Bonhams' Made in California art sale breaks four world records

Bonhams' April 2 auction in Los Angeles, entitled Made in California: Contemporary Art, proved highly successful, with four new artist records set.

Hassel Smith auction record
'My paintings are intended to be additions to rather than reflections of or upon life' - Hassel Smith

The auction realised a total of $1.3m, with 90% of lots sold. New records were set for works by Ronald Davis, Ed Moses, Hassel Smith and Jack Zajac.

The most resounding success of the sale was Hassel Smith's Untitled Yellow, a 1960 oil on canvas that achieved an auction record for the artist of $53,790, a 115.1% increase on its $25,000 high estimate.

Following closely behind with another artist record was Ed Moses' 1957 Untitled, a widely admired piece from the early stage of his career. It sold for $50,000.

Ronald Davis auction record
Vee Wave (pictured) was one of two Ronald Davis works that sold well

Ronald Davis' work also fared particularly well, with the auction record for his work set by a cel-vinyl and dry pigment on canvas work entitled Vee Wave, which sold 133.3% above its $15,000 high estimate at $35,000.  Another Davis work in the same medium sold for $23,750 - a 97.9% increase on the $12,000 valuation.

Finally, Jack Zajac's bronze sculpture Ram Skull with Broken Horn IV brought the fourth artist record of the auction, realising $20,000 - up 185.7% on estimate.

A record price for a bronze sculpture by Nathan Oliveira at auction was also achieved, with his Figure Three selling within estimate at $62,500.

2013 has seen the art market looking towards emerging contemporary artists as a new place to invest; Christie's First Open sale, held on March 8 in New York, achieved a record total for an auction of its kind. Bonhams' auction of the Laverty Collection also set a new record for a contemporary art sale in Australia.

Stay on top of the latest developments in the art world with our free weekly newsletter.

Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£65,000
In stock