Brazilian works fetch top prices at N.Y. Latam art auctions

( Agencies ) Updated: 2013-11-25 14:02:41

A triangulated aluminum sculpture by Brazilian artist Lygia Clark that sold for $1.8 million at Phillips' Latin American auction, capped a week of regional art sales in New York in which Brazilian works commanded the top prices.

Clark's 1960 "Bicho Invertebrado" (Invertebrate Animal) was the top item in the evening auction on Thursday, which brought in $6 million.

"We were thrilled by the strong response of collectors," said Henry Allsopp, Phillips' worldwide director of Latin American art, said of the auction, in which artists from Venezuela, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba and Colombia were also represented.

The Clark sculpture, which consists of six hinged triangles, is designed to be manipulated by viewers to create a variety of configurations.

The artist, who died in 1988, said the pieces were made to interplay with each other like "a living organism, essentially an active work."

Last May an abstract Clark sculpture sold in New York for $2.2 million, the highest price at auction for a work by a Brazilian artist.

All of the top 10 lots at the Phillips auction were contemporary Brazilian pieces, including Nelson Leirner's "Homenagem a Fontana I", (Homage to Fontana I), which sold for $359,000, a record for the artist.

Works sold at Christie's on Tuesday set records for two living Brazilian artists, Abraham Palatnik and Tomie Ohtake.

At Sotheby's auction on Wednesday, Brazilian artist Sergio Camargo's sculpture "Untitled (Relief No. 21/52)," fetched $2.1 million, setting a record for the artist.

"There is a new impetus in the Brazilian collecting world. There is more knowledge, there are more exhibitions, they have a strong local market," Sotheby's Latin American art chief Axel Stein said after the sale.

Overall, Phillips said it sold 90 of the 113 lots on offer in its auction.

Allsopp said he was especially proud that all 27 Cuban contemporary art works on offer were sold. The pieces spanned nearly half a century - from 1967 to 2013.

Brazilian works fetch top prices at N.Y. Latam art auctions

Brazilian works fetch top prices at N.Y. Latam art auctions

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