Highlights Catalogue for the October 18, 2020 Modern Art & Design Auction

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Highlights of the MODERN ART & DESIGN AUCTION OCTOBER 18, 2020


Above Woods Davy, Cantamar 2004 (Detail), Lot 6 Cover Brian Wills, Untitled (Pink) (Detail), Lot 155 Back Cover Ed Ruscha, part of the In Barcelona Suite, Lot 121


Highlights of the MODERN ART & DESIGN AUCTION

Auction October 18, 2020 12pm (PT) Preview October 9–17, 2020 10am–6pm (PT) By appointment only 16145 Hart Street Van Nuys, CA 91406

This is not the full catalogue for the auction. This summary is provided as a courtesy. Please visit our website for the full lot descriptions, the Conditions of Sale, and other important information regarding the auction.



MODERN ART & DESIGN Highlights of the October 18, 2020 Modern Art & Design Auction The full auction catalogue is available online at lamodern.com. All lots will be viewable in-person at the LAMA Showroom from October 9–17, 2020, daily 10am-6pm, by appointment only.

LAMA's October 18, 2020 Modern Art & Design Auction presents more than 200 lots of modern and contemporary art & design spanning styles and movements of the 20th century. Among anticipated works are a rare Jean-Michel Basquiat drawing, an Alexander Calder gouache on paper, and an early John Baldessari oil painting that escaped the legendary 1970 Cremation Project. Among the many offerings from California-anchored artists and designers are works from Charles Arnoldi, John Baldessari, Larry Bell, Karl Benjamin, Sam Maloof, and Ed Ruscha. As ever, LAMA is proud to represent an exciting and well-rounded selection of curated art and design; this book features just some of these highlights. Due to California State health and safety restrictions, LAMA will be unable to offer in-person bidding from our showroom. Rather, LAMA is offering a live-streamed auction accomodating telephone, absentee and online bidding.


JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT One of the most influential American artists of the latter part of the twentieth century, Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) never favored a single medium to channel his explosive and irresistible interpretations of reality. Over the course of his tragically short but intensely-lived career, Basquiat worked with immediacy and vigor with the materials at hand and rendered traditional hierarchies of painting and drawing irrelevant. Between 1980 and the artist’s death in 1988, it is estimated that he created 850 to 1,000 works on paper; exceptional among these is Untitled (1987), distinguished in provenance, content, and the fact that it is signed and dated — gallerist and Basquiat scholar Fred Hoffman writes that Basquiat typically “would neither title nor sign a work until it left his possession. As such, many were neither titled nor signed.” This artwork arrives at auction from the collection of American screenwriter and friend of Basquiat, Becky Johnston. Johnston is known for the award-winning films Seven Years in Tibet (1997) and The Prince of Tides (1991), and in 1985 had the opportunity to conduct a rare interview with Basquiat, who was 25 at the time. Noted especially for the candor with which Basquiat spoke, the interview was filmed by mutual friend and film director Tamra Davis. Davis would go on to direct her 2010 film Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child based on the momentous exchange, titling the documentary after Rene Ricard’s 1981 Artforum article that introduced Basquiat to the upper echelons of the New York art world. Johnston herself appears in Davis’ film portrait. During Johnston’s interview, the young Basquiat touched upon his need for “source material,” noting that he frequently worked in front of the television. This lot brims with allusions to mass media, from the weather report-esque sun and text in the drawing’s upper left corner to Basquiat literally spelling out “Television program” in the upper right quadrant. Sweeping through the bottom half of the field are the two lines of a river or road, suggesting Basquiat’s navigational impulses. In their interview, Johnston and Basquiat also discussed the artist’s transition from graffiti to more traditional surfaces. Basquiat, born in Brooklyn to Puerto Rican and Haitian immigrants, first gained notoriety for his anonymous graffiti under the moniker SAMO. He moved swiftly from working directly upon the built environment — walls and detritus gleaned from the streets — to canvas and paper, explaining to Johnston that “graffiti has a lot of rules in it as to what you can do and what you can’t do and I think it’s hard to make



