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Yours Truly, Wendell Castle

Wednesday, March 21, 4:30PM

Pacific Design Center 
Thomas Lavin, Suite B31

As America’s foremost furniture artist, Wendell Castle, turns 80, Thomas Lavin hosts a conversation on collecting Wendell’s pieces sold through showrooms. The father of the art furniture movement himself will travel from the small town of Scottsville in upstate New York where he lives and works to honor us with his presence. Please join us as Wendell; design historian and author Emily Eerdmans, who is writing a book on Wendell’s art furniture; Los Angeles Modern Auctions founder Peter Loughrey; and interior designer Tommy Chambers discuss the collectibility of Wendell Castle Collection furniture.

This conversation is one of many events that will be held at the Pacific Design Center during West Week, the essential industry gathering designed to inspire – with over 60 cutting-edge programs.

For a complete guide to West Week, please click here. 


LAMA’s rocks arrived one day earlier than LACMA’s rock.

While theirs only had to travel from Riverside, ours came all the way from France, and still got here a day earlier.  Oh, and ours light up.

To see the LAMA Rocks, come to the preview, which starts on April 25th.

For the past week we have been busy photographing paintings, prints, sculptures, design, lighting, and decorative objects for the upcoming May 6, 2012 Modern Art & Design Auction.

Group of five lighted rocks in the May 6, 2012 Modern Art & Design Auction

Soon we will be working rigorously on the May 6th Auction catalogue. You won’t want to miss this auction. Pre-order your catalogue here.

Panel Discussion

Peter Loughrey of LAMA and Girard O’Brien of Reform will be hosting an artist panel discussion at the Loft at Liz’s this Saturday, March 3rd at 1:30 p.m.

Artists on the panel include:

Jerry Ackerman

Max Finkelstein

Pamela Weir-Quiton

 Max Finkelstein with his sculpture Flight in the LAMA showroom (Oct. 2010)

Event Information:

Saturday, March 3rd

The Loft at Liz’s Antique Hardware
453 S. La Brea
Los Angeles, CA  90036

LAMA Fine Art Storage

Need a safe, reliable place to store your valuables?

Los Angeles Modern Auctions now offers fine art and design storage from a single piece to a personal collection.

To inquire about having your collectibles placed in LAMA’s climate controlled, secure storage facility, please email or call Shannon Loughrey at or 323-904-1950.

Richard Neutra Channel Heights Housing Project Prototype Table Lamp









Upon America’s entrance into Word War II in 1941, the country focused on wartime production to supply armaments and vehicles for campaigns in Western Europe and the Pacific. In order to house the thousands of workers building ships in the San Pedro Harbor, architect Richard Neutra (1892-1970) was commissioned to design the Channel Heights Housing Project. Families living in the low-rent structures had access to a health center, gardens, daycare, and even a woodshop for the workers to build their own furniture. The rooms were spartan but comfortable, outfitted with built-in furniture and Neutra’s famous Boomerang Chair. Prior to the completion of the development, Julius Shulman photographed the lamp resting on a Channel Heights windowsill. The housing project long ago demolished, the lamp, designed at Neutra’s Silver Lake workspace, has remained in the family’s California homes ever since. According to Neutra’s son, Raymond, “This lamp and I have grown old together, surviving the battering of seven decades and showing the inevitable scars.”

– Paul Des Marais, Contributing Writer

One of only two known examples to survive, this lamp is the epitome of what would later be known as “form follows function”. Four simple planks of wood, a pane of glass, a light bulb, and wire come together in an elegantly simple design that captures Neutra’s essence. His programmatic architecture is reflected in the cantilevered and asymmetrical elements.

– Peter Loughrey

Dr. Neutra who is auctioning this family heirloom, is donating the proceeds to the Cal Poly Pomona Foundation for the restoration of the Richard and Dion Neutra VDL studio and residences.


Lot Information:

Richard Neutra
Prototype table lamp
Channel Heights Housing Project
10.125″ h x 18″ l x 4″ d
Estimate $20,000 – $30,000
To be offered in the May 6, 2012 Modern Art & Design Auction 

California Design Symposium Starts Today

LACMA presents:

New Narratives for “Living in a Modern Way”: California Design at Mid-century

Today marks the first day of the two-day symposium chaired  by California Design co-curators Wendy Kaplan and Bobbye Tigerman. This two-day symposium features internationally renowned scholars who examine the exhibition’s themes by presenting detailed case studies and new narratives. The event also includes a session co-sponsored by the College Art Association that explores the interconnected networks of architecture and design in mid-century Los Angeles, with designers Gere Kavanaugh and Lou Danziger (whose work is included in the exhibition) and architect Ray Kappe. An evening keynote panel with artists Jim Isermann, Jorge Pardo, and Pae White considers the impact and legacy of modern California design on contemporary practice.

