Helio Oiticica, Vik Muniz and Beatriz Milares go under the hammer!

On Saturday viewing will open for the follow up to last year’s successful BRIC auctions by Phillips de Pury and Company, to be held in their Westminster Auction house.

The six day viewing and exhibition is set to be every bit as exciting as last year’s show which kicked-off with a line up of DJ’s and was hosted by Simon de Pury, Sir David Tang and one of Russia’s foremost art collectors, Dasha Zhukova, the girlfriend of Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich.

New York has long been the preferred destination for buyers of Latin American art but this year may be something of a watershed for Brazilian artists in the European marketplace due to the strength and popularity of those whose pieces are on show.

The highlights of the exhibition include legendary Brazilian artist Helio Oiticica’s Spatial Relief (Relevo Espacial) 1959, constructed 1991 (pictured below), one of the remaining pieces of his estate after a great deal of the artists works were destroyed in a fire in his brother Cesar’s home in 2009.

Beatriz Milhazes is also represented, with her popular fusion of Latin American and European art that results in soul lifting and sometimes mind bending cacophony’s of colour on canvas, although her featured 1989 piece, Eu só queria entender por que ele fez isso (I just wanted to understand why he did that) (pictured below), has a more sombre tone than some of Milhazes’ more brightly coloured works.

Vik Muniz, one year Milhazes’ junior, hails from Sao Paulo and is arguably one of the hottest properties in Brazilian contemporary art.

Having started as a sculptor in the 1980’s Muniz has worked with materials ranging from dust to diamonds, though he is best known for his photography which includes the fusion of art over different historical formats with Double Mona Lisa, After Warhol being an excellent example of his artistic expression.

Muniz will have 11 works on display including The Dream, after Picasso from the series Pictures of Pigment 2007 (pictured below), and the delightful Pele, 2003.

The artist was also the subject of Waste Land, an Oscar nominated documentary by British director Lucy Walker that chronicles the lives of workers in Rio de Janeiro’s largest dump as Muniz turns their images into works of art that will be auctioned off before the proceeds are given back to them.

Waste Land is an inspiring film that represents the generosity, hope and creativity that makes Brazil the youngest, but arguably the most culturally accessible of the BRIC countries.

While in the exhibition visitors should be sure to make some time to see the works coming out of fellow BRIC nations. No. 21 from Zheng Fanzhi’s Mask series, 1994 is an eerie yet playful work that posits interesting questions about the individual in society.

Indian Shilpa Gupta’s picture Untitled, 2006 also raises some interesting questions about society while Subodh Gupta (There Is Always Cinema (IV), 2008) and Russia’s Komar and Melamid (Double self-portrait, 1984) use sculpture and collage to turn the everyday into the exotic.

Words by Daniel Hatton-Johnson. Photos courtesy of Phillips de Pury.


BRIC 2011 Auctions
Auction: April 14th & 15th 7pm & 10am
Viewing: April 9th – 14th
Phillips de Pury & Company, Howick Place, London,


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