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Unlocking Wealth: The Global Surge towards the Gems of Latin American Art

Updated: Jun 4

In  2024, Latin American Art made significant strides in the global art world, from its influential presence at the Venice Biennale to impressive record-breaking sales.


Prominent Latin American artists are becoming household names.


A few recent highlights include Firelei Baez’s new representation by Hauser & Wirth and her solo show at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art; Brazilian artist Beatriz Milhazes’ solo show at Tate St Ives;  Alvaro Barrington (Venezuela) winning a Tate Commission for 2024-2025; Sandra Vásquez de la Horra’s (Chile) first US solo show at Denver Art Museum; and the publication of Phaidon Editors’ “Latin American Artists: From 1785 to Now”. These success stories are a testament to the stability, diversity, opportunity, and growth in the Latin American art market, inspiring optimism for its future. 


Art Fair Promience and Succcess.


In addition to positive sales at Mexico City’s annual prominent art fair, Zona Maco received a record number of 81,000 visitors. In October 2023, Bogotá’s long-standing contemporary art fair ARTBO achieved many successful sales and high outreach with “the participation of 113 spaces, including 45 galleries from 14 cities in 7 countries; 11 sections, more than 300 artists on display, 200 international guests including collectors, members of institutions and other art professionals; and 60 editorial projects”. The number of people interacting with Latin American art has increased as we have seen the increasingly strong presence artists from this diverse region showcased in large-scale international events such as Frieze New York and what is known as the ‘Olympics of the Art World’, the Venice Biennale


In the secondary market, there has also been an increase in the price and quantity of Latin American art sales.


Many private collections of Latin American art have achieved prominent sales, including that of late critic Guy Brett and Cuban collector Rosa de la Cruz. In addition to an increase in value compared to previous years, Statista highlights:


“Latin America contributed a sum of 79.3 billion U.S. dollars to the global art market in 2018. According to the source, this figure is predicted to rise to 96 billion U.S. dollars by the year 2023”.

As the Latin American market continues to have a steady growth projection, it opens opportunities  for flourishing investments. 


Record-breaking sales at auction


One remarkable sale of 2024 was the record-breaking auction of the painting Les Distractions de Dagobert (1945) by British-Mexican painter Leonora Carrington, at Sotheby’s for $28.5 million. That same week, two more Latin American artists broke records at Christie’s. Cuban-American Feliz Gonzalez-TorresUntitled (America #3) (1992) sold to the Pola Museum of Art in Hakone, Japan, for $13.6 million, setting an auction record for the artist. Cuban-American Ana Mendieta set two new auction records at the sale. First, Silueta Works in Mexico (1973–77), sold for $277,200, followed by Untitled (Serie mujer de arena / Sandwoman Series) (1983–84) which sold for $567,025. With these sales, we see doors opening for greater investment in works by artists from Latin America in both the emerging and established categories.  


As we reach the mid-year mark, headlines on Latin American art, its influence and its collectors are flooding the media. Sales quantities and prices are on an upward trend. There is a formidable presence of Latin America in the international market, such as the Venice Biennale, the large number of Latin American collectors and galleries shifting to Madrid; Mira 2024 at Maison de l'Amérique Latine, the first Latin American Art fair in Europe and record-breaking sales benchmarks. Long may this upward trend continue!


If this blog has piqued your interest in Latin American art but you don’t know where to start, we invite you to check out the Amalgama Academy, the first and only streaming platform dedicated to the History of Art from Latin America. We offer masterclasses on individual artists, complete courses and live webinars on artists and artistic movements of Latin America. All in English and Spanish. Click here for more information! 


Sources

Image: Les Distractions de Dagobert (1945) by Leonora Carrington (1917 - 2011). Source: Sotheby’s Auction House.

ARTBO. "Así se vivió ARTBO | Feria 2023." ARTBO. Feria Internacional de Arte de Bogotá, 2023. Accessed May 18, 2024. https://www.artbo.co/Noticias/2023/Asi-se-vivio-ARTBO-Feria-2023.

Wizard Gallery. "Wizard Gallery at MIRA Paris 2024: Art Fair." Wizard Gallery, 2024. Accessed May 18, 2024. https://www.wizardgallery.com/events/96-wizard-gallery-at-mira-paris-2024-art-fair/.

Artprice. "Panorama of Latin American Art at Auction." Artmarketinsight - Artprice.com, 2023. Accessed May 18, 2024. https://www.artprice.com/artmarketinsight/panorama-of-latin-american-art-at-auction.

Artsy. ‘Ana Mendieta and Feliz Gonzales-Torres break break auction records at Christie’s’. 15 May 2024



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