Bonhams & Butterfields Auction to Highlight Artists from California

. November 11, 2009

California’s oldest and largest auctioneer, Bonhams & Butterfields, will offer contemporary art from the Golden State during the firm’s Made in California sale on November 17, 2009. Though regional in theme, artwork by internationally known artists such as John Altoon, Robert Arneson, Ruth Asawa, Claire Falkenstein, Sam Francis, Robert Graham, George Rodrigue, Wayne Thiebaud and Peter Voulkos will be featured as well as property from the Collection of Fred Spratt and famed Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoonist Jay Ward.

Gregory KondosIn 2006 Specialist Holly Sherratt developed the bi-annual Made in California auction to showcase the state’s modern, surreal, abstract and conceptual artists. The firm’s California and American Paintings Department has had record-setting success offering works from the early 20th century. “Made in California picks up where the traditional California sales leave off,” says Sherratt. ” The influence of California on the art world goes beyond traditional landscape and western paintings. Made in California offers politically engaging works by the state’s most prominent artists.”

The department is especially pleased to present two works by legendary artist Wayne Thiebaud: Untitled (Landscape), 1965 (est. $120,000-180,000), and Third Street Store, 1956 (est. $70,000-90,000). “Third Street Store is one of Thiebaud’s earliest paintings dedicated to consumer culture,” said Sherratt. It was created in 1956 when the Pop Art movement was only beginning to emerge.”

There is also a special section of the catalog to benefit San Francisco Women Artists, a non-profit organization dedicated to the furtherance of women in the visual arts. An abstract oil painting by Claire Falkenstein titled Flyball, 1944-1948 (est. $8,000-12,000) and Camping by the Shore, 1944 by Dorr Bothwell (est. $2,000-4,000) highlight the selection.

The auction also includes several important works by Peter Voulkos: a large painting from 1958 titled Flying Black (est. $45,000-60,000) and several ceramic works such as Bowl, 1945-50 (est. $10,000-15,000) and Cookie Jar, c. 1951-2 (est. $8,000-12,000).

The November sale will also feature property from the Collection of Fred Spratt, a well-known gallerist and artist in the Bay Area. Spratt launched the career of many important California artists. Highlights from the Spratt collection include works by George Herms, Billy Al Bengston and Tom Holland.

There is a special section of the catalog devoted to Robert Graham, which includes a large sculpture of a standing nude titled Neith (Duke Ellington Figure) (est. $50,000-70,000) and two smaller nudes titled MOCA Torso (est. $3,000-5,000 for each).

Additional items of note include The Footlong Dog by George Rodrigue, which was created especially for Ann Grace one of the founders of the Napa Valley Mustard Company and owner of Grace Family Vineyards (est. $10,000-15,000); Untitled (Wall Mounted Tied Wire Sculpture) by Ruth Asawa consigned by the artist’s son (est. $25,000-45,000); a portrait of the artist William T. Wiley by Robert Arneson (est. $20,000-30,000); Untitled, 1983 by Robert Therrien, which was exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles in 1984 (est. $35,000-55,000) and property from the Collection of Jay Ward, creator of iconic cartoon classics such as Rocky and Bullwinkle, Dudley Do-Right and Super Chicken as well as a selection of works by Sam Francis and John Altoon.

Made in California begins at 2pm, following the international Modern, Contemporary and Latin American art auction on November 17. The illustrated catalogues will be online for review and purchase at www.bonhams.com/us and www.bonhams.com/madeincalifornia in the weeks preceding the auctions.

Preview: November 6-8, San Francisco; November 13-15, Los Angeles
Auction: November 17, 2pm, Los Angeles (simulcast to San Francisco)

www.bonhams.com/madeincalifornia

Image: Lot 2063 – Gregory Kondos (American, born 1923) Beach Girl, 1975 48 x 50in
Estimate: $10,000 – 15,000

Category: Auction News

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