Tag Archives: LAMA’s 50th Auction

Recap October 17th Auction: Unsold Lots

After selling about 70% of the 509 lots offered in the October 17th Modern Art & Design Auction, most people ask us, “What happens to the other 30% of the lots that did not sell?”

Well, we offer them at reserve plus the buyer’s premium, so there’s no competing with other bidders. Therefore, you can get these pieces at the lowest prices possible, now!

Check out a selection of unsold lots featured on Los Angles Times L.A. at Home.

For inquires regarding unsold lots, please contact Shannon, shannon@lamodern.com or call 323-904-1950. For a print version of the complete list of unsold lots click here.

Auction Recap: October 17, 2010 Modern Art & Design Auction

The auction was a big success.
There were more people in the room than ever before. Over 250 registered bidders competed for furniture and fine art, for over 5 consecutive hours on Sunday. Extra staff were needed to handle all of the phone bids, with as many as up to 12 people on certain lots bidding on the telephone.
Buyers were happy with the prices for furniture, which is still selling for below the highs of 2008, while consignors came away better selling art, which has made up most of the losses since the same period.

It was not hard to keep hundreds of people in their seats for the 5 hour stretch because complimentary lunch was catered by Border Grill and an open bar was also a hit (when is it not!).

Including post-auction sales the total is nearing 1.6 million (check out items that are still for sale, click here).

More details (including lot highlights) to come later this week.
Go to the LAMA website for prices realized and available lots. Email Shannon (shannon@lamodern.com) to make post-auction offers.



We are very excited to finally see over 500 lots of fantastic fine art, furniture and design go up on the auction block.

The auction starts promptly at 12pm Noon (Pacific).

Come to see the auction live: 16145 Hart St. Van Nuys, CA 91406

Border Grill Taco Truck will be catering (yum).

If you cannot be here in person, follow online at our website: www.lamodern.com

Peter’s Auction Picks of the Day: October 15th

Ode to a Sunny Day

After examining a few works for condition report requests today, I noticed that there are four works of art in the auction which left me longing for a relaxing day at the beach.

Alas, I have been cooped up in a nondescript warehouse in The Valley for days in preparation for this auction and have not seen the ocean in weeks.

I have been taking solace in the time I get to spend with great works of art and design.  My picks for today, therefore all relate to views of the ocean.

Larry Cohen’s “View from the Corner of Sunset: The Coast Highway” (Lot 463) presents the ocean as a narrow strip along the top of his oil on canvas from 1994.  From the distance of the viewer, I can imagine the soft echoes of breaking waves traveling up the sun-dappled hillside.

Another landscape with just a sliver of the Pacific Ocean in the background is Wayne Thiebaud’s “Seashore” watercolor (Lot 25).  The image is sparsely stippled in the foreground, giving the viewer the impression of natural flotsam and jetsam, as commonly carried up the shore and deposited during high tide.  The artist curiously treats the air above the ocean in the same manner, which could be seen as the flight or movement of birds.  Interestingly, the ocean becomes darker and more intense as your eye meets the horizon.  Other than two very small buildings in the distance (lighthouse?) one may surmise that this is a deserted strand of coastline.

In stark contrast to Thiebaud’s watercolor is Massmio Vitali’s densely populated beach scene (Lot 489).  The view presented by the artist is one of rich diversity and activity, spreading from the sand dunes past the water’s edge and right down into the water.  There are pockets of human interaction, which fill the frame in a very pleasing diagonal composition.   There are so many different people of all shapes and sizes, I can imagine the sound of laughter and conversation and the hollow smack of paddle ball banter.

Finally, and I think my favorite beach scene in this sale, is Shirl Goedike’s “Cagnes (Three Bathers)” (Lot 269). The composition of three women talking casually at the beach is, at first glance, fairly straight forward. But the more I look at it, the more interesting it becomes.  I think there are sly references to the classical, time-honored subjects like The Three Graces and Sirens come to mind.  Also, more recently, the artist is apparently tipping his hat to Wayne Thiebaud and/or the early California 50’s and 60’s  work of Diebenkorn.

For other works that recall the seaside, preview the complete catalogue in-person or online.

Lot Information:

Larry Cohen
View from the corner of Sunset: The Coast Highway
Oil on canvas
Signed and titled verso
28” x 28”
October 17, 2010 Auction

Wayne Thiebaud
Watercolor on paper
14.5” x 19.5”
Sold with receipt card, two catalogues, one poster, and some ephemera
October 17, 2010 Auction

Massimo Vitali
Untitled (Beach scene)
Circa 1995
Color photograph
Image 25.5” x 33.5”; Framed 35.5” x 43”w
October 17, 2010 Auction

Shirl Goedike
Cagnes (Three Bathers)
Oil on canvas
Signed lower right; signed and dated verso
15” x 20”
Sold with book, receipt, signed book, two brochures, and ephemera
October 17, 2010 Auction

Peter’s Auction Pick of the Day: October 14th

Numbers and Letters

Today there seemed to be a lot of previewers asking about three artists in particular.  Jasper Johns, Ed Ruscha, and Robert Indiana.  All of which are represented in this auction with superb icons of text-based art.