art under those conditions.” Regardless of his chosen surface, Basquiat’s spatial and environmental sensibilities would remain critical to his work going forward. Acting as social cartographer, Basquiat translated both his internal and external experiences by synthesizing language, symbols, and other cultural references on the page. As Hoffman writes, “[Basquiat] discovered that he could shut out the myriad stimuli constantly bombarding him from the outside world; and at the same time, he could enable impressions, thoughts, memories, associations, fantasies, and observations formulating in his mind to simply pass through him, making their way onto a sheet of paper. From a very early age, Basquiat discovered that drawing was a process of ‘channeling’ in which he essentially functioned as a medium.” While many of Basquiat’s drawings appear chaotic and densely packed with text and figures, Untitled stands out for its relative sparseness. Rendered in colored pencil and oil stick, this work is a clearly defined and uncluttered space inviting the viewer to meander through words, symbols, and organizational schema — at least several of which take on a totem-like quality through their repetition within the artist’s oeuvre. Indeed, the pairing of the word “NKISI” — a spirit-imbued fetish object originating in the Kongo — with the copyright symbol appears twice within Untitled. This motif references both the African diaspora and the commodification of culture, two topics of fascination for Basquiat, who used the copyright symbol from his earliest days as SAMO. The draw to rampant commercialism (elsewhere indicated through phrases like “Per capita” and “E. Pluribus Unum”) is further emphasized within this drawing by green dollar bills and text including “Silver Nugget (Casino) Las Vegas” and “Free sample.” Semi-obscured by a vaguely phallic sketch, “Simbi of the leaves” likely refers to syncretic snake spirits of Kongolese and Haitian origin. Crossing out was a frequent device for Basquiat, who once explained “I cross out words so you will see them more; the fact that they are obscured makes you want to read them.” Beyond physically moving through — and altering — New York’s urban landscape, Basquiat possessed an “innate capacity to function as an oracle,” according to Hoffman. The impact of Basquiat’s entwined trajectories through geographic and psychic space is still resounding today, not least in this rare drawing.


DETAIL

SIGNATURE VERSO

LOT 107 JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT Untitled

1987 Colored pencil and oil stick on paper Signed and dated sheet verso Composition/sheet: 42" x 29.5" (107 x 75 cm) PROVE NANC E Harry “Coco” Brown (acquired directly from the artist, 1987); Rebecca Johnston, California (gifted directly from the above, 1989)

$150,000–200,000

Davis, Tamra, dir. Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child.

Koehler, Robert. “Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child.”

2010. Amsterdam: Fortissimo Films.

Review of Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child, dir.

Davis, Tamra and Becky Johnston, “Becky Johnston and

Tamra Davis. Variety, January 29, 2010.

Tamra Davis Interview Basquiat.” Interview by Tamra Davis

LDK. “Basquiat, Brooklyn Museum, New York.” Accessed

and Becky Johnston. 1985. http://www.basquiat.cloud/

September 17, 2020. https://www.studiointernational.com/

becky-johnston-and-tamra-davis-interview-basquiat/

index.php/basquiat

Hoffman, Fred. The Art of Jean-Michel Basquiat. New York:

Van de Weghe. “Jean-Michel Basquiat Works on Paper.”

Enrico Navarra Gallery, 2017.

Accessed September 17, 2020. https://www.vdwny.com/

Jean-Michel Basquiat. Lugano, Switzerland: Museo d’Arte

exhibitions/jean-michel-basquiat-works-on-paper

Moderna Cittá di Lugano, 2005.


LOT 73 KARL BENJAMIN

Laguna Seascape II 1954 Oil on canvas Signed and dated lower right; signed and titled canvas stretcher bar verso; retains Pasadena Art Institute exhibition label verso Canvas (vis.): 23.75" x 29.75" Frame: 25.75" x 31.75" (Canvas: 60 x 75 cm) Louis Stern has confirmed the authenticity of this work. It will be included in the catalogue raisonné of the paintings, currently being compiled by Beth Benjamin and Louis Stern Fine Arts. P ROVENA NC E Private Collection, Claremont, California (acquired directly from the artist); Thence by descent EXHIBITE D “Karl Benjamin–Paintings,” Pasadena Art Institute, Pasadena, July 30-October 5, 1954; “Close Values: The Legacy of Karl Benjamin,” Mt. San Antonio College Art Gallery, Walnut, September 22-December 8, 2016 ILLUSTRAT E D Close Values: The Legacy of Karl Benjamin. Mt. San Antonio College exh. cat. 2016. 94-95.

