Takashi Murakami’s Jellyfish Eyes to Highlight Modern, Contemporary and Latin American Art Auction

Bonhams & Butterfields will hold its spring auction of Modern, Contemporary and Latin American Art on May 4, 2009 in Los Angeles. The 170-lot sale, simulcast to the firm’s San Francisco gallery, should attract strong collector interest for its high quality and reasonably priced works by well-known artists. Highlights from the well rounded selection will include pieces from world-famous pop artist Takashi Murakami, early American modernist artist Arthur Dove, Irish-born American painter and printmaker Sean Scully, Czech modernist Emil Filla and renowned Mexican painter Diego Rivera.

According to Tate Dougherty, Director of Contemporary Art at Bonhams New York, “The firm is pleased to present a strong and diverse group of thoughtfully selected material for the spring auction. High quality and reasonably estimated works which reflect the new reality of the art market can be found throughout all sections of the sale at many price points.”

takashi-murakami.jpgGenerating much excitement is Takashi Murakami’s acrylic on canvas and wood painting titled Jellyfish Eyes. A classic example of the artist’s Superflat style, the work is characterized by flat planes of color and use of graphic images which involve techniques used in Japanese animation. Murakami’s work comments on the otaku lifestyle and subculture, as well as consumerism as he attempts to blur the boundaries between high and low art. The circular painting is expected to bring $150,000-200,000 on May 4th.

The sale will also feature a strong group of Modern works by Salvador Dalí, Arthur Dove, Jean Dufy, Emil Filla, Diego Giacometti and Raymond Duchamp-Villon. Notable highlights include Fantasy, 1934 by Arthur Dove (est. $20,000-30,000) and Still life with tea service and fruit, 1946 by Emil Filla (est. $25,000-35,000).

Two signature drawings by world acclaimed abstract artist Sean Scully are also expected to attract strong interest. The vertical and horizontal Untitled works (est. $25,000-35,000 each) come to market highly anticipated, as they represent early examples of his mature work which was inspired in part by the rock walls of his native Ireland.

An excellent and cohesive selection of Latin American Art will also be featured during the May sale. Among the highlights is a fresh to market work by Diego Rivera titled Cargador descansando, 1937. Signed and dated by the artist, the watercolor is accompanied by the original import document from the American Consular Service in Mexico City, dated February 1940 and signed by Rivera.

In conjunction with the auction preview a cocktail reception and discussion titled “An Evening at Bonhams & Butterfields with Modern and Contemporary Art” will be held at the company’s Sunset Boulevard gallery in Los Angeles on April 30, 2009. Guests will have an opportunity to pose questions to two of the firm’s fine art specialists: Tate Dougherty, Director of Contemporary Art, New York and Holly Sherratt, Director of Made in California: Contemporary Art. Dougherty and Sherratt will also discuss the current state of the art market and offer practical advice on buying and selling at auction.

The event is free and open to the public. Reservations are requested as space is limited and the firm anticipates a strong interest among the Southern California art community. For event inquiries, please contact Bonhams & Butterfields at 1-800-223-2854, ext. 3390.

Preview: April 24-26, San Francisco; May 1-3, Los Angeles
Event: April 30, Los Angeles
Auction: May 4, 10:00am, Los Angeles