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Edward Ruscha print sets auction record

November 4, 2009 |  5:15 pm

Ruscha-StandardStation “Standard Station (E. 5),” a 1966 print by Edward Ruscha, was sold today for $170,000 — the top price in a Bonhams & Butterfields auction.

Paintings by the Los Angeles-based artist have commanded up to $6.9 million at auction, the sum fetched by “Burning Gas Station” in 2007, but “Standard Station” soared past its estimated selling price of $30,000 to $40,000, setting an auction record for a Ruscha print.

The crisp, brightly colored image of a Standard Oil station is No. 33 of an edition of 50 screenprints published by Audrey Sabol in Villanova, Pa., and printed by Art Krebs in Los Angeles. The previous auction record for a Ruscha print was established in 2007, when “Hollywood” was sold for $133,000.

The Bonhams & Butterfields sale, simulcast in Los Angeles and San Francisco, brought in more than $1 million from an eclectic offering of fine prints and multiples by Old Masters and modern and contemporary artists. But none came close to the Ruscha, the cover piece on the auction catalog.

-- Suzanne Muchnic

Photo: "Standard Station (E. 5)," 1966 screenprint by Edward Ruscha. Credit: Courtesy of Bonhams & Butterfields.