LOS ANGELES, CA.- Bonhams & Butterfields
' Made in California auction on May 3, 2010 was especially strong, signaling that the market for California art continues to be robust. Telephone bidders from around the globe vied for works by the golden state's leading modern and contemporary artists. The sale, which was simulcast from Los Angeles to San Francisco, established world record prices for works by Ruth Asawa, Fletcher Benton, Peter Alexander, Guy Dill and Jacob Hashimoto among others.
As California's oldest and largest auction house, Bonhams & Butterfields continues to break world record auction prices for contemporary art. "We offered great work and people responded. We had our highest sell through rate ever. The sale earned more than $1.4 million," said Holly Sherratt, a specialist in Modern and Contemporary art.
Works by Robert Graham, Ruth Asawa, Edward Kienholz and Guy Dill led the sculptural offerings. The highlights included a bronze nude by Robert Graham (est. $40,000 - 60,000, sold for $97,600); a looped wire sculpture by Ruth Asawa (est. $30,000-50,000, sold for $91,500); and an abstract bronze by Guy Dill, (est. $7000-9000, sold for $39,650). The auction set world record prices for the Asawa and Dill sculptures.
The department was also pleased to present works from the collection of Henry T. Hopkins. A distinguished museum director and educator, Hopkins played a leading role in establishing the Los Angeles' art scene. 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 the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). The highlight from the estate of Henry Hopkins was Untitled (San Francisco), 1984 by Edward Kienholz. The assemblage was dedicated to Mr. Hopkins by the artist. Estimated to bring $10,000-15,000, the work sold for $42,700.
The auction also featured Nathan Oliveira's Figure with White Face, Summer of '73 from the collection of Samuel Dorsky (est. $40,000-60,000). Samuel Dorsky founded Dorsky Gallery in New York City, which operated from 1963-2001. The gallery represented numerous artists, including Oliveira. The Oliveira painting sold within the estimate for $48,800.
Other items of note included Things and Mess in Classroom by Joan Brown (est. $40,000 - 60,000, sold for $91,500); Portrait of Jack Loewenberg by David Park (est. $40,000 - 60,000, sold for $67,100); The Vocabulary of Attraction by Jacob Hashimoto (est. $4,000 - 6,000, sold for $51,850, a world record price for the artist); and Words that Cut by Chaz Bojórquez (est. $3,000-5,000, sold for $39,650, an amazing result for the new-to-auction artist).
Bonhams' next contemporary art auction will take place May 11, 2010 in New York, simulcast to Los Angeles. The sale will feature, Modern and Contemporary art including an important selection of Latin American and Iranian art.