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Ed Ruscha Work is the Gem of Bonhams Post-War & Contemporary Art x Made in California Auction

Los Angeles – WEBWIRE

Post War & Contemporary Art X Made in California

13 Sep 2023

Los Angeles  

An exceptional pastel and pencil work on paper from 1968 titled Gem by the influential artist Ed Ruscha (b. 1937) is the highlight of Bonhams’ Post-War & Contemporary Art x Made in California sale on September 13 in Los Angeles. Enamored with the glamor of California from a young age, Ruscha, who will have a major career retrospective at the MoMA this September, has spent his adult life on the West Coast and his oeuvre has been deeply influenced by the culture and atmosphere of the area. Working as a sign painter and typesetter when first moving to Los Angeles at 18, Ruscha’s visual vocabulary is fundamentally inspired by advertising and graphic design and Gem, estimated at $700,000 – 1,000,000, is a quintessential example of his transformation of word into image. Gem will be presented with over 100 works from international blue chip and emerging artists as well as the California artists Bonhams has long championed such as Lynne Drexler, Lynda Benglis, Robert Arneson, Ernie Barnes, and Jaune Quick-To-See Smith.

An additional highlight of the sale is a large-scale painting, Untitled (White Inner Band, Beveled Edge), 2008, by Mary Corse (b. 1945), estimated at $300,000 – 400,000. Corse is a fundamental member of the Light and Space movement which originated in Southern California in the 1960s and sought to examine the complexity and possibility of light and its perception. Overshadowed in the movement until recently, Corse was a pioneer creating a bridge between tradition and innovation to produce works of art that are ingenious in both physical material and ethereal effect.

The sale will also feature works from the collection of Carol Rosenzweig, a television writer and pioneering telethon producer, and Saul Rosenzweig, a media and communications executive and investor, as well as the estate of Constance Lewallen, a highly regarded Bay Area curator known for expanding the canon of what was considered Conceptual art and her championing of West Coast artists. Highlights of the collection include Untitled, circa 1990, a work on paper, by Bruce Conner (1933-2008), estimated at $2,000 – 3,000, and Untitled, circa 1995, a painted ceramic, by Ron Nagle (b. 1939), estimated at $3,000 – 5,000. Additional works from her estate will be featured in Post-War & Contemporary Art X Made in California Online from September 6 – 15.

Additional sale highlights include:

Santa Fe Gold Mask I, 1991 by Lynda Benglis (b. 1941), an American sculptor known for exquisitely detailed metallic sculptures, is estimated at $80,000 – 120,000.

Jack, 1986, a portrait of the artist Jackson Pollock, by Robert Arneson (1930-1992) is estimated at $100,000 – 150,000. Arneson is an American sculptor and leader of the funk art movement which began in the Bay Area and focuses on the absurdity of everyday objects.

Phone Booth, circa 2012 by Shepard Fairey (b. 1970), an American contemporary artist known for creating the famous Obama Hope poster, is estimated at $15,000 – 20,000. The work was acquired directly from Fairey in 2012 by the celebrated American photographer David LaChapelle.

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