$30,000–50,000



LOT 17 FRANK STELLA

Jeziory (Sketch) 1973 Linen, felt, and acrylic on cardboard collage on graph paper Signed, titled, and dated in graphite lower left Composition/sheet: 29.75" x 38.75" Frame: 42.125" x 50.625" (Composition/sheet: 75 x 98 cm) P ROVENANC E Private Collection, Palm Springs, California (acquired through Phillips, New York, New York, November 14, 2014, lot 192)

$48,000–65,000


LOT 153 DE WAIN VALENTINE Untitled

c. 1980 Laminated glass 18" x 34" x 7.625" (46 x 86 x 19 cm) ALTERNATE VIEW

$4,000–6,000


LOT 138 JOHN MCCRACKEN Untitled (Mandala) 1974 Acrylic on paper Signed and dated in graphite lower right margin beneath composition; inscribed “For Meg - 2/27/77” lower left Composition: 18.25" x 18.5" Sheet (vis.): 19.5" x 19.5" Frame: 26.875" x 26.875" (Composition: 46 x 47 cm) P ROVENAN C E The Estate of Jane Machon, Santa Fe, New Mexico; Private Collection, Tustin, California (acquired directly from the above)

$6,000–8,000


SIGNATURE AND DATE DETAIL

LOT 5 GEORGE RICKEY Summer Flower

1998 Stainless steel sculpture with acrylic paint Etched signature and date to base; inscribed “Summer Rectangle” and “Irma” to underside 7" x 5.5" x 4" (18 x 14 x 10 cm) PROVE NANC E Deneberg Fine Arts, California; Hackett-Freedman Gallery, San Francisco, California; Private Collection, California (acquired directly from the above) ALTERNATE VIEW

$12,000–18,000


JOHN BALDESSARI Before assuming his identities as legendary conceptual artist, instigator, and educator, John Baldessari (1931-2020) did what many emerging artists do: he scoured the discipline of painting for its possibilities. After roughly a decade of painting in various styles — his earliest extant work is an expressionistic still-life canvas completed in 1956 - by the mid-1960s, Baldessari began to shift his focus by “questioning the authorial notion of what an artwork could be.” This line of inquiry culminated with the artist’s infamous 1970 Cremation Project, in which Baldessari and friends burned the more than 100 paintings created between 1953 and 1966 that had not sold and were still in his possession. Some canvases however, White X Sign among them, were not reduced to ash and baked into cookies. As Baldessari himself told Christopher Knight, “Obviously there are some works that survived. Not a lot, I might add.” White X Sign (1963) belongs to a pre-Cremation body of work built around the letter/symbol “X,” many of which were included in the 1962 Art Works Galleries show “John Baldessari: X Exhibition.” The first of this series documented within Baldessari’s raisonné is the 1961 X for Karen, executed in watercolor on paper. Some works from this period, like Sign for One Way (Version 1), prominently feature an “X” but do not reference it in their title — and others still deviate from painting as forays into assemblage, such as the 1962 works X Sign for a Crucifixion and X Sign Meets the U.S. Mail. Despite narrowly avoiding a fiery end, White X Sign does seem to evidence certain themes that guided Baldessari’s deeply subversive artistic career. Baldessari would later famously incorporate winking pedagogical text into his practice, and the close engagement with a single letter might be viewed as a foreshadowing. Beyond being a letter of the alphabet, “X” is a loaded symbol of both negation (to cross out, to x-out, ex-) and amplification (to multiply). In White X Sign, the titular shape is not fully rendered and emerges through layered fields of paint — is the “X” crossing out, or is it being crossed-out? As with so much of Baldessari’s output, nothing is certain, and everything is in question. Lannan Foundation. “John Baldessari.” Accessed September 18, 2020. https://lannan.org/art/artist/john-baldessari/ Meier, Alison C. “Why John Baldessari Burned His Own Art.” JSTOR. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://daily.jstor.org/whyjohn-baldessari-burned-his-own-art/ Patrick Pardo and Robert Dean, eds., John Baldessari Catalogue Raisonné, Volume One: 1956-1974, New Haven, 2012.


LOT 82 JOHN BALDESSARI White X Sign 1963 Oil on canvas MARKINGS VERSO AND RECTO

Signed and dated in graphite lower center edge of canvas; signed, titled, and dated to canvas overlap verso; signed and dated “’67” canvas verso Canvas: 30.875" x 32.25" Frame: 31.875" x 33.25" (Canvas: 78 x 82 cm) PROVENANC E Private Collection, San Diego, California (acquired directly from the artist, 1967) I L LU ST RAT E D John Baldessari Catalogue Raisonné Volume One: 1956-1974. R. Dean and P. Pardo, eds. #1963.3.

