Tag Archives: Paul Laszlo

Peter’s Auction Picks of the Day // The James Edition: June 21st

During my thirteen-year association with Los Angeles Modern Auctions I have enjoyed a front row seat to a pageant of art and design that fills me with delight, awe… and envy that I did not create it myself.  This auction has more than its share of “wow” pieces.  Some of these are: the Cindy Sherman Lucille Ball portrait (Lot 56)—I agree with Pete that 100 years from now, when only a handful of scholars are familiar with the entertainer to whom it pays tribute, this photo will be as witty and disturbing as ever.

Also, the 1937 Gilbert Rohde Z clock (Lot 99) that, for all its Streamline Moderne elan, appears fifty years ahead of its time–and the Bruce Cohen Untitled (Interior Scene) (Lot 293), is a cinematic virtual triptych that “pans” from foreboding to release.

That said, the piece that most stands out to me is one of my favorites from my entire time here: the Paul Laszlo decorated screen (Lot 238), 1947.  Masterfully hand painted on luminous glass tiles by Bottega Karin for screen legend Barbara Stanwyck, the sheer massive size of the object yanks us into an Imax fantasia–Laszlo’s modernist tribute to renaissance formalism.  The colors are at once luscious and muted, the figures expressive yet guarded.  In gesture and execution the protagonists remind one of the heroes of Picasso’s Blue Period, while the slaughtered deer, curled and angry, could be a refugee from Guernica.  In fact, despite how well the screen works as a whole, with its classically perfect composition, its large component parts almost form their own gallery of mini-paintings for us to browse at our leisure: the still life of a basket of fruit, a fisherman languidly hoisting his catch, the bizarre totem of fresh kill that engulfs the hunter.

While this work may have larger meaning—and its tone is positively biblical as we are made to ponder the fine line between bounty and gluttony–we can simply, if we wish, lose ourselves in the sensuousness of Laszlo and Karin’s ancient/modern fantasy.  If there is such a thing as subdued excess this is it.

– James Robbins

Lot Information:

Lot 56
Cindy Sherman
Lucille Ball    
1975, printed 2001  
Chromogenic print on Fujicolor Crystal Archive paper
 Signed and dated verso “1975/2001”  
Sheet 14″ x 11″; Frame 18.75″ x 16.5″  
Estimate $3,000 – 5,000
June 26, 2011 Modern Art & Design Auction 

Lot 99
Gilbert Rohde  
Z Clock  
Herman Miller  designed circa 1937  
Model no. 4090    
13″h x 9.5″ clock face diameter  
Estimate $5,000 – 7,000
June 26, 2011 Modern Art & Design Auction  

Lot 293
Bruce Cohen  
Untitled (Interior Scene)  
Acrylic on canvas  
40″ x 66″  
Estimate $5,000 – 7,000
June 26, 2011 Modern Art & Design Auction  

Lot 238
Paul Laszlo  
Decorated Screen    
Hand painted glass tiles by Bottega Karin  
Signed and dated lower left  108″h x 142″    
Provenance: Barbara Stanwyck, Beverly Hills, California; Private Collection, Beverly Hills, California Estimate
Estimate $20,000 – 30,000
June 26, 2011 Modern Art & Design Auction 

Call to Consign for LAMA’s 50th Auction!

Yes, it is hard to believe that this October Los Angeles Modern Auctions will conduct its 50th auction since 1992. From Eames, Schindler, and Laszlo, to Bertoia, Giacometti and Picasso,  LAMA has represented Modern to its fullest. The landmark 50th auction will feature important modern works from the 20th century ranging from fine art and furniture to decorative arts and sculpture.

To submit material for this special event, please email Peter Loughrey, peter@lamodern.com, with images and descriptions of items you wish to consign. Deadline for all submissions is August 3, 2010.

Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen “Conversation” armchair prototype, Lot 187 in the May 1999 Auction, Estimate $45,000 - 50,000, Realized $129,000