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Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Works by Ruscha and Warhol to Highlight Bonhams & Butterfields Fine Prints Auction

Bonhams & Butterfields is pleased to offer Fine Prints on November 3, 2009. Simulcast between the San Francisco and Los Angeles salesrooms, the auction will feature a diverse selection of old master, modern, contemporary prints and multiples ranging from the Renaissance to the Present and include works by masters of the craft such as John James Audubon, Georges Braque, Winslow Homer, Henri Matisse, Edward Ruscha, Andy Warhol and James Abbott McNeill Whistler.

Winslow Homer
Winslow Homer (American, 1836-1910), “Eight Bells” (G. 95), 1887. Etching on Japan paper, with anchor and dials remarques, signed in pencil, published by C. Klackner, New York, 19 1/2 x 24 3/4 in. sheet 24 3/4 x 31 1/2 in. Est. $30,000-40,000. Photo: Bonhams & Butterfields.

Highlighting the 300 lot fall auction is an important mid-century screen print by American Artist Edward Ruscha. Titled “Standard Station” (E. 5), 1966, the work depicts an iconic 1960s-style Standard Oil gas station set in the bright hues of red, orange and blue. Ruscha’s distinct technique can be seen throughout the work in the bold use of color, dramatic angles and textual, flat Pop Art style.

“Ruscha creates a visual language for the viewer with his use of stark shapes in both the positive and negative spaces within “Standard Station”. This creates a dramatic impact, which can be seen in all facets of the work including the roof of the station, gas pumps and sky. Bonhams & Butterfields is pleased to offer such an iconic piece of American vernacular history,” said Judith Eurich, Director, Fine Prints San Francisco.

Estimated to bring $30,000-40,000, the work is printed on commercial buff paper, signed in pencil, dated and numbered 33/50. “Standard Station” was published by Audrey Sabol, Villanova, Pennsylvania and printed by Art Krebs, Los Angeles, California.

Additional works of note within the Pop Art section of the sale include two pieces by Andy Warhol, which include a portrait of “Mildred Scheel” (est. $8,000 – 12,000) and “The New Spirit” (Donald Duck), from Ads, 1985. Expected to fetch $20,000-25,000, the colorful eye catching “New Spirit” screen print is signed and numbered.

“Eight Bells” (G. 95), 1887 by preeminent American artist Winslow Homer is also among the offering this fall. Largely self-taught, Homer is best known for his marine subjects such as “Eight Bells.” The nautical work depicts two sailors on the deck of a ship garbed in rain slickers at eight bells performing onboard navigational duties with a sextant. Titled “Eight Bells” in homage to the device used aboard a vessel to indicate hour and regulate watch schedules, the dramatic etching is expected to bring $30,000-40,000 on November 3, 2009.

Additional highlights from the fall auction will include an abstract black and white etching on tinted Arches paper by Georges Braque titled “Composition (Nature Morte I)” (V. 8), 1911 (est. $20,000-30,000); a touching lithograph portrait of a seated woman by Henri Matisse titled “La robe jaune au ruban noir” (D. 424), 1922 (est. $12,000-15,000); a stunning hand colored engraving by John James Audubon titled “Great Horned-Owl,” (Strix Virginiana), (Pl. 61), 1829, from the Havell edition of “The Birds of America” (est. $12,000-18,000) and a beautiful lifetime impression on watermarked paper titled “Old Battersea Bridge” (K. 177), 1879 by James Abbott McNeill Whistler (est. $7,000-9,000) among others.