Mexican painter, Rufino Tomayo's Watermelon Slices was the top lot of Sotheby's Latin American sale fetching a staggering $2.2 million and setting new auction records.
Tomayo's painting was put up for sale by the Museum of Modern Art and was reportedly the only piece under hammer to cross the $1 million threshold.
Artist Rufino is known for painting figurative abstraction with surrealist influences. Besides this, he was also influenced by Cubism, Impressionism and Fauvism, among other popular art movements of the time while studying. However, he ensured that there was a distinct Mexican feel to all his paintings.
It was a great night for Rufino Tamayo. Watermelon Slices is a symphony of colours that recall the (late U.S. master abstract colourist) Mark Rothko. Dozens and dozens of reds and orange shades vibrate, Reuters quoted Sotheby's Latin American art chief Carmen Melian stating after the auction.
Apart from this, other highlights of the event was a 1928 Frutero y Domino fetching $530,500 and the 1932 La Tenista fetching $398,500.
It has also been reported that the kinetic art of Carlos Cruz-Diez found interest among the buyers.
According to ArtInfo, Five bidders fought over Physichromie 2000 (1980), and the eventual winner paid $422,000 (est. $150,000-200,000). The price was a record for the artist at auction - but only for a few minutes. Just a few lots later another collector took home Physichromie 88 (1962) for $518,500 (est. $200,000-300,000).