Francisco Toledo - Latin America New York Monday, November 24, 2014 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Gift of the artist to the present owner
    Private Collection, Los Angeles

  • Exhibited

    Mexico City, Galería Juan Martín, 1967-1968

  • Catalogue Essay

    “I know of no other modern artist who is so naturally penetrated with a sacred conception of the universe and a sacred sense of life, who has approached myth and magic with such seriousness and simplicity and who is so purely inspired by ritual and fable." André Pieyre de Mandiargues

    Francisco Toledo, a Oaxacan native of Zapotec origin, was born in the town of Juchitán in 1940. He began his artistic studies at the Escuela de Bellas Artes in Oaxaca, where he exhibited pronounced natural talent. At the age of seventeen, Toledo moved to Mexico City to continue training at the Taller Libre de Grabado, where he met the renowned Mexican painter Rufino Tamayo, who would later influence his work. Toledo’s innate talent was undeniable even at this very young age. He soon moved to Paris, where he successfully exhibited his work for the next five years from 1960 through 1965. A true wunderkind, Toledo was well received by French art critics and artist alike.

    It was during this period that Toledo created the present lot, Sin título, 1965. This artistic treasure is a careful compilation of intimate gouaches, executed by Toledo during the early stages of his auspicious career. The vibrant colors, experimental mixing of media and complex compositions reflect Toledo’s preoccupation with nature and the human form. Toledo is not concerned with adhering to reality but rather creates a fantastic realm where the ancient world of myth and magic are explored through his personal vision of the modern world. However, Toledo remains dedicated to a physical exploration of material, never forgetting the power of the media he manipulates. This creative drive has led to infinite experimentations in painting, watercolor, sculpture, pottery and the graphic arts. in this particular series of works on paper, as in much of his oeuvre, Toledo fuses man and beast, creating sensual, tactile creatures depicted in bold painterly brushstrokes and streaked with glowing areas of gold leaf. The power and intimacy of this work convey the artist’s unique vision of the world through individual compositions that provide insight into his process and imagination, as well as future developments in his style.

  • Artist Biography

    Francisco Toledo

    Mexican • 1940

    Francisco Toledo was born in Oaxaca, Mexico where he studied at the Escuela de Bellas Artes. Upon moving to Mexico City, he met Rufino Tamayo who quickly became one of his main supporters and mentors. Toledo culminated his studies in Paris and returned to Mexico where he would become an influential figure in the cultural development of his home city via his involvement with the Contemporary Museum of Oaxaca.

    He has produced an incredibly prolific body of work that includes lithographs, engravings, watercolors, sculpture, ceramics and tapestries. He renders these fantastical creatures and forms with bold painterly brushstrokes and manipulates the texture by employing gold leaf and sand in certain areas. His works continually deal with the physical exploration of material, providing the viewer with insights into his process and imagination.

    View More Works


Sin título (Cuaderno)

gouache and mixed media on paper in hardcover book
book 8 x 8 3/4 x 1/2 in. (20.3 x 22.2 x 1.3 cm.)
Signed "Toledo" and dedicated on the cover.

$60,000 - 80,000 

Sold for $75,000

Contact Specialist
Laura González
Director of Latin American Art
New York
+1 212 940 1216

Latin America

New York Auction 24 November 2014 2pm