First Opportunity to View Aulerich-Sugai Cell Painting from 1988

 Ed Aulerich-Sugai,  Cells: C-28 , 1988. Water-based media on paper; 43.75 x 35 inches. Collection of the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Ed Aulerich-Sugai, Cells: C-28, 1988. Water-based media on paper; 43.75 x 35 inches. Collection of the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

This summer, the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive will exhibit a rarely seen work by Ed Aulerich-Sugai in the exhibition Way Bay 2. Never publicly shown, the work represents one of a series of mixed media works on paper produced between 1986 – 1989. The Cells series, including over 100 paintings and drawings, displays a broad range in the use of color, form, and texture. In 1988, Aulerich-Sugai completed the painting currently on display at BAMPFA, Cells: C-28, in response to his diagnosis the previous autumn with HIV-related illnesses. The work represents an interrogation of his illness and the virus weakening his immune system. The painting's composition was influenced by Aulerich-Sugai's study of ukiyo-e woodblock prints.

As the second iteration of an innovatively organized exhibition of art, film, performance, poetry, and archival materials, Way Bay 2 continues BAMPFA's wide-ranging exploration of the creative energies that have emerged from the San Francisco Bay Area over two centuries. The exhibition features almost two hundred works by Bay Area artists and others whose work engages directly with the region’s geographic and cultural landscape and highlights dozens of recent acquisitions. Of these new acquisitions, many bring a focus to the ways women and people of color have contributed their voices to historic cultural moments in the Bay. Way Bay 2 is on view at BAMPFA from June 13 – September 2, 2018.

Sonya Rapoport's work finds new audience in 2018

Sonya Rapoport's work finds new audience in 2018

Throughout 2018, Sonya Rapoport's legacy and spirit of experimentation is being highlighted through a number of exhibitions and events across the Bay Area: San Francisco's Minnesota Street Projects featured Rapoport's drawing in a group exhibition organized by Romer Young Gallery; the Berkeley Art Museum exhibited her work in a major collection show; and in an upcoming musical performance, Berkeley's Kala Art Institute will focus on her Anasazi series as a source for new creative interpretations by composer-performer team Hae Voces.

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Acquisitions at BAMPFA to be shown in upcoming exhibition "Way Bay"

Acquisitions at BAMPFA to be shown in upcoming exhibition "Way Bay"

We are pleased to announce that the work of two artists whose estates KunstWorks has advised will be included in the upcoming show Way Bay at the Berkeley Art Museum. Sonya Rapoport's Survey Chart #19 (1971) and Ed Aulerich-Sugai's Ghosts and Demons: Diptych (1989) will be on display at BAMPFA from January 17–May 6, 2018.

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Giving back to art and artists: Carole Doyle Peel exhibition at Kala Art Institute

 KunstWorks' Christopher Squier curated the exhibition of Carole Doyle Peel at Kala

KunstWorks' Christopher Squier curated the exhibition of Carole Doyle Peel at Kala

We are proud to have worked with the Estate of Carole Doyle Peel (1934-2016) to realize the artist's vision. Peel was a graduate of University of California Berkeley's Department of Art and taught drawing at California College of the Art for over forty years. On Sunday, April 30, her retrospective exhibition, curated by KunstWorks' Christopher Squier, will open at Kala Art Institute. Proceeds from sales from the exhibition will support students at CCA, where the Carole Doyle Peel Scholarship Fund has been established. Two important works by Peel were added last week to the collection of the Berkeley Art Museum, where a fund in Peel's memory will be used to acquire drawings for the museum's collection.

Irving Guyer would have celebrated 101 today

KunstWorks is pleased to have facilitated the exhibition of late paintings by Irving Guyer (1916-2012) in honor of his 101st birthday. In the last decade of his life, while living in the Sierra Foothills, Guyer created a series of paintings of trees that explore the border between nature and abstraction.  For the first time, a group of these is shown in the Bay Area, thanks to the efforts of Guyer's family and North Berkeley Investment Partners. At the reception on May 4, Leonie Guyer, the artist's daughter and an accomplished painter, will be in conversation with NBIP's Kate Campbell, who has been spearheading an ambitious art program at the firm's offices..

With the decline of federal arts funding, artist-endowed foundations may step in

Just days into Donald J. Trump’s first month in office, members of the president’s transition team have scheduled dramatic budget cuts to federal spending including the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The elimination of the NEA, which only makes up 0.003 percent of the federal budget, will leave arts organizations throughout the country without funding for future exhibitions and programs.

However, the recent growth in artist-endowed foundations may serve to replace the loss of federal funding threatened by the new administration. In fact, the educational and policy-making think tank the Aspen Institute issued a report documenting the increasing role of artist-endowed foundations in grantmaking and charitable disbursements. According to their report, there are now 363 operating artist-endowed foundations, reporting $3.48 billion in total assets (in 2010), with approximately two-thirds of these foundations formed between 1991 and 2010.

