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Sotheby’s to Present One of the Most Distinguished Private Collections of Surrealist and Modern Art from Latin America

Signifying both the collection’s illustrious quality and extraordinary examples of Surrealism, Omi Obini is magnificent in both its scale and spectacular use of color, and exemplifies the apex of Lam’s fully realized aesthetic vision.

Following the onset of the Second World War, the artist returned to his native Cuba in 1941 after spending 17 years abroad in Europe. Working in tandem and within the circle of Andre Bretón’s Surrealists as well as other avant-garde European artists, Lam pursued the development of a uniquely stunning visual vocabulary. His return to Cuba and the country’s lush tropical landscape along with its vibrant Afro-Cuban culture drove Lam to create an inspired vision, synthesizing mystical and organic elements, all of which are fully realized in Omi Obini.

A testament to its sheer brilliance, the present work is only comparable to Lam’s lauded masterwork painting The Jungle, also executed during the critical year of 1943, and currently on view as part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

These immensely powerful canvases are at once lenses through which Lam examines colonialism and its acute impact on his native Cuba and people of African descent, and simultaneously vibrant vehicles through which he celebrates the exuberance of Afro-Cuban culture and religion. This extraordinary work presents an engrossing amalgamation of European Modernism, enriched with the symbolism of Afro-Cuban culture in a way that is strikingly familiar, yet completely idiosyncratic.

Sotheby’s has a distinguished history of presenting works by Wifredo Lam, having achieved three of the artist’s top auction prices. Lam’s current auction record was established in December 2017, when Sotheby’s in Paris sold A Trois centimètres de le Terre from the collection of Alain & Candice Fraiberger for $5.2 million / €4.4 million (estimate €2.5/3.5 million).

Outstanding examples by women Surrealists include two oils by Remedios Varo: Armonía from 1956 (estimate $2/3 million) and Microcosmos (or Determinismo) from 1959 (estimate $1.5/2 million). Exemplary of Varo’s signature fantastical imagery and complex narratives, these intricate works were realized in the final years of her short life. Leonora Carrington's Tuesday, painted in 1946, emerges from a critical decade of her production and illustrates the development of her autonomous artistic identity following her relationship with the Surrealist, Max Ernst (estimate $700/900,000). The work was once in the collection of great British arts patron and eccentric, Edward James, with whom Carrington had a long and meaningful friendship. Leonor Fini's Women on the Terrace from 1938 (estimate $400/600,000) and Alice Rahon's Los cuatro hijos del arcoiris from 1960 (estimate $120/180,000) round out this exceptional group.

Also on offer in the evening sale is one of the defining masterworks of Mario Carreño’s career: Cortadores de caña from 1943 (estimate $1.5/2 million). Painted the same year as Lam’s Omi Obini, the present work also manifests elements of European artistic movements such as Cubism and Surrealism, while confronting the social unrest that was taking place in the region at that time. However, unlike Lam, Carreño bolsters his depiction with palpable and unabashed Cubanismo, or Cuban pride, revealing influences of some of Mexico’s most celebrated muralists, such as David Alfaro Siqueiros.






  • Impressionismus
    Die impressionistischen Künstler sind heute auf der ganzen Welt berühmt. Ihre Gemälde erzielen...
  • 29.06.2020
    Auktion »
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus »

    Open for Bidding from 22 May To 4 June
     



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  • Bildbeschreibung: Wifredo Lam Omi Obini Signed Wifredo Lam and dated 43 lower right Oil on canvas Estimate $8/12 million
    Bildbeschreibung: Wifredo Lam Omi Obini Signed Wifredo Lam and dated 43 lower right Oil on canvas Estimate $8/12 million
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
  • Remedios Varo Armonía Oil on masonite 1956 Estimate $2/3 million
    Remedios Varo Armonía Oil on masonite 1956 Estimate $2/3 million
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
  • Mario Carreño  Cortadores de caña Signed Carreño and dated (43 lower left) Duco on panel Estimate $1.5/2 million
    Mario Carreño Cortadores de caña Signed Carreño and dated (43 lower left) Duco on panel Estimate $1.5/2 million
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
  • Rufino Tamayo Figuras Signed Tamayo and dated O-70 (upper right) Oil and sand on canvas Estimate $1.5/2 million
    Rufino Tamayo Figuras Signed Tamayo and dated O-70 (upper right) Oil and sand on canvas Estimate $1.5/2 million
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
  • Fernando Botero The President Signed and dated 71 Oil on canvas Estimate $1.5/2 million
    Fernando Botero The President Signed and dated 71 Oil on canvas Estimate $1.5/2 million
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus