Tag Archives: Peter’s Auction Picks

Peter’s Auction Picks of the Day: May 22nd

Peter gets wild and takes a look at the playful side of modernism!

After a serious few weeks of planning and hosting the preview, I had a moment to walk around with a future client of LAMA.  I say future, as this client is only 12.

As kids often do, she was quick to point out something that had not noticed before.  After spending about 30 minutes here, she counted up all of the animals we have in the auction – in paintings, sculpture, and furniture.

Here are some that we both liked and appreciated:

Lot 77 Damien Hirst, Butterflies (6), 2008, $18,000 - 25,000

Lot 78 Francois-Xavier Lalanne, Rhinoceros Bleu, 1981, $25,000 - 35,000

Lot 79 Francois-Xavier Lalanne, Singes Attentifs SI & SII, 1999, $100,000 - 125,000

Lot 164 Gambone, Bull, circa 1965, $800 - 1,200

Lot 333 Rufino Tamayo, Demi-Poisson (Half Fish), 1969, $2,000 - 3,000

Lot 102 David Hockney, No. #4 (From Dog Wall), 1998, $5,000 - 7,000

For more depictions of animals, check out the online catalogue.

Don’t forget, the auction is tomorrow and starts at 12pm Noon (Pacific)!

Peter’s Auction Picks of the Day: May 20th

Most of the Nakashima pieces in the sale came from the collection of James (Jim) and Gene Bishop, who were close friends of George Nakashima’s in the late 1940s.  According to Nakashima’s daughter, Mira, they were known to trade work to each other.  The dinette table, which he acquired in the late 1940s, is possibly a unique studio creation which was later used as a prototype for the Knoll production version.  Until recently, it was thought to have been lost.

These lots shown are from the collection of James (Jim) and Gene Bishop, for more items from this collection please visit the online catalogue.

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.

Peter’s Auction Pick of the Day: May 18th

As we continue with the May 23, 2010 Modern Art & Design auction preview, I got a chance to ask Peter about his sentiments about some of the items up for auction. Today he told me his “pick of the day” was the assortment of offerings by Hendrick Van Keppel & Taylor Green.

Works include:
Lot 1, Tall Freestanding Bookshelf, Estimate $5,000 – 7,000, Provenance: Estate of Paul Kasper
Lot 3, Consol Table, Estimate $1,000 – 1,500, Provenance: Estate of Paul Kasper
Lot 4, Group of six dining chairs, Estimate $1,500 – 2,000, Provenance: Estate of Paul Kasper
Lot 5, Dining  Table, Estimate $2,500 – 3,500, Provenance: Estate of Paul Kasper
Lot 12, Child’s Chair, Estimate $400 – 600
Lot 13, Refectory Table, Estimate $3,000 – 5,000, Provenance: Estate of Paul Kasper

Is “Van Keppel & Green” a design firm or a store?  I have seen many ads in Arts & Architecture Magazines announcing new designs at VKG.

PeterActually the answer is both.  Hendrick Van Keppel & Taylor Green were a design team that created a landmark collection of innovative furniture immediately after the end of WWII.  However, by the 1950s their store on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood had grown to include important designs from around the world and was not only producing their own work, but was also importing and retailing the works of noted designs such as Gio Ponti and Jens Quistgaard.

I also noticed many of the VKG items were from the estate of Paul Kasper. Can you explain this?

After his service with the military, Kasper was employed by the retail store of VKG and this allowed him an introduction to many designers, decorators and architects.  Subsequently, he went to school on the GI bill to learn landscape architecture. He spent the later part of his career creating modernist landscapes and was also an accomplished sculptor.  Many times the earliest designs by VKG did not survive over the years because they were originally sold as low cost alternatives to traditional furniture. This meant that there were was a greater change that eventually the owners would forget about their importance and discard or misuse them in garages or basements or as hand-me-downs to the next generation that was moving out of the house.  I believe that since Kasper was working at VKG and built a career in design, he always treated these examples as being special. And therefore they were never mistreated or discarded.  I don’t think I’ll ever see another example in this condition – especially, the tall bookshelf, which looks like the day it was made.

For images the other VKG items to be offered, please visit our online auction catalogue.

Here are images from the VKG catalogue, showcasing the pieces when they came out for purchase.