Dazzling Ruth Asawa Sculpture Tops Bonhams Sale Of Post-War & Contemporary Art

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New York – A dazzling wire work by Ruth Asawa (1926-2013), Untitled (S.408 Hanging Five-Lobed, Two-Part Form, with the Second and Third Lobes Attached by Chain and Interior Spheres in the First and Third Lobes) sold for $2,180,075 at Bonhams Post-War & Contemporary Art sale on July 1 in New York. It had an estimate of $1,000,000-1,500,000. The sale also established new world auction records for two artists.

Bonhams Global Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art, Ralph Taylor, said: “Today’s results were exceptional and we were pleased to welcome our clients from all over world to our ‘behind-closed-doors’ auction. Collectors responded positively to our selection of post-war and contemporary art of high quality such as Asawa’s Untitled (S.408), that was fresh to the market with impeccable provenance. I’m thrilled it achieved such an impressive and deserved result.”

Untitled (S.408) was acquired in 1954, directly from the artist by the present owners, who were family friends. The work has remained hanging in the same family collection ever since. Asawa herself would often visit the house to see the sculpture, which was placed near a window to channel the light. This was the first time Untitled (S.408) has ever been seen publicly.

Additional highlights included:

  • Ed Clark (American, 1926-2019) Red Head, 1967, acrylic on burlap. Sold for $350,075.
  • Roni Horn (American, 1955), When Dickinson Shut Her Eyes, no. 863, 1993. Sold for $200,075.
  • John McLaughlin (American, 1898-1976) #1 1972. Sold for $187,575.
  • Bernice Bing (Chinese/American, 1936-1998), Big Sur, 1967, acrylic on canvas. Sold for $43,825, World Auction Record for Artist.
  • Elaine Lustig Cohen (American, 1927-2016), Raphia, 1976, acrylic on canvas. Sold for $25,075, World Auction Record for Artist.
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