Los Angeles - The April 1st Made in California: Contemporary Art auction at Bonhams witnessed an excited yet discerning crowd, all vying to take home a piece from the selection of works by Californian artists. The auction achieved a spectacular result with a total sale of $1.4 million and 93% of lots sold and 95% sold by value. There was buzzing excitement in the room as many of the items in the auction reached above their high estimates when the auctioneer brought down his gavel.
The momentum of the auction began early on when Charles Howard's painting "Bouquet" 1932, achieved more than ten times its low estimate with a final sale of $125,000, a remarkable result garnering a new world record price for the artist. Bonhams set another world record with Raimonds Staprans's painting "Blue Boat," 1994, which sold for $87,500. Also impressive, John Register's painting "Man on Bed," 1995, sold for nearly three times its high estimate at $90,000. Ronald Davis's snap line painting "Wave Duet," 1978 also achieved more than twice its high estimate, selling for $35,000.
The top highlights of the auction included Ruth Asawa "Untitled (S.604, Wall Mounted on a Base, Tied Wire, Closed Centre, Multi-Branched Form Based on Nature)" from 1963. A bidding war emerged between a client in Los Angeles and a counterpart in San Francisco. Ultimately the sculpture sold for $197,000 to the Bay Area bidder, a significant result for one of the artist's tied wire works. In addition, Asawa's looped-wire sculpture "Untitled (S.606, Hanging Single-Lobed Five-Layer Continuous Form Within a Form)" circa 1962, reached a final price of $118,750 bringing the total for works sold by Asawa to over $300,000.
The auction also featured two paintings by John Altoon. With the upcoming retrospective at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, bidders were enthusiastic to acquire a work by the artist. As a result, the two large-scale paintings, "Untitled," 1960 and "Untitled," circa 1958, each found new owners for $68,750 and $43,750 respectively.
Other works successfully sold were Robert Graham's bronze "Gabrielle" 1993, selling for $43,750 and Judy Chicago's "Boadaceia, Test Plate from The Dinner Party" 1978, a seminal work of feminist art, selling for $35,000.
According to Bonhams Contemporary Art Specialist, Brooke Corley, "We are pleased with the strong prices and high sell through rate of the April 1 auction. We continue to see growth in this category confirming the importance of California artists in the market."
Further information on the auction's results are found at: www.bonhams.com/auctions/21438.
The next Made in California auction is currently accepting consignments. For further details, please visit: www.bonhams.com/madeincalifornia.
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NOTES FOR EDITORS
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 valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com