DALLAS – Fernando Botero’s Seated Man, 2000, sold for $275,000 to lead Heritage Auctions’ Modern & Contemporary Art auction in Beverly Hills, Calif., to a final total of $4,012,587.50. The auction boasted 97 percent sold by value, and 90 percent of the lots. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.
The return on Seated Man, which was nearly double its high estimate, was the result of competitive bidding from numerous collectors, and was the second-highest amount ever paid through Heritage Auctions for a painting by the Colombian figurative artist and sculptor.
“Fernando Botero is one of the most popular living Latin American artists, and his works are collected aggressively around the world,” said Art Frank Hettig, Heritage Auctions’ vice president of Modern & Contemporary. “His style of large, exaggerated figures, which has been called ‘Boterismo,’ can convey a number of messages, from the comedic to serious and critical of the world around him.”
Another highlight in the auction was Hans Hofmann’s Holocaust, 1953, which realized $250,000. An icon among abstract impressionist painters, Hofmann’s enormous popularity stems in part from his style incorporating bold color and the ability to move the viewer’s eyes.
One of the most eagerly pursued paintings in the auction was Richard Lin’s Welsh Summer, 1971. Aggressive bidders drove the final price to $225,000, nearly four times the high estimate for the work by the British artist revered for his minimalist style.
Another work that exceeded expectations was Günther Uecker’s Poesie der Destruktion, 1984, which brought $181,250. Created with rows of nails that are arranged to convey optical effects, it offers the deceptive appearance of randomness because of the nails that partially shield the ground of orange and black streaks of oil paint interspersed with passages of raw canvas.
Demand from collectors also pushed Carlos Cruz-Diez’s Signos y ritmos vegetales, 1956, well beyond expectations, sending the final result all the way to $137,500, more than twice the estimate. This painting was accompanied by a certificate of authenticity issued by the Cruz-Diez Art Foundation. The Venezuelan artist, who has lived in Paris since 1960, is hailed as a pioneer in kinetic-optic art.
Other top lots included:
– Keith Haring, Untitled, 1984: $131,250.
– Julian Stanczak, Migrating Sounds, 1965: $118,750.
– Andy Warhol, Campbell’s Soup Box (Onion Mushroom), 1986: $118,750.
– Jeff Koons, Ice Bucket, 1986: $106,250.
– Friedel Dzubas, Desert Heart, 1976: $93,750.