Tag Archives: Sam Maloof

The House That Sam Built

Stop what you are doing and get thee to The Huntington.

The openings of Pacific Standard Time are now happening fast and furious and you may be trying to decide which events to go see.  “The House That Sam Built”, which opened last night at the Huntington in San Marino, should be at the top of the list.  Exquisitely presented by curator Harold Nelson, the show brings together works by Sam Maloof and many of his contemporary craftspeople and artists.  The title of the show not only proposes that this group of artists created a stand alone structure within the mid-century modern community, but also makes a sly reference to Maloof’s own personal residence where nearly all of these artists’ works found a harmonious setting over the last half century.

For anyone who has even casually paid attention to this period, you will recognize many greatest hits. There is Sam’s iconic rocking chair, of course; ceramics by the Natzlers, Macintosh, and Andreson; paintings by Karl Benjamin, Millard Sheets, and Milford Zornes.  But, even more interesting is the lesser known artists and craftspeople that have been included, which previously have not received the proper attention and here are given a world-class venue to prove themselves. James Strombotne’s “Recognition” from 1958 clearly embodies the best elements of color, form and emotion found in figurative works of this period.  Arthur Ames’ “Origin” from 1970 does for enamel what artists like Craig Kaufman did for plastic.  And John Svenson’s “Sea Sprite” from 1967 is a monumental carving in wood that begs the question, ‘Where can I see other works by this artist?’.

One place to learn more about all the artists in the show is the beautiful catalogue of the exhibition.  Elegantly designed by Ron Shore, this book, titled The House That Sam Built,  is a valuable resource for any mid-century collector. It is loaded with photographs by John Sullivan and has informative essays by Nelson, Jerry Adamson, Jason T. Busch, Jonathan Leo Fairbanks, and Tia Vasiliou.

The exhibition runs through the end of January, but, trust me, don’t wait till later. Go see this show now.

– Peter Loughrey, Director of LAMA

For more information on the exhibit please visit The Huntington’s website. For images of the installation click here.

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Peter’s Post-Auction Picks: Top 5 Unsold Investment Lots

The June 26, 2011 Modern Art  & Design auction had a high sell-through rate of 75%, but some may wonder, “what happens to the other 25% that did not sell?”  Well, we sell these unsold lots post-auction, meaning you can beat the competition and purchase these pieces NOW.  These unsold lots are not to be taken lightly – some key works slipped through the cracks in Sunday’s auction. Peter Loughrey, Director of LAMA, picks his top five unsold investment pieces that are ready, waiting, and available for purchase. Better than money in the bank, these five pieces will definitely go up in value:

#5 //

Lot 305
Rufino Tamayo
La Coqueta

A rare opportunity to get this pristine example (which happens to be in a stunning frame) for the lowest price in 10 years.  Ready to hang on your wall today.  (Buy it now price:  $3,125)

#4 //

Lot 214
Paul Soldner
Untitled sculpture
 from 1962

We’ll be hearing a lot more about Soldner in the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time initiative this fall. This is one of the best works by the artist (measuring over 50 inches high). Always buy the best!  (Buy it now price:  $6,250)

#3 //

Lot 184
Sam Maloof
Armchair Lounge

executed 1967

Maloof’s prices are way down. Buy this stellar piece at the bottom of the market – from here the only way is up. (Buy it now price:  $6,000)

#2 //

Lot 77
Michele Cascella
Yellow Shrubs in California

Most recent auction results suggest this will be valued at 2-3 times this amount in Italian auctions.  Two words: easy money.  (Buy it now price:  $12,500)

#1 //

Lot 58
Hiroshi Sugimoto
Brooklyn Bridge

One of Sugimoto’s rarest images from an edition of 25. Not a single print from this edition has ever been sold at auction.  (Buy it now price: $37,500)

See something you like?
Email Shannon@lamodern.com to make an offer.  For a full list of unsold lots please visit the LAMA Homepage.

Lot Information:

Lot 58
Hiroshi Sugimoto  
Brooklyn Bridge    
2001  
#2 of 25  
Silver Gelatin print  
Embossed edition lower right  
Image 23″ x 18.5″; Frame 33.5″ x 28.5″  

Lot 77
Michele Cascella  
Yellow Shrubs in California      
Oil on canvas  
Signed lower right  
Image 29.25″ x 49.25″; Frame 39.25″ x 58.5″    
Provenance: F. Hugh and Mary Herbert, Bel Air

Lot 184
Sam Maloof  
Armchair lounge  
Studio  executed 1967  
Walnut  
Retains branded signature and dated “1/67”  35″h x 27″w x 27″d    
Provenance: Commissioned directly from Sam Maloof 1964-69; thence by descent 

Lot 214
Paul Soldner  
Untitled  
Studio  circa 1962  
Wheel-thrown and assembled stoneware sculpture  
Signed  51″h    
Provenance: Private Collection, California (gift from the artist circa 1965) 

Lot 305
Rufino Tamayo  
La Coqueta    
1990  
#27 of 110  
Lithograph  
Signed lower right; edition lower left; retains Kyron and Benavente – Kelly blind stamps  
Sheet 43.75″ x 31.5″; Frame 48″ x 35.75″    
Provenance: Dyansen gallery, New Orleans; Private Collection, Beverly Hills (acquired from above, February 18, 1991)