The auction is the second in a series of theme sales by Phillips, which began with Now: Art of the 21st Century in London on Sept. 26.
Rufino Tamayo’s 1977 painting Mujer en un interior is one of the highlights of the contemporary art portion of the sale. Considered one of the most important Mexican painters of the 20th century, Tamayo melded Modernist concepts. The painting in the sale depicts a nude female figure in a Pre-Columbian style standing amid an abstract and minimalist interior. The oil and sand on canvas painting measures 51 by 38 inches. It carries a $400,000-$500,000 estimate with bidding starting at $260,000.
Another contemporary highlight is a sculpture by Tunga (Brazilian, b. 1952) in wood and metal titled Exogenous Axis. The 2000 work is described as a powerful transformative aesthetic representation of the female form. The 81-inch-tall figure has a $40,000-$60,000 estimate.
Highlighting the photographs section is Nickolas Muray’s 1939 iconic image of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Printed later and signed by the photographer’s daughter, Mimi Muray, the color print measures 14 3/4 by 10 1/8 inches. Kahlo is pictured wearing a traditional Mexican dress and sitting on a bench. Although Nickolas Muray photographed numerous celebrities, politicians and artists, he is best known for the photographs of his lover, Frida Kahlo, whom he shot more than any other person. At the time of this sitting, Kahlo had just opened her first solo exhibition at the Julien Levy Gallery in New York and was on the cusp of a burgeoning career that would end with her premature death in 1954. The print, which demonstrates Muray’s pioneering use of color photography, has a $10,000-$15,000 estimate.
Another departed diva in the auction is Maria Callas (from Diamond Divas) by Vik Muniz. His C-print mounted on aluminum, 59 x 47 1/4 inches, pictures the legendary opera soprano early in her career. Signed and dated “Vik Muniz 2004,” the work has a $70,000-$90,000 estimate.
Heading the design section of the sale is a glass and aluminum-covered wood table by Oscar Niemeyer. The renowned Brazilian architect designed the working prototype dining table for the firm Móveis Teperman Ltd. in 1990. It is 29 3/4 by 88 1/2 by 41 inches. With a certificate of authenticity from the Oscar Niemeyer Foundation, the table has a $25,000-$35,000 estimate.
View the fully illustrated catalogs and sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet during the sale at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.
ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE
Brazilian-born Vik Muniz depicted opera diva Maria Callas in a C-print on aluminum in 2004. One of an edition of 10, the 59- by 47 1/4-inch print has a $70,000-$90,000 estimate. Image courtesy Phillips de Pury & Co.” title=”PhillipsPortrait.jpg
Brazilian-born Vik Muniz depicted opera diva Maria Callas in a C-print on aluminum in 2004. One of an edition of 10, the 59- by 47 1/4-inch print has a $70,000-$90,000 estimate. Image courtesy Phillips de Pury & Co.” class=”caption” />