Tag Archives: John McLaughlin

Peter’s Auction Picks of the Day: May 19th

Peter: Five of my favorite items in the auction have to do with pure geometry and color:

Ellsworth Kelly’s “Yellow Over Black”

Lot 130 Ellsworth Kelly, "Yellow Over Black" (IX.20), $3,000 - 5,000

Herbert Bayer’s “Chromatic Accrument” painting

Lot 168 Herbert Bayer "Chromatic Accrument", 1971, Acrylic on canvas, $6,000 - 9,000

Victor Vasarely’s “DVA-DVA” painting

Lot 158 Victor Vasarely "DVA-DVA", 1978-86, Oil on canvas, $80,000 - 120,000

John McLaughlin’s “Untitled #33” painting

Lot 42 John McLaughlin "Untitled (#33)", 1958, Oil on board, $20,000 - 30,000

Each has a strong sense of shape defined by color.  But also included in this group should be the Charles and Ray Eames “Hang-it-all” – which is an elegant minimalist sculpture of multi-colored spheres suspended on white lines.

Lot 123 Charles & Ray Eames, "Hang-it-all", designed 1953, $2,000 - 3,000

For more purely geometric compositions, please check out the online catalogue.

John McLaughlin: Paintings from 1950 – 1975

The paintings from McLaughlin’s later part of his life (1950-75) methodically embody the style of Western nonobjective art, so much so, that it takes a sensitive viewer to fully see the influences of Japanese culture and art in his compositions. McLaughlin’s study of Japanese language and art, his experience of living in Japan, and his expertise in Japanese paintings and prints, ultimately shaped his character and informed his artistic style.  After his experiences in the war, McLaughlin did not part-take in the Abstract Expressionist movement. Instead he looked to his past influences from the works of Sesshu, Malevich, and Mondrian. The post-war movement brought McLaughlin closer to his aesthetic of modesty and plainness, leading his compositions to become more distilled as he aged. McLaughlin’s careful scale and color relationships were not his sole focus; it was the hoped-for state of mental struggle brought by the painting that was McLaughlin’s ultimate goal.

Literature: Larsen, Susan C., and Peter Selz. John McLaughlin: Western Modernism Eastern Thought. Laguna Beach: Laguna Art Museum, 1996.

In the upcoming May 23, 2010 Modern Art & Design Auction, LAMA will be offering a John McLaughlin painting:

John McLaughlin
Untitled (#33)
Oil on board
Verso “John McLaughlin #33 – 1958 The Landau Gallery”
12″ x 6.25″
Estimate $20,000 – 30,000
To be offered in May 23, 2010 Modern Art & Design Auction

Thoughts on the May 23, 2010 Auction

It’s finally March and soon we are getting ready to close out the sale in preparation for photography in two weeks. Amidst the chaos at the warehouse with all the furniture and art flying in, I got a chance to take a moment to reflect on how the auction is shaping up and ask Peter a couple of questions.

What is the proportion of fine art to furniture?

Peter: For the first time the majority of the consignments is fine art.

What is an investment piece for a beginning collector to look out for?

Peter: We have a lot of small works on paper and prints in the sale under $5,000. One of my favorite areas in this auction would be the photographs. The Richard Avedon, 1971, Image of Warhol, estimate $3,000 – 5,000 will probably be a great long-term investment for a not a lot of money now.

Richard Avedon, 1971, Image of Warhol, estimate $3,000 – 5,000

Is there anything you are anticipating to go up on the auction block?

Peter: We have several works by artists we have never sold before- Thomas Hart Benton and Paul Cadmus. It will be interesting to see what the reaction to this material is with our regular buyers.

In terms of the market have you seen a shift in what people want to sell?

Peter: I am starting to get offered a lot more works from the 70s and 80s in both furniture and fine art. Also, in this auction we have the largest selection of recent contemporary art, so it seems more people are starting to sell recent works. In the past the average age of modern and contemporary artwork that was offered to us was about 25 years old. This time we have a lot of works that are less than five years old.

What is your favorite piece you have gotten in so far?

Peter: John McLaughlin, “Untitled (#33)”, 1958. Even though it’s a small work, it has the most beautiful proportions of any paintings by this artist that I have seen in the market in some time. In addition, the condition of the work is pristine, which is very rare for McLaughlin’s work.

John McLaughlin, “Untitled (#33)”, 1958, estimate $20,000 - 30,000