Frida Kahlo sets new auction record for Latin art – beating Diego Rivera – at Sotheby’s $ 283 million modern art evening sale

The Sotheby’s auction house this evening expected the flagship lot of the modern art auction, a portrait of Frida Kahlo, to hit the headlines with a new record for a female artist, but it has rather set a different record.

The stage was set for Kahlo to overtake Georgia O’Keeffe as the highest-rated female artist at auction, but the Diego and you (1949) fell short of O’Keeffe’s record $ 44.4 million and barely hit his low estimate of $ 30 million thanks to the buyer’s premium. It was eventually sold for $ 34.9 million to Argentine collector Eduardo F. Costantini. (Final prices include buyer’s premium, unless otherwise stated; pre-sale estimates do not.)

Still, it was a nice sum for Kahlo, and solidified Diego and you as the most expensive Latin artwork ever to be auctioned – tripling the previous record of $ 9.8 million, paid for a painting by Kahlo’s partner Diego Rivera, rivals (1931). Even if it was not what we expected, the room was still radiant with admiration for the achievements of the late Mexican painter, and more generally for Latin artists.

Georgia O’Keeffe’s Cross with red heart (1932) was withdrawn from tonight’s sale. Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

Putting a number of often underrated Latin women and artists alongside top European names like Renoir and Monet created a mix of ‘grab bag’, as art advisor Wendy Cromwell put it after the sale. , but maybe one with an edge: “I want to see more female artists in the evening sales, and maybe that’s a way to do it.” In total, the sale totaled $ 283 million, beating its pre-sale estimate of $ 192.2 million to $ 266.9 million.

Kahlo’s record was indicative of a broader shift in the art market’s appetite for Latin art in recent months. Alongside Costantini in the crowd was Gary Nader, one of Miami’s most prolific buyers of Latin art, who considered the works of Joaquin Torres-Garcia, Armando Reveron, Wilfredo Lam, Remedeos Varos, Matta and Leonora Carrington sold for some serious chunks of change.

At the top was Varos Dead leaves (Dead hours, El hilo) (1956), which sold for $ 2.7 million out of a high estimate of $ 2 million. The sensual painting of the Argentinian and Italian painter Leonor Fini The blind (1968) exceeded his estimate by $ 200,000 to $ 300,000, for a total of $ 867,000. And a painting by Rivera saw a comeback: the luminous, geometric still life Still life with three yellow lemons (1916) sold for $ 3.3 million out of an estimate of $ 1.8-2.5 million.

Throughout the evening, sales were lively. Marc Glimcher is bidding on at least two of Alexander Calder’s three works for sale. A bidding war broke out between Helly Nahmad and a Hong Kong telephone bidder over Pierre August-Renoir Young file with the Flower Crow (circa 1890), eventually going to Hong Kong for $ 12.9 million. Meanwhile, artistic advisor Susanne Dishell picked up the lively and effervescent Marc Chagall Riverside (circa 1930) for $ 2.3 million, as well as the bronze sculpture by Lynn Chadwick Man in top hat and woman in top hat (1968) for $ 1.6 million.

Claude Monet, Coin du bassin aux nymphéas has been estimated at over 40 million dollars, and hammered at TK

Claude Monet, Corner of the water lily pond, (1918). Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Sotheby’s Modernisme sale without a knockout work by Claude Monet. Tonight, Corner of the water lily pond (1918) held the highest estimate for the evening (although it was not publicly traded) at over $ 40 million, eventually reaching $ 50.3 million. My colleague Katya Kazakina reports his work was sold by investor Ronald Cordover.

For those who want to see this brilliant work of water lilies before it potentially enters a private collection, it is slated to be on display at a Monet and Joan Mitchell exhibition inaugurated next fall at the Louis Foundation. Vuitton in Paris, or the following year at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco. Three other Monet paintings were also sold tonight: Antibes in court of Salis (1888) for $ 13.34 million, La Berge in Lavacourt, snow (1879) for $ 3.05 million, and Willows in the setting sun (1889) for $ 9 million.

Pablo Picasso The Owl

Pablo Picasso, The owl , 1953. Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

The sale set a handful of new artist records, first with that of Enrico Donati Spaziale Fiorito (1948), for $ 867,000 out of an estimate of $ 600,000 to $ 800,000. The dark, ethereal paint evokes fungal bacteria and other eerily beautiful and disturbing forces of nature. The Italian painter’s previous record was $ 274,000, just a quarter of the new figure.

101-year-old artist Pierre Soulages also set an auction record tonight with the sale of Painting 195 x 130 cm, August 4, 1961 (1961) for $ 20.14 million, nearly doubling its high estimate of $ 12 million. The dark geometric abstraction wields a violent red brushstroke and had been in private hands since 1989.

Meanwhile, a record was also set for none other than Pablo Picasso, at least in the ceramics field. The owl (1953) raked in $ 3.9 million out of an estimate of $ 1 to $ 1.5 million, wiping out the old record for a Picasso pot of $ 2.5 million.

After the auction house’s successful sale of the Macklowe collection last night – the highest achievement in Sotheby’s history – the auction house looks to be having a pretty good week.

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