Auction Records Highlight Bonhams Sale of California and American Paintings and Sculpture

The April 7, 2009 auction of California and American Paintings and Sculpture at Bonhams & Butterfields offered a wide array of important Western scenes, Plein Air, Society of Six, and land and cityscapes by noted California and American artists. The Los Angeles-based sale brought more than $4,178,000 and established four new world auction records for artists Bernard von Eichman, Carl Von Perbandt, Arthur Grover Rider and Granville Redmond.

“The market for California and American painting and sculpture continues to be strong. Solid prices and vibrant bidder participation were seen in a number of collecting areas. Interest in April sale reflected an ongoing constancy in the marketplace for fresh and unique works,” said Scot Levitt, Vice President and Fine Arts Department Head.

The top painting of the 179-lot sale was an impressionist work titled Poppies and lupine by a lake with mountains in the distance by Granville Redmond that sold for a new world auction record $542,000. As the auction catalogue’s cover lot, the work displays dashed brushstrokes and bright shades of blue and brilliant yellow. According to Levitt: “Drawing on the contours and colors of the rich California landscape, Redmond illuminates ideal places with pointillist dabs of flowers and washes of shadows. Poppies and lupine by a lake is a powerful example of his quintessential style.”

Works by Guy Rose, Ernest Martin Hennings and Armin Hansen also performed well during the auction which was simulcast to the San Francisco gallery. Among the highlights was Fishermen salvaging a wreck by Hansen, which sold for $290,000; Carmel seascape (A blue sea, Carmel) by Rose and Riders in the foothills by Hennings, which both sold for $512,000.

As California’s oldest and largest auctioneers, Bonhams & Butterfields has established a reputation as a preeminent source for California and American works of art at auction. Sales featuring works of California Art at the firm will continue on May 4, 2009 with Made in California. The May auction will feature a long list of talented modern and contemporary California artists. With estimates starting at $500, the artwork is accessible to a wide range of bidders. Highlights will include some of the most important names in California contemporary art: Ruth Asawa, Frank Lobdell, Paul Wonner, Robert Graham, Roland Petersen, Richard Diebenkorn, Wayne Thiebaud, John Baldessari, Lari Pittman, Jim Shaw, Peter Voulkos and Eric Orr.