On November 7, 2016, Alla Efimova participated in the Aspen Institute’s Artist-Endowed Foundation Leadership Forum, at which senior leaders of 60 artist-endowed foundations gathered in New York City for the second annual Artist-Endowed Foundation Leadership Forum. The forum was an invitational symposium at which foundation leaders discussed key issues and innovations in the fields of art stewardship and cultural philanthropy. As a growing field of philanthropy, artist-endowed foundations might represent a powerful, new force in grantmaking to counter the effects of the Trump administration.

Report from the inaugural conference on artists' estates

On September 14-15 2016, Alla Efimova participated in the Institute for Artists' Estates' inaugural conference, KEEPING THE LEGACY ALIVE in Berlin. The conference welcomed over 220 artists, artists' estates, and art world professionals from all over the world to discuss ideas and solutions for successful artist estate planning and management. The conference coincided with the publication of The Artists' Estate: A Handbook for Artists, Executors, and Heirs by Loretta Würtenberger (Hatje Cantz, 2016). Conference proceedings are now available online and the book can be ordered on Amazon.

KunstWorks to present seminar on legacy planning

Please join me for the seminar I am giving at North Berkeley Investment Partners on October 25th. NBIP is a progressive, value-driven financial planning and investment management company committed to arts and culture in Berkeley. I am delighted that they are hosting the event. Please RSVP here. I hope to see you for a lively discussion.

Art/Artist in the Family
A Personal Legacy Seminar


Tuesday, October 25 from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

 North Berkeley Investment Partners

1820 Solano Avenue, Berkeley

Alla Efimova, Founder, KunstWorks

Join us for an insightful look into stewardship of art collections for individuals and families caring for art assets. Caring for art is a deeply personal and emotional responsibility. Alla Efimova is the Founder and Principal of KunstWorks, a contemporary arts management company with world-class expertise, offering comprehensive unbiased services for artists, heirs, and collectors to uncover the value in and design the future of their art assets.

If you are:
• An artist ready to take control of your legacy
• A family or executor caring for an artist’s estate
• A collector looking for best stewardship of your collection
You will learn about strategies, solutions, and best practices in today’s changing art world. Topics include legal and tax fundamentals, financing structures, working with museums and art institutions, and estate and legacy planning.

Just published: Sonya Rapoport, Yes or No?

I am delighted to announce my new publication Sonya Rapoport: Yes or No? (Mills College Art Museum, 2016), co-authored with Terri Cohn. The book is available at

 Detail of Sonya Rapoport,  Yes or No? . Paper collage on pages of New York Times. 2014-15.

Detail of Sonya Rapoport, Yes or No?. Paper collage on pages of New York Times. 2014-15.

Sonya Rapoport (1923-2015) was a Berkeley-based conceptual artist whose career consistently defied stereotypes and expectations. Yes or No? is an autobiographical work created in the last year of Rapoport's life. It is a series of twelve seductively complex collages, based on pages of the New York Times, that convey the parting observations of an artist who kept ahead of her time for more than six decades. Art historians Alla Efimova and Terri Cohn decipher and interpret this tour de force of visual philosophy to make it accessible to Rapoport's viewers and readers. Writer and curator Marcia Tanner described the Yes or No? series as “offer(ing) an elegiac coda to Rapoport’s lifetime of art making.”


Rapoport was among the first women to receive an MA in Painting (UC Berkeley, 1949) and compete in the male-dominated field of Abstract Expressionism. In the 1960s she began challenging the domain of science by parodying its rigid conventions in performances and installations from a woman’s perspective. She was a pioneer among artists using emerging computer technologies in the 1980s and took a leadership role in the MIT Press journal Leonardo. Rapoport leaves an artistic legacy that includes works in many media, including paintings, works on paper, performance artifacts and documentation, sculptural objects, and digital works. She was the subject of two late-career retrospective exhibitions (2011, 2012) and the book Pairing of Polarities: The Life and Art of Sonya Rapoport, edited by Terri Cohn (Heyday, 2012).

Rapoport’s name is recognized nationally and internationally through her participation in over 50 major exhibitions, including the 2006 Whitney Biennial, “Violence without Bodies” in 2005 at the Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid, the 2002 Bienal de Arte in Buenos Aires, and Documenta 8 in 1987 in Kassel, Germany.

Yes or No? was first exhibited at Krowswork, a center for video and visionary art in Oakland, California, in 2015, in partnership with the Sonya Rapoport Legacy Trust, whose director, Farley Gwazda, contributed a personal and insightful reflection on working with Rapoport in the last years of her life. Support for the catalogue was generously provided by the Jay DeFeo Trust, through fiscal sponsorship of Kala Art Institute, and published by Mills College Art Museum on the occasion of the acquisition of Yes or No? for their collection.

Order your copy at