Between Agony And Poetry
Juan Muñoz Sculpture Suspends Belief At Bonhams Contemporary Art Sale In New York

Contemporary Art
13 May 2014
New York

New York (April 24, 2014) – The May 13 contemporary art auction at Bonhams, the third largest international fine art auction house, features more than 100 challenging and emotive pieces, none more so than Juan Muñoz's bronze figure "Hombre Colgado Boca" from 2001 (est. $500,000-700,000). The evocative sculpture of a man hanging from a hook by his distended tongue testifies to the artist's formidable knowledge of art history. The piece pays contemporary homage to Degas' "Miss La La at the Circus Fernando," a striking painting of a circus performer hanging from a wire by her teeth. Muñoz became acquainted with the impressionist masterpiece while attending art school in London, where the National Gallery was a regular haunt.

"Hombre Colgado Boca is an exceptional example of Muñoz's best work. The piece is exquisitely rendered, with an almost weightless quality despite its medium. It employs one of his anonymous characters, which he used with great success throughout his career. His exceptional understanding of the figurative tradition is on full display, as is his sophisticated approach to form and space," enthused Jeremy Goldsmith, Director of the Americas for Contemporary Art at Bonhams. "Viewers will find themselves torn between the agony of the act and the poetry of the moment."

Sculpture and multi-dimensional work makes its presence known throughout the sale, notably Olga de Amaral's "Triptico en Oro" from 1992, a glittering tribute to the traditional arrangement (est. $140,000-180,000). The trailblazing Columbian textile artist is best known for her use of gold. Amaral is one of many important Latin American artists represented in the auction.

Additional multi-dimensional highlights include Jack Pierson's 2004 ransom note-style wall assemblage "You Rotten Prick," Roni Horn's sleekly melancholy "Key and Cue: No. 1443 (A Chilly Peace Infests the Grass)" from 2000, and Frank Stella's bent aluminium piece from 2002, "Lejak (from the Bali Series)" from the Sonesta Hotel Collection.

Bonhams Contemporary Art sale will take place on May 13 in New York. The sale will preview at Bonhams May 10-13.

A complete catalogue is available online at


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to

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