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John Moran Auctioneers presents a stunning private collection of Latin-American art 60 years in the making
Francisco Toledo (b. 1940, Mexican), abstract figural, Untitled, etching on paper under glass est. $400-600.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- On Tuesday, August 23, 2022, at 10:00am PST, John Moran Auctioneers invites you to travel south of the border and experience the wide array of artisanal wonders presented in their Made in Mexico auction. This summer sale has over 400 lots and will feature a large selection of artworks collected by Carolyn J. Adrian of South Pasadena, California. As a student in Mexico City in the 1960s, she purchased her first piece of artwork that would inspire her collection for the next six decades.  Traveling, meeting with the artists themselves, and patronizing their studios throughout Mexico, Cuba, Central, and South America as well as those of the Los Angeles Latino community, Adrian amassed a noteworthy collection that Moran’s is proud to bring to market.  From Francisco Toledo to Frank Romero, Adrian’s collection is diverse in its artists’ representations and the stories each chose to tell. 

The painter, etcher, illustrator, and designer, Millard Sheets traveled extensively and painted throughout Mexico. It was there where Sheets created his most iconic works after being so taken with the Mexican culture and its people. Born in 1907 in Gualala, California, Sheets was, and still is, one of the state’s foremost artists and architects. From the beginning of his career, Sheet’s was determined to make a name for himself, and his perseverance paid off. By 1935 his work had been in twenty-seven museums across the country. One critic labeled a review of Sheets’s New York debut “A Name to Remember.” In this sale, Moran’s is pleased to offer his watercolor, Burden Bearers at an estimate of $3,000-5,000.

This auction’s diversity in Mexican and Latin American art is unparalleled in recent years. Ranging from the well-known to emerging, there is something to reflect everyone's tastes. Fine art includes contemporary sculpture, oil on canvas, etchings, serigraphs, and more by Enrique Tabara, Carlos Merida, and Rufino Tamayo among many others. Untitled, with an estimate of $400-600, is an etching by the multi-faceted Mexican artist, Francisco Toledo. Toledo’s works reflect the mythology of Mexico and often incorporate aspects of Surrealism. “What I do is a mixture of things, but the pre-Hispanic world has been a source of inspiration,” he explained. “There are certain solutions that are decorative that come from pre-Hispanic art and at the same time there is much primitive art that is refined or simple but also very modern.

The painting, Woman in veil, 1969, is from a Mexican painter noted for his figurative work on surreal atmospheres. Ricardo Martinez de Hoyos was born in 1918 on Calle de Madrid, near Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City. One of sixteen children, Martinez was number thirteen and shared the artistic limelight with some of his older brothers – two of whom were notable architects, and one was a well-known actor. His work has been exhibited internationally, but prominently in Mexico at important venues such as Museo de Arte Moderno and the Palacio de Bellas Artes. Moran’s is pleased to offer this work at an estimate of $8,000-12,000.

A member of the 1970s Chicano art collective, Los Four, Francisco “Frank” Romero has been an influential Latin artist for over forty years. Los Four is most known for their historic 1974 exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, as it was the country’s first show of Chicano art at a major art institution. Since then, Romero has completed over 15 murals throughout Los Angeles and extensively exhibits in the United States, Europe, and Japan. This work [“Highways”], with an estimate of $700-900, is just one of the many examples of Romero’s bold, colorful style that will be featured in this sale. It illustrates the complexity of Los Angeles transportation corridors and the people who live in and around them.

Representing Mexican sculpture will be six lots of Sergio Bustamante mixed metal animals in all shapes and sizes; however, Felipe Castañeda’s, Seated Lady, 1984 stands out as one of the sculptures capturing attention. A prominent Mexican artist of his generation, Castañeda is celebrated for his masterful carvings in onyx, marble, and bronze. Having an estimate of $3,000-5,000, this bronze piece is a strong example of his interest in depicting women and the female body through his work. [PHOTO 5] The fascination with sensual beauty is demonstrated in the perfect proportions of Castañeda’s figures, which also aligns his aesthetic with Classical Greco-Roman sculpture.

This auction will also offer mid-20th century Mexican jewelry from leading designers such as Antonio Pineda, William Spratling, Hector Aguilar, Hubert Harmon, and Los Castillo. With more than 200 lots of fine Mexican silver it's difficult to pick just one treasure, but this Matl Nuestra Señora de la Asunción in Tonaya sterling silver santos figure from the Mexican designer, Matilde Poulat will undoubtedly appeal to collectors for its fine detail and plethora of semiprecious stones. This piece, offered at an estimate of $2,000-4,000, is set with amethyst, turquoise, and coral cabochons.

Another impressive example of quality Mexican jewelry is a set of silver and moonstone jewelry by the Mexican modernist designer/silversmith, Antonio Pineda. [PHOTO 7] Pineda was a member of a small group of brilliant silversmiths living and working in Taxco, Mexico who became internationally known during the mid-20th century. One of Pineda’s favorite sayings was, “The richness of silver is immortal. It doesn’t die.” This swirl link necklace with oval cabochon moonstones and matching swirl dangle screw-post earrings, along with another pair of moonstone earrings has a $1,500-2,500 estimate.

Additionally, The Made in Mexico auction will include Guatemalan and Peruvian art, as well as a diverse collection of works on paper by contemporary Cuban artists. There will also be a selection of Mexican pottery including examples of Tonalá ceramics from Jalisco, as well as polychrome and blackware Mata Ortiz vessels by such important artists as Ismael Flores, Tina Esperanza, and Lydia Quezada.

—Brenda Smith, John Moran Auctioneers  

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