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Sophisticated offering of California art puts a spring in Bonhams step
Ruth Asawa, Gordon Onslow-Ford, Raimonds Staprans among others featured in Made in California auction, April 1. Photo: Courtesy of Bonhams.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- Bonhams springs forward with an exciting selection of contemporary artworks in its upcoming Made in California auction. It is scheduled for April 1st and will be held in Los Angeles and simulcast in San Francisco. The auction includes a pair of sculptures by celebrated Bay Area artist Ruth Asawa, and works by both notable Northern and Southern California artists such as Gordon Onslow-Ford, Robert Graham, Raimonds Staprans, John Register, Judy Chicago, John Altoon and Frank Lobdell among others.

Although created only one year apart, Asawa's works on offer showcase two of the artist's most prominent styles, the tied-wire and looped-wire forms. Exhibited at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in May 1964, Ruth Asawa's Untitled (S.604, Wall Mounted on a Base, Tied Wire, Closed Center, Multi-Branched Form Based on Nature) from 1963 is a wall-mounted sculpture, which appears as a tree-like form executed in delicate copper wire (est. $80,000-120,000). Also featured is a transparent, looped-wire sculpture Untitled (S.606, Hanging Single-Lobed Five-Layer Continuous Form Within a Form), circa 1962, which encloses a series of nested metal spheres (est. $50,000- 70,000).

Two large-scale John Altoon (1925-1969) paintings (est. $15,000-20,000 and $20,000-30,000) are being offered preceding his first major retrospective at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in the summer of 2014. Part of the so-called "Ferus group," pioneers of Los Angeles contemporary art in the early 1960s, Altoon's abstract paintings were often complex, dark brooding works reflective of the artist's own personality.

Another highlight is Judy Chicago's Boadaceia Test Plate from The Dinner Party (1978), a seminal work of feminist art in the form of a fictional banquet honoring 39 women who have made significant contributions to Western culture. The Boadaceia Test Plate (est. $25,000-35,000) is a hand-painted porcelain plate commemorating Boadaceia (British, 25-62 A.D.), an historical figure synonymous with feminine strength. Presented as the centerpiece of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Chicago's work, in its entirety, resides as part of the permanent collection in the Brooklyn Museum, New York and has been exhibited at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles amongst other numerous venues.

Also featured are selections from the personal art collection from the Estate of Leo M. Holub (1916-2010), a prominent Bay Area photographer recognized for launching the photography program at Stanford University in 1969. Holub was commissioned to take portraits of more than 100 artists and traveled the country for ten years photographing luminaries such as Ed Ruscha and Donald Judd. He was a close friend of many Bay Area artists such as Nathan Oliveira and Frank Lobdell, whose works are offered in this auction.

Other highlights include Raimonds Staprans's painting Blue Boat, 1994 (est. $30,000-50,000); John Register's Man on Bed, 1995 (est. $25,000-35,000) and Robert Graham's bronze Gabrielle, 1993 (est. $40,000-60,000). In addition, Being Space Being, 1971 (est. $40,000-60,000) a surrealist painting by San Francisco transplant Gordon Onslow-Ford (1912-2003) is included.

Contemporary Art Specialist at Bonhams, Dane Jensen, states, "Made in California presents a diverse and sophisticated offering of California-based artistic production from Bay Area painter Raimonds Staprans's sublime landscapes to cutting edge post-conceptual work by Santa Monica's Matt Mullican."

Previews will be on March 21 to 23 in San Francisco, as well as March 28 to 30 in Los Angeles, and the auction takes place on April 1.

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