Published: November 23, 2015
NEW YORK CITY — Six new world auction records were set at Christie’s Latin American art evening sale on November 20, including $2,105,000 for Joaquin Torres-Garcia’s “Composition Nord – Art Constructif.” The painting has been in the same private European collection for the past 55 years. It has been exhibited occasionally in prominent exhibitions and biennials, including the Venice Biennale XXVII in 1956 and the Bienal de São Paulo in 1959, as well as at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa in 1970. The artist is currently the focus of a major retrospective exhibition at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, on view through mid-February.
Created while the artist lived in Paris at the height of his career, “Composition Nord,” an oil on board laid on Masonite, 31¼ by 235/8 inches, signed and dated ’31, serves as a virtual blueprint for understanding Torres-García’s theory of “Universal Constructivism,” his idiosyncratic vision of art. Following stints in New York, Italy and southern France, Torres-García moved to Paris in September 1926 and quickly gravitated toward a group of artists exploring paths within geometric abstraction — among them, Piet Mondrian, Georges Vantongerloo and Theo van Doesburg. Torres-García’s first Constructivist paintings of 1929 evolved out of his engagement with this international avant-garde. Additional artists’ records were achieved for Oswaldo Vigas, Gregorio Vardanega, Alfredo Hlito, as well as for Amilcar de Castro and Janaina Tschäpe, whose works were offered for sale by the Brazil Golden Art Collection.
Watch for a complete report on this sale in a future issue.
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