LOS ANGELES, CA.- Bonhams & Butterfields
will present contemporary art from California artists during the Made in California sale on May 3, 2010. Artwork by internationally known artists such as Ruth Asawa, Joan Brown, Gordon Onslow Ford, Sam Francis, Robert Graham, Manuel Neri, Nathan Oliveira, David Park, Edward Ruscha, Wayne Thiebaud and Peter Voulkos will be offered.
The oldest and largest auction house of the West Coast, Bonhams & Butterfields continues to achieve exceptional prices for California art. "The influence of California on the art world goes beyond traditional landscape and western paintings," said Holly Sherratt, a specialist in Modern and Contemporary art. In 2006 Sherratt developed Made in California, the bi-annual auction featuring the state's modern, surreal, abstract and conceptual artists.
The department is pleased to present works from the collection Henry T. Hopkins. A distinguished museum director and educator, Hopkins played a leading role in establishing the Los Angeles' art scene. After serving as a photographer in the United States Army, he went to graduate school at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and taught at UCLA Extension from 1959-1968. In 1960 Hopkins opened the Huysman Gallery in Los Angeles before becoming an Assistant Curator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art the following year. From 1969-1974, he was the Director of the Fort Worth Art Center Museum and served as the Director of the San Francisco Museum of Art from 1974-1986 adding "Modern" to the name of the institution. He moved back to Los Angeles in 1986 to head the Frederick Weisman Foundation and in 1991 joined the Department of Art at UCLA. Hopkins painted and drew throughout his life. The May sale includes one of his works, Cut Flower, 2002 (est. $500-700).
Ghost Writer, 1978 by Edward Ruscha will also be offered during the May auction. Featuring many of Ruscha's hallmarks such as text, graduated color, dramatic angles and a Pop Art style, the work is expected to bring $70,000-90,000. According to Sherratt: "The market for works by Edward Ruscha continues to be strong. In November 2009 Bonhams & Butterfields set a world auction record for Standard Station, a screenprint by the artist, which sold for $170,000. It was the highest price ever paid for a print by Ruscha at auction."
The auction also includes Figure with White Face, Summer of '73, 1973 (est. $40,000-60,000) by Nathan Oliveira. This significant work once belonged to gallery owner Samuel Dorsky. Dorsky opened his world-renowned gallery in 1963 in New York City. The gallery exhibited and represented numerous artists, including Oliveira. During his lifetime, Dorsky donated thousands of works of art to academic institutions and made generous contributions to benefit handicapped children. When the gallery closed in 2001, Dorsky's children established the Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting contemporary art to the public and continuing their father's philanthropic legacy. Dorsky's lead gift to State University of New York in New Paltz resulted in the creation of the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art in the center of the college campus. Figure with White Face, Summer of '73, has been consigned by a member of the Dorsky family. The painting was exhibited at the Oakland museum show Nathan Oliveira, Paintings 1959 - 1973 and featured on the cover of the exhibition catalog.
There is striking selection of works by Manuel Neri including the catalog's cover lot, a large bronze, Mujer Pegada No. 3, 1985 (est. $60,000-80,000) as well as two works on canvas titled Lauren No. 11, 1996 (est. $10,000 - 15,000) and Dos Figuras-B/L Series No. 4, 1992 (est. $8,000 - 12,000).
Additional items of note include The Bridge, 1971, a vibrant iconic oil on canvas by Roland Petersen (est. $30,000-50,000); Untitled, c. 1960, an impressive 6-foot tall wire sculpture by Ruth Asawa (est. $30,000-50,000); Still Life with Flowers, 1980-82, a large vivid oil on canvas by Raimonds Staprans (est. $20,000 - 30,000); Untitled, 1985 (SF85-2007), a mature "splatter" painting on paper by Sam Francis (est. $20,000 - 30,000); Airial World, 1966, a lively, oversize acrylic on canvas by Roy De Forest (est. $10,000-15,000); Landscape Unmasked (1), 1946, an abstract casein on paper by Gordon Onslow Ford (est. $7,000-9,000).