Bonhams hosts inaugural contemporary evening and day sales

11 May 2012, Contemporary Part 2

Bonhams hosts inaugural contemporary evening and day sales

11 May 2012, Contemporary Part 2

NEW YORK — Bonhams new Contemporary Art Department is delighted to announce their inaugural sale on May 10 and May 11, which will include works sold to benefit the Missing Peace Project. The two auctions, Contemporary Part 1 and Contemporary Part 2, both have been finely curated by the two new leaders of the New York department—Jennifer Yum, U.S. Head of Sales and Jeremy Goldsmith, U.S. Director of the Contemporary Department.

Jennifer Yum states, "We are delighted to hold the inaugural Contemporary Art Sale in New York this May. Our offerings include fresh works to the market and works never sold at auction that will appeal to new and seasoned buyers alike. We look forward to this new and exciting endeavor."

Leading the auction is Composition from Franz Kline, a seminal figure in the Abstract Expressionist movement (pre-sale est. $200,000-300,000). This work originally made in 1954 was given directly from the artist to the present owner as a wedding gift in 1958. This spontaneous and vivid oil and paper collage captures his signature dynamic and colorful brushstrokes.

Also leading the auction is Tom Sachs' charming sculpture, Love Birds, a cast of two birds sitting together beak to beak. Sachs employs the method of bricolage, a practice of putting together discrete or found materials to fashion something new. This cast bronze is number 5 from an edition of 5 (pre-sale est. $125,000-175,000).

Another highlight in the auction is Vik Muniz's Maria Callas from his "Picture of Diamonds" series (pre-sale est. $100,000-150,000). This "brilliant" image is created by re-fashioning Michael Ochs' photograph of the celebrated soprano Maria Callas, which he shaped out of 550 carats of brilliantly cut Kwiat diamonds (over 3,000 individual pieces). This was part of the first set of legendary leading ladies that the artist created out of images of diamonds, which includes Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor.

The second part of the Contemporary Part 1 auction will be dedicated to works offered by the Missing Peace Project. The works were generously donated by artists and most have never been offered at auction. This is a rare opportunity to acquire world-class works of art dedicated to supporting the worldwide mission of peace. Leading the group of works is Ghanaian artist El Anatsui's immense tapestry of flattened bottle caps titled Harbinger (pre-sale est. $700,000-900,000). A few of the other artists represented are Chuck Close, Marina Abramovic, Bill Viola, Jenny Holzer and Richard Avedon.

The Contemporary Part 2 auction will take place the following day on May 11. Lots on offer include Richard McLean's Trophy (pre-sale est. $30,000-40,000); Mel Ramos' I Still Get a Thrill When I See Bill #3 (pre-sale est. $20,000-30,000); Julian Opie's I Think I Usually... (pre-sale est. $30,000-50,000); and Alexander Calder's Elliptique (pre-sale est. $35,000-45,000).

Press Contacts:

Julie Saunders Guinta
(917) 206-1681


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and appraisal services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to

Related auctions