Presenters include Glenn Adamson, Victoria & Albert Museum; Donald Albrecht, Museum of the City of New York; Monica Penick, University of Wisconsin-Madison; architect Pierluigi Serraino; Andrew Shanken, UC Berkeley; Elizabeth St. George, Bard Graduate Center; Staci Steinberger, LACMA; Nina Stritzler-Levine, Bard Graduate Center; Marc Treib, UC Berkeley; Ruth Weisberg, USC; Christopher Wilk, Victoria & Albert Museum; Wim de Wit, Getty Research Institute.

Friday, February 24 | 10 am–5 pm with additional keynote session at 7 pm.
Saturday, February 25 | 9:30 am–5 pm

Two-day pass: $25 general admission; $15 members; free to students with ID and College Art Association members

One-day pass: $15 general admission; $10 members; free to students with
ID and College Art Association members

Tickets 323 857-6010 or purchase online | All symposium tickets include museum general admission

Arcana Is Moving!

Books on the Arts Says Adios to Santa Monica!

As of April 1, 2012, ARCANA will be moving to a new Johnston Marklee-Designed space located in the historic Helms Bakery.

New Address:
8675 Washington Boulevard
Culver City, California 90232

Purveyors of fine new, out of print and rare books on photography, art, fashion, design, architecture, and cinema since 1984.  

Lee Kaplan, owner of ARCANA, has impeccable taste for selecting art, architecture, and design books. With so many boutique book stores closing, we are happy that ARCANA is expanding. Go out and support your local book stores (especially this one)!

Just in: Four Richard Pettibone Paintings

Richard Pettibone is an inventive artist who helped establish the conceptual art movement known as “Appropriation”.

While creating Pop-style sculptures with his skills as a miniature enthusiast, Pettibone took on the idea of creating small paintings and sculptures based on the images he saw in art publications such as Art in America.

Artists like Warhol, Lichtenstein, and Johns were already using celebrity photos, comic book illustrations, and the American flag respectively to co-opt or appropriate popular iconography, thus making a statement about what could be used as fine art. Pettibone’s simple appropriation of the other artists’ images was re-enforcing this concept by acknowledging that the paintings themselves had entered pop culture status. (If a soup can was Pop art, a painting of a soup can was Pop art, then a painting of a painting of a soup can was Pop art etc.)

The fact that Pettibone made each small painting exactly the size it was reproduced in the art magazines (sometimes as small as an inch) was a somewhat Duchampian statement of not copying a painting, but copying an image of a painting.

Lot Information:

Richard Pettibone
Roy Lichtenstein. Tex. 1962.
Oil on canvas
Pencil marked verso “#29”
4.5″ x 4.5″
Estimate $40,000 – $60,000
To be offered in May 6, 2012 Modern Art & Design Auction 

Richard Pettibone
Andy Warhol, Flowers, 1971
Acrylic and silkscreen on canvas with artist frame
Signed and dated on the frame verso “R. Pettibone ’71”
1.75″ x 1.75″ 
Estimate $7,000 – $9,000
To be offered in May 6, 2012 Modern Art & Design Auction  

Richard Pettibone
Roy Lichtenstein. Golf Ball. 1962.
Oil on canvas
11 3/8″ x 10 3/8″ 
Estimate $35,000 – $45,000
To be offered in May 6, 2012 Modern Art & Design Auction  

Richard Pettibone
Oil on canvas
Signed verso “Richard Pettibone 1966”
6 1/8″ x  7 1/8″ 
Estimate $10,000 – $12,000
To be offered in May 6, 2012 Modern Art & Design Auction  

Just in: Karel Appel Untitled (Cat)


LAMA has just acquired a one-of-a-kind drawing by the Dutch painter, sculptor, and writer Karel Appel (1921-2006).
Along with Danish artist Asger Jorn and Belgian artist Corneille, Appel founded the experimental artist collective known as Cobra, an acronym for Copenhagen, Brussels, and Amsterdam. Through their exhibitions and periodical of the same name, Dutch modernism was reborn and Appel’s distinctive style began to materialize. His rough, often haunting paintings and lithographs exhibit a color-heavy abstract expressionist perspective on children and animals, reflected by life in postwar Europe. As he broke from the Cobra movement in the early 1950s to join Art Autre – which included Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, and Sam Francis – he won the Unesco prize at the 1954 Venice Biennale and in the same year, he had his first American exhibition at the Martha Jackson Gallery in New York. In 1957, he traveled to New York to paint portraits of some of his favorite jazz musicians, Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan, Count Basie, and Miles Davis. Created in 1960 only three years after his landmark American visit, Untitled (Cat) harnesses the intrinsic impact of primary colors, evoking a primal and chaotic representation of one of his most familiar subjects.

Just this week, over 400 works by Appel were found in the warehouse of a British logistics company. They were lost in transit to the Karel Appel Foundation in 2002. Check out the story here.

– Paul Des Marais, Contributing Writer

“Karel Appel Biography.” Karel Appel Foundation. Karel Appel Foundation, 2012. Web. Feb. 2012.

Karel Appel
Untitled (Cat)
Colored crayon and graphite on paper
Signed, dated and inscribed lower right
Image: 17.25″ x 23″; Frame:  25″ x 30″

Estimate $12,000 – 15,000
To be included in the May 6, 2012 Modern Art & Design Auction