Torres-Garcia's Composition Constructive up 60% at Sotheby's

Sotheby's Latin American Art auction, held May 28-29 in New York, has been highlighted by the sale of Joaquin Torres-Garcia's Composition Constructive.

Torres Garcia Constructive Composition
Composition Constructive has never been seen at auction before, having passed down through the family of French actress Lysiane Rey, who was friends with Torres-Garcia

The masterwork, described by Sotheby's as a major discovery in Torres-Garcia's oeuvre, sold 60.5% above its $900,000 high estimate at $1.4m - a price that secured its position as the top lot of the auction.

Created in 1931, Composition Constructive dates from the height of the artist's career, who is widely considered the father of Latin American abstraction.

It has never been seen at auction before, having been initially owned by Torres-Garcia's friend, French actress Lysiane Rey, before being passed down through her family.

The work features the artist's signature constructivist grid, which is filled with the unique symbols that recur throughout his work. It was also signed and dated in 1929, which refers to an earlier horizontal composition that was later painted over.

The second highest bids of the sale were brought by Sergio Camargo's Untitled (Relief 23), a definitive example of his work that achieved a 40.8% increase on its $600,000 high estimate to sell for $845,000.

Carlos Cruz-Diez UBS
Fresh to the market works played a large role in the sale, including Cruz-Diez's piece from the UBS collection

This price was shared by Carlos Cruz-Diez's Physichromie UBS Rouge, a typical example of the op artist's signature style. Selling 20.7% above estimate, the piece was created after Cruz-Diez won a competition to design the interior of the new UBS building in Zurich in 1978.

Several major Latin American art sales are taking place this week, with the auction record set for the work of Lygia Cark at Phillips on May 23. Christie's is currently underway with its own two-day Latin American sale, the results of which we will be bringing you later today.

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