BILLY AL BENGSTON | CALIFORNIA STRAIGHT AHEAD
California Straight Ahead: Property from the Collection of Dr. David Sanders and Prof. Jesse Dukeminier
BILLY AL BENGSTON
CALIFORNIA STRAIGHT AHEAD
lacquer and acrylic on aluminum
36 by 34 in. (91.5 by 86.4 cm.)
Executed in 1969.
This work is in very good condition overall. There is undulation and some indentations to the aluminum, inherent to the artist's working method. There is minor wear to the edges, visible upon close inspection. Unframed.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.
Rolf Nelson Gallery, Los Angeles
Acquired from the above by the present owner in January 1971
“When I arrived in Los Angeles in the late 1960s, a place I found foreign and alarming, the most glamorous and exciting group of people to know were in the art world. The movie stars came to them. A group of artists had emerged and connected, tightly knit to each other and place, anarchic and independent, they produced work so original it quickly acquired a national and international reputation. Their ideas were abstract but expressed through creating an object and exploring the use of materials ranging from fiberglass to light. They were hands on. The names have lasted - Price, Kienholz, Kauffman, Altoon, Moses, Bell, Irwin, Ruscha, Goode, Alexander, Wheeler, McCracken, Graham, Davis, and on and on. Billy-Al Bengston led the pack.”
- Mary Agnes Donoghue, 2014
Vibrant, expressive and refined, the collection of Dr. David Sanders and Prof. Jesse Dukeminier comprises a diverse group of paintings, sculptures and works on paper by the foremost minds in abstraction. The works in the collection are a testament to the power of color and form, their capacity to communicate complex theories and concepts, and their vital function as sources of inspiration and delight.
Ranging from intimately scaled works on paper, such as the gestural and tempestuous drawing by Joan Mitchell, to works which are exemplars of their respective creator’s oeuvres, such as John McCracken’s Plume, the artworks in the collection tell the story of postwar abstraction. Devoted to the arts, Dr. Sanders and Prof. Dukeminier built their house around their collection and loved to share it with their large circle of friends. Dr. Sanders and Prof. Dukeminier lived with a Californian sensibility, which made them open to new experiences and welcoming to others who, like themselves, came to California from diverse backgrounds. They are remembered for their love and generosity for the city of Los Angeles, its institutions and the LGBT community.
Together, the works in the collection provide a window into their unique sense of passion and purpose, enduring as a record of postwar abstraction as filtered through their singular point of view.