Ed Ruscha’s Vowel #58 U (Lot 61) seems to keep coming up on everyone’s list of most desired works for this sale.  For his 1996 show at Gagosian Gallery, Ruscha selected five dozen or so seemingly random books which he then painted vowels in various colors, font sizes and type-face on each cover.    The books themselves were not extraordinary;  there was a Sotheby’s auction catalogue, a reference book and various text books.  However, the example we are offering happens to be one of the artists own books (Various Small Fires) that he published in 1964.  I think if I could go back in time to that show in 1996 and choose from any of the dozens of books, I would choose this one because he created a painting on top of his own earlier publication.  To me this adds another layer of meaning.

As for numbers, who can resist the bold graphic compositions of Robert Indiana?  His portfolio, “Numbers (0-9)”  from 1968 (Lot 313), are stunning in several installations.  Running along the wall from zero to nine suggests order and expected progression, but when placed out-of-order one can imagine a reference to a telephone number or any number of specific personal references. {Note:  We used the 5 & 0 on our blog to reference our 50th auction}.

Jasper Johns’ treatment of numbers by contrast is to superimpose one on top of another, creating a complex composition where the eye fools the mind by picking out the silhouette of one number then instantly recognizing another; sometimes in quick succession.

Look online or come to the preview to see other text-based art including Joseph Kosuth’s wonderfully droll “Art Made With A Rubber Stamp and Signed By Joseph Kosuth” (lot #69) and Raymond Pettibone’s “Don’t Get Caught” (lot 71)

Lot information:

Edward Ruscha
Vowel #58 U (From Vowels : Paintings on Book Covers)
August 6, 1996
Oil on Various Small Fires book cover 7.125” x 5.675”
October 17, 2010 Auction

Robert Indiana Numbers (0-9)
Color serigraphs
Printed by Edition Domberger Signed and dated lower right; edition lower left #124 from the signed edition of 125 Each 25.5” x 19.5”
From the edition with ten poems written by Robert Creeley verso. Sold with the original cloth bound portfolio case.
October 17, 2010 Auction

Jasper Johns
0 through 9 (ULAE 189)
Lithograph printed in tones of blue
Editon #57 of 60
Signed and dated lower right
Sheet 9.65” x 7.85”; Image 6 x 4.85
October 17, 2010 Auction


Peter’s Auction Pick of the Day: October 13th

Josef & Anni Albers

Many people are aware of the Albers as husband and wife, teachers, and artists.  Josef’s most iconic works are his “homage to the square” images, which seem to have heralded the popular style of Hard Edge painting, which arrived decades later.  Anni, who is most known for her textiles, was also an accomplished print maker.  It seems today that the Albers’ graphic works are becoming very scarce.


In this auction we are offering a unique example of one of Josef Albers rarest graphic works.  Once more the optical illusion created in “Prefatio”  from 1942 (Lot 28, Estimated at $5,000-7,000) precedes the optical styles of Victor Vasarely, Bridget Riley, and other Op Artists by 25 years.  Notably, this example was a gift to James Prestini on the occasion of Prestini’s successful curated show on Albers work held at Texas Teachers College in 1942.

The work has been rolled in a tube and was only recently discovered.  It has been authenticated the by the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation and will be included as a unique variant in their catalogue raisonne.

Anni Albers print “Triadic Series D” (Lot 29, Estimated at $500-700) is also in outstanding fresh original condition and is being offered for the first time from the original owner who purchased it the year of its execution.

To view these two lots as well as the rest of the offerings in the October 17th Auction, please visit the LAMA online catalogue.

Lot Information:

Josef Albers
Ink on graph paper
Signed and dated lower right; dedicated lower middle; titled lower left
Unique proof aside from the two known editions of 30 and 4
Sheet 17” x 22”
Catalogue Raisonne #103
October 17, 2010

Anni Albers
“Triadic Series D”
Signed and dated lower right; edition lower left #29 of 60
Image 17” x 15”; Framed 24.5” x 22.5”
October 17, 2010 Auction

Interview with Peter Loughrey on YHBHS

After 50 auctions Peter has seen a lot.

Check out his interview on You Have Been Here Sometime.

Peter talks about the idea of collecting, his personal highlights at LAMA, as well as his picks for the current auction.