a trend that is replicated in several areas of investment-grade collectibles. Sign up to Paul Fraser Collectibles' free investment reports to gain more expert information on this thriving sector.


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