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Rivera’s Portrait leads Sotheby’s May Latin America Modern Art auction

The Latin American Modern Art auction at Sotheby’s in May is one of the highlights of New York City’s Latin American art scene.

Sotheby’s May 2017 Latin American Modern Art Auction

The exhibition goes on view Saturday, May 20 for auction on Thursday, May 25 16 6pm.

The auction is led by Diego Rivera’s Retrato de la Actriz Matilde Palou (1951) and Rufino Tamayo’s The Bird Charmer (1945).

Matilde Palou

Chilean actress Matilde Palou was a singer and leading lady of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema (1936-1959). She is best known for her role as Doña Carmen in Luis Buñuel’s 1951 surrealist drama Susana.

Rivera’s portrait contains hints of Mexican traditions and European styling at a time when Mexican culture was attaining a global reach.

The painting was last sold at Sotheby’s in 1988 for $203,000. It is estimated to sell for two to three million.

The Bird Charmer

Rufino Tamayo "The Bird Charmer" (1945). Courtesy of Sotheby's New York.

Mexican painter Rufino Tamayo (1899-1991), so well known for the juicy colors of his watermelons, is represented by a playful Encantador de Pájaros from 1945.

The painting was done during the artist’s time living in New York City. It was first shown at Valentine Gallery, a leading gallery that dealt in modern European masters.

Tamayo shows this influence by representing classical Mexican sculpture in a very modern manner.

The painting was exhibited in the Mexican Pavilion of the 25th Venice Biennial in 1950, and at the Tamayo retrospective at the Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City in 1987.

The Bird Charmer is estimated to sell for $3,000,000 to $5,000,000.

Sale Highlights

Other sale highlights include works by Chilean hyperrealist painter Claudio Bravo, Cuban artist Wilfredo Lam, Mexican surrealists Remedios Varo and Leonora Carrington.

For more information, visit www.sothebys.com

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