NEW YORK, NY.-
On May 11th Modern, Contemporary and Latin American Art collectors were drawn to the Madison Avenue gallery of Bonhams
New York. Consisting of over 200 lots, the sale was highlighted by a number of exceptional works and the first section of Contemporary Iranian Art to be offered by any New York auction house.
"Bonhams is pleased to have presented a number of firsts during our May Modern and Contemporary sale. This marks the first time that the firm has simulcast a Modern, Contemporary, and Latin American sale to both our New York and Los Angeles auction rooms as well as the first time that any New York auction house has presented a section devoted to Iranian contemporary art," states Managing Director and CEO, Malcolm Barber. "The success and excitement with which the Iranian lots were met speaks well for similar sales in the future."
Top lot of the sale was Untitled, 1981 by Jean-Michel Basquiat. Signed and dated '81' the charcoal, oil stick, acrylic and photocopy paper collage greatly exceeded its estimate of $80,000-120,000 achieving a final price of $182,000.
Also drawing collectors was James Rosenquist's 1993 piece titled Gift Wrapped Doll #25. The lot performed strongly bringing $170,000 against an estimate of $125,000-175,000.
Sparking a round of aggressive bidding was a Maurice de Vlaminck oil painting titled Le Port. To be included in the forthcoming catalogue critique de l'oeuvre de Maurice de Vlaminck, this excellent example of the artists work soared past its estimate of $60,000-80,000 achieving a final price of $134,000.
Additionally, a Sol LeWitt piece from the estate of Henry T. Hopkins also attracted bidders. A distinguished museum director and educator, Hopkins played a leading role in establishing the Los Angeles' art scene having opened the Huysman Gallery before becoming Assistant Curator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Hopkins was also the Director of the Fort Worth Art Center Museum and the San Francisco Museum of Art where he added "Modern" to the name of the institution. LeWitt's Untitled maquette for Steel Structure (1975) achieved $61,000.
Highlighting the Latin American Art section of the sale was Untitled, 1977 by Mexican artist Pedro Coronel. Acquired by the owner directly from the artist, the signed and dated piece sold for $97,600.
The group of Contemporary Iranian lots offered during the May auction also brought many notable performances. The first section of Iranian Contemporary art to be presented by a New York auction house, the sale attracted the attendance of a notable contingent of Persian buyers in addition to a busy international phone bank.
The top lot from this group proved to be Farhad Moshiri's S19R, 2005. Signed, titled, and dated in English and Farsi, the piece sold for $79,300.
Untitled, 2009 by Farideh Lashai also performed strongly bringing $30,500 against an estimate of $15,000-25,000.
Greatly exceeding expectations were works by Afshin Pirhashemi and Parviz Tanavoli. Both carrying an estimate of $12,000-18,000, Pirhashemi's Key Job, 2009, more than tripled its estimate with a final price of $48,800 and Tanavoli's Heech, 2005, realized a final price of $33,550 after a round of excited bidding.