Fine Art PR Publicity Announcements News and Information
Fine Art PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Bonhams & Butterfields Announce Made in California Contemporary Art Auction May 24

Bonhams & Butterfields, will offer contemporary art from the Golden State during the firm’s Made in California auction on May 24, 2011. Simulcast between Los Angeles and San Francisco, the sale features art by prominent Bay Area Figurative Artists and the best of L.A.’s Cool School. Though regional in theme, the sale offers work by artists such as Wayne Thiebaud, Richard Diebenkorn, Edward Kienholz, Paul Wonner, Jay DeFeo, Mary Corse, Gregory Kondos, Larry Bell, and others. With estimates starting at $1,000, the sale has broad appeal.

In 2006, Director Holly Sherratt developed the biannual Made in California to showcase the state’s modern, surreal, abstract, and conceptual artists. As Sherratt notes, “The firm’s California and Western Paintings Department has had great success offering works from the early 20th century and now the Made in California sale picks up where the more traditional sale left off and achieves record prices for the state’s leading contemporary artists.”

The upcoming sale features an especially important selection of Bay Area art, including Milkshake & Sandwiches by legendary artist Wayne Thiebaud. Best known for his paintings of pies and cakes, Thiebaud was one of the earliest artists to depict everyday objects in a Pop Art style. In keeping with the artist’s signature style, Thiebaud painted Milkshake & Sandwiches with expressive brushstrokes as thick as frosting. The enticing painting will be offered with a delicious $600,000-800,000 estimate.

The May sale also includes a figurative untitled work from 1957 by Richard Diebenkorn (est. $60,000-80,000). “The Diebenkorn Estate had been looking for this gouache for years. They were surprised and pleased to see it surface from a local collector,” says Sherratt. “Although the untitled is not a portrait, the family noticed a resemblance to the artist’s wife, Phyllis.”

The sale also includes important works that are rarely seen at auction, including a large abstract oil by Jay DeFeo (est. $80,000-120,000) and a Ferus-era Edward Kienholz assemblage that was exhibited at the Menill Collection in Houston (est. $15,000-20,000); and an early abstract work by Bruce Conner, consigned by a friend who knew the artist when he was still working at street fairs (est. $8,000-12,000).

Other sale highlights include Japanese Ceramics & Hawaiian Flowers by Paul Wonner (est. $20,000-30,000); Grey Light Grid Series, 1987, by Mary Corse (est. $15,000-20,000); and River Trees, 1999, by Gregory Kondos (est. $15,000-20,000).

For more information about the sale or to consign property to a future sale, please visit

San Francisco Preview: May 13-15, 2011

Los Angeles Preview: May 20-22, 2011

Auction: May 24, 2011, Los Angeles (simulcast to San Francisco)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *