Tag Archives: Ettore Sottsass

LAMA Sales Reach New High in 2011

Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA) reached $8.5 million in sales for 2011, nearly doubling the previous record of $4.5 million set in 2008.  This year LAMA achieved new auction records for works by Reg Butler, Ettore Sottsass, De Wain Valentine, Roland Reiss, Robert Rauschenberg, and Isamu Noguchi, as well as set a new company record for highest price reached at auction. LAMA has increasingly become the preferred auction house on the West Coast for Modern Art and Design.

In 2011 LAMA set new auction records for:

  • Reg Butler’s The Unknown Political Prisoner Maquette (Lot 92 est. $20,000 – 30,000), which soared to realize $125,000, establishing a new auction record for the artist

    • Isamu Noguchi’s Chess Table (Lot 280 est. $30,000 – 40,000), which established a new auction record for this design, realized $187,500, nearly five times its high estimate

  • Robert Rauschenberg’s Sling Shots Lit #6 (Lot 60 est. $30,000 – 50,000) realized $68,750, the highest price ever achieved for any work in this series by the artist 
  • The custom designed Ettore Sottsass Impressive Entry Table from the Estate of Max Palevsky (Lot 55 est. $10,000 – 15,000) set a new auction record for the artist realizing $75,000 
  • De Wain Valentine’s Circle (Lot 220 est. $3,000 – 5,000) set a new auction record for the artist bringing $32,500 
  • Roland Reiss’ The Dancing Lessons: The Reconciliation of Yes and No (Lot 78 est. $4,000 – 6,000) set a new auction record for the artist bringing $15,000 

John Baldessari’s 8th and D, National City, offered in the October 9, 2011 Auction of The Collection of Richard Dorso, set a new company record for highest price reached at a LAMA auction, totaling $293,750.  Attracting top buyers enabled LAMA to reach a new company record, beating the previous record set in 2007 by Judy Chicago’s Carhood, which brought $288,000.

This year LAMA increased its standard two auctions to four due to the abundance of fresh, original material available on the market.  Major estates, including that of computer billionaire Max Palevsky, local TV-producer Richard Dorso, a prominent West Coast collection, and James Byrnes, the first curator of Modern Art at LACMA, anchored the four auctions. The micro-climate LAMA has created – getting both top consignments and top prices – is evidence of a phenomenon that through specialized marketing LAMA has reached a global marketplace.

Peter Loughrey, Director of LAMA:
“Buyers and sellers have been making LAMA a growing success since I founded the company in 1992. As we enter our 20th year, I believe we will continue to prove you don’t have to send your art and design to New York to get the best price.”

Source for auction record data http://www.artnet.com
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LAMA, Los Angeles’ premier Modern Art auction house, is the leading auction house dedicated to selling 20th century Modern Art and Design. Auctions are held at the LAMA showroom: 16145 Hart St. Van Nuys, CA 91406. The upcoming Modern Art & Design auction is scheduled for spring 2012. October 2012 will mark LAMA’s 20th Anniversary.

LAMA’s Largest Sale, Ever.

We broke many records in yesterday’s Modern Art & Design Auction.

Highest grossing sale : $2,256,323
Highest sell through rate since 2005: 82%

Fresh material from local estates with attractive estimates led to record attendance in the room, as well as on the phones, absentee and internet bidding.

Custom designs by Ettore Sottass for the late Max Palevsky were sold on Sunday at the LAMA Modern Art & Design auction in Van Nuys, CA, totaling $333,813. Record prices were achieved for several unique works designed by Ettore Sottsass, including a marble console (Lot 55 est. $10,000 – 15,000), which realized $75,000; a sevres porcelain vase (Lot 70 est. $1,000 – 1,500) brought $31,250; and a pair of marble end tables (Lot 84 and 85 est. $2,400 – 3,000) together realized $25,000.

Sottsass designs from other owners included a group of three candlesticks (Lot 78 est. $1,500 – 2,000) realized $14,375, a pair of “Eastside” lounge chairs (Lot 83 est. $2,500- 3,500) realized $3,750, and a Sinus lamp with box (Lot 76 est. $1,000 – 1,500) brought $3,600.

The star lot, Reg Butler  The Unknown Political Prisoner Maquette, soared to $125,000 after an intense bidding battle. The price sets a new world record for the artist. This important British sculpture turned up unexpectedly in a local collection this year, after remaining in private hands since 1963.

Fine art from the Collection of James Byrnes, the first curator of Modern Art at LACMA dating back to the mid 1940s, found very strong competition with 50 lots bringing $171,313.  Highlights included a rare Harry Bertoia brooch (Lot 220 est. $5,000 – 7,000), which brought almost $22,000; an original Calder work on paper (Lot 25 est. $15,000 – 20,000) realized $25,000; and an Ynez Johnston (Lot 332 est. $2,000 – 3,000) realized $10,938. All of the works from this collection received heavy pre-sale attention due to Byrnes’ relationship with each of the artists. Nearly all of the works were acquired directly from the artists, which created desirable provenance.

There are still lots that are unsold. Check out the unsold lots list, which is being updated frequently, on the homepage of the LAMA website: www.lamodern.com.  If there is something that you like, email us and make an offer.

Peter’s Auction Picks of the Day: March 5th


No, I’m not talking about that porn site for Chubby Chaser’s. I’m referring to the Ettore Sottsass marble console (Lot 55) from the estate of the late Max Palevsky. Palevsky, founder of Data Systems and Intel, befriended Sottsass after he designed an exhibition that Palevsky funded at the Israel Museum in the late 1970s. The two enjoyed spending time at Palevsky’s Malibu beach house, and in 1984 Sottsass was commissioned to renovate the interior. The six acre compound stretching from PCH to the beach was originally conceived as a Spanish revival mansion, which included an 11,000 square foot main house. Palevsky’s taste at the time was already an eclectic mix of Pop Art, Greek and Roman Statuary, and Byzantine Mosaics. At the time Sottsass’s work for Memphis (with its wild, clashing laminates and obtuse angles) would probably have been much too disruptive for the Palevsky house. The resulting interior was a comparatively reserved Sottsass creation, the first of a new period in the architect’s career. Gone were the outlandish anti-design statements, and instead what emerged was a kind of Pre-Modern aesthetic. The effect was strong, resonant, and timeless—with the simplicity of a Druid altar. The marble console in the entrance set the stage for the enchanting cocktail of classical and modern art Palevsky’s visitors were about to behold.

Lot 55
Ettore Sottsass
Entry Table
Custom designed 1984 for Max Palevsky’s Malibu home
Sottsass Associati
32”h x 111” x 20”d
Illustrated: Three California Houses: The Homes of Max Palevsky, Betsky, Rizzoli, 2002, pg 67
Estimate $10,000-15,000


Palevsky and Byrnes on Art Market Views

If you don’t read Lindsay Pollock Art Market Views, you most definitely should. Pollock’s Art Market Views provides daily breaking news and analysis for readers seeking an insider’s perspective on the art industry.

Check out the post on the Palevsky and Byrnes collections on Art Market Views.

March 6th Auction in the LA Times

Check out the latest story on the

Ettore Sottsass designs from the Estate of Max Palevsky in the LA Times.

March 6, 2011 Auction Lots ONLINE NOW

Count down till the March 6, 2011 Modern Art & Design Auction: 16 days

From Sottsass and Calder to Matta and Bertoia, the March 6th auction is full of fresh property from important estates.

Go to the LAMA website to view all the lots with complete listings.

To bid, please fill out the LAMA Bid Form and fax or email back to Shannon@lamodern.com, or to speak with a LAMA representative by calling 323-904-1950.

Don’t forget, all bids must be submitted no later than March 5th by 5pm (Pacific).

Wary Meyers and the Sottsass Superbox

All week You Have Been Here Sometime (YHBHS) is featuring guest posts from interior designers, writers, & artists about their thoughts on ETTORE SOTTSASS.

Check out today’s post from Wary Meyers and their discussion on the Ettore Sottsass SUPERBOX.

WARY MEYERS are artists & designers who reside in Portland Maine. When they’re not re-imagining the interiors of brownstones and shops — or channeling the spirit of Lubalin and Dorfsman within the lobbies of ad agencies — they’re writing books, designing products, painting, drawing, sewing and tactfully trawling estate sales, flea markets and thrift shops for the ultimate finds. For design and interior inspirations follow the Wary Meyers Blog.

Ettore Sottsass on California Home + Design

Check out the write up about the Ettore Sottsass custom designs for the Estate of Max Palevsky on the California Home + Design blog!

YHBHS focuses on Ettore Sottsass

With all the buzz on the custom designs by Ettore Sottsass from the Estate of Max Palevsky (all to be sold with no reserve on March 6th), You Have Been Here Sometime (YHBHS) has been beautifully compiling interesting vignettes on Ettore Sottsass and his design career. Check out YHBHS all week for more information on Ettore Sottsass and exclusive photos from LAMA.


Peter Loughrey discusses the Max Palevsky Interior

Check out this podcast on Antique Auction Forum that captures an interview with Peter Loughrey on his knowledge and thoughts of the Ettore Sottsass designs from the Max Palevsky Malibu Estate.

We are very excited to be offering 100 lots of material from the Estate of Max Palevsky, all to be sold with no reserve!