On November 1, 2022 Bonhams will present a single-owner sale, The Collection of G. Andrew Bjurman, in Los Angeles which will feature 120 top-tier lots of Western Art.
More from the organizers:
Quietly amassed over the last few decades, Bjurman’s world-class collection benefits from his discerning eye for quality and rarity, encompassing 150 years of Western American art from mid-19th century examples by Thomas Moran and Alfred Jacob Miller, to choice selections by most of the Taos Society of Artists founding members, to fine examples by contemporary Western artists including Cowboy Artists of America members. A generous art patron throughout his life, the proceeds of the sale will benefit Bjurman’s eponymous foundation.
Featured in the auction are museum-quality examples by Taos Society of Artists founders O.E. Berninghaus, Joseph Henry Sharp, William Robinson Leigh, Walter Ufer, Frank Tenney Johnson, and Ernest Blumenschein.
Highlighting the selection is “Ancient Forest of the Indians” by Oscar Edmund Berninghaus (1874-1952), estimated at $300,000 – 500,000. This beautiful example of the artist’s work features two Native American figures and their horses in a forest clearing. Berninghaus’ sophisticated use of sunlight and shadow as well as the exceptionally strong subject make this one of the most important works by the artist to be offered publicly in many years.
Depicting a single-seated cowboy and his horse, “An Idle Dreamer” by Frank Tenney Johnson (1874-1939) is a masterwork showcasing the artist’s ability to depict solitude on the Western range in a sympathetic and romantic way. It is estimated at $250,000 – 350,000.
In addition, there are historic offerings by 19th-century artists including Charles Marion Russell, Thomas Moran, and Albert Bierstadt. Of note are two important works by Thomas Moran (1837-1926) – “Green River, Utah,” estimated at $80,000 – 120,000, and “Hance’s Canyon,” estimated at $40,000 – 60,000. Both paintings are excellent examples from Moran’s oeuvre which is dominated by monumental landscapes depicting the American West.
Bjurman’s singular collecting taste is also showcased in works by artists with California connections including six Pomo children-focused works by Grace Carpenter Hudson (1865-1937), exceptional paintings and etchings by Edward Borein (1872-1942), and a stellar oil and a watercolor by Maynard Dixon (1875-1946). Dixon’s oil painting, “Chollas against the Mountains,” from 1944, is a strong example of the artist’s late works executed when he was living in Tucson, Arizona, estimated at $120,000 – 180,000. Dixon’s bold southwestern color palette, his use of strong lines and diagonals, and the sculptural way he crafts the mountains and foreground rocky landscapes come together to create a very complex and dynamic composition.
The collection is rounded out by a strong selection of modern and contemporary works by artists Winold Reiss, Joe Beeler, James Reynolds, Robert Lougheed, Kim Wiggins, and Jim Rey. A co-founder of Cowboy Artists of America, Joe Neil Beeler (1931-2006) has nine works featured in the sale including a bronze, “Night Song,” depicting an Indigenous man playing a flute and estimated at $10,000 – 15,000.
An additional contemporary highlight is an oil painting, “El Domingo,” by Kim Douglas Wiggins (b. 1960), a painter and sculptor best known for his expressionist landscapes and distinctly modern interpretation of the West, estimated at $8,000 – 12,000.
An additional 35 choice Western lots from Bjurman’s collection will be included in the California and Western Online auction that opens November 22.
Bonhams’ Western Art sale will take place shortly after the conclusion of the single-owner sale on November 1. The various owner sale will feature major works from artists such as Nicolai Fechin, Carl Clemens Moritz Rungius, Frank Schreyvogel, and Frank Tenney Johnson.
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