Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information
Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Bonhams & Butterfields Contemporary Art Sale November 18

California’s oldest and largest auctioneer, Bonhams & Butterfields, will offer contemporary art from the Golden State in its November 18, 2008 Made in California sale.

bonhams.jpgThough regional in theme, the sale includes artwork by internationally known artists such as Wayne Thiebaud, Ed Ruscha, Mark di Suvero, and Robert Arneson. But with estimates starting at $800, the sale offers a wide range of opportunities for collectors.

Highlights from the sale include the following:
David Park’s oil on masonite work titled Girl with Earring, c. 1943 (est. $50/70,000)
Blue-Eyed Girl, 1959, by Ed Ruscha (est. $100/200,000)
Mark di Suvero’s unique work in steel from 1979 titled Spinner (est. $80/100,000)
Page of Studies (with an Ashtray and a Letter), 1992, by Paul Wonner from the collection of Virginia Senator John Warner (est. $15/20,000)
Peter Voulkos’s Untitled (Plate), 1979, a wood-fired oversized stoneware plate with porcelain pass throughs (est. $15/20,000)
Two 1961 oil on canvas works by Wayne Thiebaud titled Mexican Beach Boys (est. $120/180,000) and The Players (est. $100/150,000)
As Director Holly Sherratt notes, “We always offer the best of Los Angeles and the Bay Area artists in these biannual sales and we consistently set records for artists such as Joan Brown, James Weeks and Karl Benjamin. But this sale also includes edgy, politically engaging new-to-auction artists.”

Among the moderately valued paintings on offer are two Pop works by George Frayne (estimates $1,000-1,500 and $800-1,200). Aside from being a respected fine artist, Frayne enjoys a second career as a musician in the country-rock band Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen Lyrics. Frayne calls his painting style “California Realism” and is inspired by imagery from old magazines, comic books and other forms of popular culture. The auctioneer’s catalog back cover features One Dollar by Robert Dowd. When the U.S. Treasury Department announced a plan to redesign currency in 1994, Dowd revisited his work from the 1960s to create his own imaginary money. One Dollar is conservatively estimated at $3,000-5,000.

There is also a special section of the catalog devoted to Asian American art, including property from the collection of Michael D. Brown. Until recently, there have been relatively few museum shows and publications dedicated to Asian American Art. However the M.H de Young Memorial Museum in San Francisco and Stanford University Press planned 2008 exhibitions and scholarly publications dedicated to the topic. To coincide with these exciting shows, Bonhams & Butterfields will offer several Abstract Expressionist works from the 1960s including artwork by Sueo Serisawa, Ruth Asawa, Masatoyo Kishi and others.

Made in California follows the international Modern, Contemporary and Latin American art auction on November 18 and begins at 2pm. Artwork from both sales will be on display in San Francisco on November 1-3 and in Los Angeles on November 14-17. The illustrated catalogues will be online for review and purchase at in the weeks preceding the auctions.

The auctions will be simulcast in San Francisco and Los Angles on November 18. Bidders can attend the auction in either city. To view the illustrated online catalog, please visit