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Art 

Christie's Art Auction Features Works by Frida Kahlo

October 28, 2019

One of the works to be auctioned is "Portrait of a Lady in White," which was part of the April 2010 Frida Kahlo Retrospective at the Martin-Gropius-Bau Museum in Berlin. (Photo Courtesy: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
New York – Christie's, the world's leading art auction house, announces the fall season of Latin American Art with the live auction taking place in New York on November 20 and 21 and an online auction running from November 16-26, 2019.

As the only major auction house with dedicated sales in the category, this season offers a comprehensive selection from 17th and 18th-century Spanish colonial painting through modern and contemporary masterpieces. Together the sales expect to realize in excess of $25 million US Dollars.

Featured are works from private collections including The James and Marilynn Alsdorf Collection, The William Louis-Dreyfus Foundation, The Collection of Dr. Helga Prignitz-Poda, The Collection of Richard L. Weisman, and Divine Splendor: Spanish Colonial Art from The Collection of James Li. Works from the live and online auctions will be on view November 16-20 at Christie's Rockefeller Plaza.

Leading the sale are two stunning works by Frida Kahlo including "The Flower Basket" (estimate: $3–5 million) from The James and Marilyn Alsdorf Collection. Painted in 1941, this tondo, or circular-shaped painting on copper, is one of two such still lifes painted by Kahlo in the same year. The pendant work hangs in the Casa Azul, the artist's museum in Mexico City. First acquired from Kahlo by actress Paulette Goddard - a friend of both the artist and her husband painter Diego Rivera - The Flower Basket has since been privately held and lent for exhibitions on only very limited occasions. This exuberant and colorful painting celebrates Kahlo's love of nature as well as a particularly happy moment of her life, as she and Rivera had just remarried after a brief divorce.

Rare and never-before offered at auction, Frida Kahlo's Portrait of a "Lady in White" (estimate: $3–5 million) is an outstanding oil on canvas painted around the time of the artist's marriage to Rivera in 1929. Always held in private collections, this alluring portrait was initially gifted by Kahlo to the esteemed Mexican photographer Lola Álvarez Bravo. It has generally been accepted that the sitter in this elegant portrait was Dorothy Brown Fox, an American friend of the artist. However, recent research suggests that this enigmatic woman may actually be Elena Boder, a Russian émigré, influential doctor, and high school friend of Kahlo's.

"Vendedora de flores en Tehuantepec," a watercolor and charcoal on canvas painted in 1935 by Kahlo's husband, Diego Rivera, will also be on auction (estimate: $300,000-500,000).

Christie's is also honored to offer Property From The William Louis-Dreyfus Foundation, featuring works by the widely-revered Mexican master Francisco Toledo. A standout is "El elefante" (estimate: $800,000–1,200,000), an exceptional painting that showcases the artist's tremendous skill and unique vision. Proceeds from the sales will benefit the late philanthropist's eponymous foundation and The Harlem Children's Zone.

Another highlight of the sale is Fernando Botero's "Tablao flamenco" (estimate: $1.5–2 million). Executed in 1984, this work is one of the most important paintings by the artist to come to auction in recent years. Complementing this piece is a robust selection of works by the Colombian master that includes paintings, drawings and exquisite sculptures ranging from tabletop to large-scale.

Additional highlights include and early 1925 composition by Rufino Tamayo "The family," (estimate $600,000-800,000), Tomás Sánchez's haunting "Orilla con Meditador Oculto" (estimate: $200,000–300,000), and an iconic façade painting by Brazilian artist, Alfredo Volpi (Untitled "Fachada"), estimate: $350,000–450,000.)

To see all of the works offered in Chrisitie's Latin American Art auction, visit christies.com.