LOS ANGELES, CA.-The closing section of the Spring "Made in California" auction at Bonhams & Butterfields on May 5th will include a collection of 20 works of art to be sold to benefit Ms. Morgan Thomas, an active and vital presence in the Los Angeles art community in the 1970s. The featured artists have generously agreed to donate the proceeds from the sale of their artwork to benefit the gallerist at a time of her crucial need.
Modern and Contemporary California art takes center stage at the Sunset Blvd. gallery of Bonhams & Butterfields' during its biannual Made in California sale on May 5, 2008. The auction is to be simulcast to Los Angeles and San Francisco, featuring works by the Golden State's leading artists, including modernist paintings of the mid-20th century and the genre-defying work of today. Multiple lots on offer have been consigned for this sale with the proceeds designated to support Morgan Thomas.
In the 1970s, Morgan Thomas directed and led innovative galleries in the Los Angeles area. Her efforts focused on presenting exhibitions of many artists associated with CalArts -- including John Baldessari and Jack Goldstein, among other groundbreaking artists of the times.
In 1977 Thomas, Connie Lewallen, and Claire Copley developed the non-profit organization Foundation for Art Resources (FAR). The foundation enabled the gallerists to work more flexibly with the artists they supported. During this time, FAR produced John Baldessari's film Six Colorful Inside Jobs and James Lee Byars' performance and book Open America, which took place in Los Angeles and New York. Still operating today, FAR is the longest extant arts cooperative operating in Los Angeles without an exhibition space.
According to Bonhams & Butterfields consulting specialist Cecelia Dan: "It is wonderful to see the Los Angeles arts community, including galleries and artists, among them: David Amico, Dan Graham, Gemini GEL, Peter Alexander, James Welling, Harmony Hammond, Jim Isermann, and Lita Albuquerque, donating their works to offer aid to an inspiring woman who assisted them at the beginning of their careers."
Today, Ms. Thomas is in financial need due to massive injuries suffered in a car accident. Several artists graciously decided to offer works from their personal collections to be sold to take up the cause of their former champion. The proceeds from the sale of their lots will assist with her recovery.
Highlights of these lots include Pat Steir's silkscreen Blue, 2004, (est. $5/7,000); two silkscreens by Jim Shaw from the artist's "Dream Drawing" series (est. $3/5,000 each); a lithograph entitled Noses & Ears, Etc.: Couple and Man with Gun, 2007, by John Baldessari (est. $2,500/3,500); David Amico's Split C White Diamond (C Series) (est. $4/6,000) and artwork by William Leavitt, Dan Graham, Al Ruppersberg, Peter Alexander, James Welling and Morgan Fisher.
The Made in California sale is highlighted by Roland Petersen's vibrant oil on canvas Spring Picnic (est. $80/120,000); Expanding Structure by Claire Falkenstein (est. $10/15,000); and a striking graphite on paper nude by David Park Study for Four Women, 1959 (est. $10/15,000).
With specialists in New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco, the Modern and Contemporary Art Department has amassed an extraordinary collection for May's sale, showcasing the exceptional creativity of the state's leading modern and contemporary artists. Made in California will follow the international Modern and Contemporary auction that begins at 10am. Artwork from both sales will be on preview in San Francisco on April 25-27 and in Los Angeles on May 2-4.