$80,000–120,000


LOT 78 CLAIRE FALKENSTEIN Untitled

1975 India ink on paper Initialed and dated lower right Composition/sheet: 14" x 20" Frame: 20.5" x 26.5" (Composition/sheet: 36 x 51 cm)

$4,000–6,000


LOT 154 MARY CORSE Untitled

2000 Acrylic and glass microspheres on paper Signed and dated in graphite sheet verso Composition: 7.75" x 18.75" Sheet: 15.5" x 26.75" (Composition: 20 x 47 cm) PROVE NANC E Private Collection, Los Angeles, California (gifted directly by the artist, c. 2002)

$15,000–20,000


LOT 24 LARI PITTMAN Untitled #53

1989 Acrylic on paper Retains Rosamund Felsen Gallery, John Berggruen Gallery and Jay Gorney Modern Art labels frame verso Composition/sheet: 30.25" x 22.5" Frame: 36.125" x 28.375" (Composition/sheet: 77 x 57 cm)

$5,000–7,000


LOT 186 RUTH G. WADDY

“lino-cut” in graphite lower center sheet

1973 Linocuts on paper

Sheets each: 16" x 12" (41 x 30 cm)

Each signed and dated “5-1973” in graphite lower right; each retains dedicated inscription with day of the week lower left and inscribed

Ruth Waddy founded

The Children (7)

by American Negro Artists, and exhibited at venues including UCLA, Womanspace, and the California African American Museum.

Art West Associa-

P ROV E NANC E Private

tion of preeminent

Collection, Los Angeles,

black artists, traveled

California (acquired

cross-country gather-

directly from the artist)

ing prints for the 1965

$6,000–8,000

volume Prints


SOREL ETROG An artist can be defined as someone who still believes in the human hands. —Sorel Etrog

Amidst the devastating aftermath of World War II, artist, writer, and philosopher Sorel Etrog (1933-2014) created a consequential body of sculptural works that grapple with the fortitude and vulnerabilities of the human body in an increasingly mechanized world. Strongly influenced by fellow Romanian artist Constantin Brancusi, as well as Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore, Etrog transmuted his experiences of persecution as an Eastern European Jew into complex, monumental meditations on the human condition. The towering 1967 La Streta emerges from what is argued to be the most fertile period of Etrog’s career. Born in Romania in 1933 to a Jewish family, Etrog’s youth was spent fleeing the Nazis and Soviets. The family immigrated to Israel in 1950, where Etrog enrolled at the Tel Aviv Art Institute. In 1958, he was awarded a scholarship to the Brooklyn Museum of Art School. Though not immediately successful in New York, a chance encounter with Canadian businessman and collector Sam Zacks at the gallery of Rose Fried would set Etrog on his path to renown. Zacks, who purchased work from Etrog on the spot, invited him to live and work at his Canadian lake home during the summer of 1959. Here, 140 miles south of Toronto, Etrog made his first sculptures, began his entrée into Canadian art circles, and decided to apply for Canadian citizenship. The works of this period were “the first evidence of a new aesthetic approach for Etrog, one that incorporated ideas and themes borrowed from the African and Oceanic art he had seen at both the Brooklyn Museum and in the Zacks’ collection,” writes Etrog biographer Alma Mikulinsky. The stalk-like form of La Streta emerged directly from this era and bears great resemblance to works such as Blossom (1960-1961) and Ritual Dancer (1962), acquired shortly after completion by the Guggenheim and the Museum of Modern Art, respectively. Etrog wrote of his new focus on the standing figure that he wanted “to be free to use large masses or weight without them sinking into or flattening on to the base. I wanted the figure to soar from the base like the trunk of the tree with nothing happening until a short stop at the hips, leaving the drama for the top.” One year after completing La Streta, Etrog adapted


his towering form to a smaller scale when he was chosen to design the bronze statuette presented to winners at the Canadian Film Awards — the award was known as the “Etrog” until 1980. The tensions and concerns that Etrog cultivated in his sculpture parallel his less well-known collaborations with philosophical minds of the day, including illustrations for playwrights Samuel Beckett and Eugène Ionesco, as well as a film companion text with media theorist Marshall McLuhan. As Mikulinsky writes, such efforts “convey the profoundly human — and humane — aspects of an artist whose thoughts encompass sculptural and metaphorical considerations of connection, passage, relationship and continuity.” Etrog’s persistent interest in existentialist and absurdist philosophy directly informed his visual output, particularly in terms of the relationships between humans and machine. “I found that most mechanical tools are an extension of our hand,” Etrog observed, “For me, the mechanical world has a very strong connection with our bodies.” Caviar 20. “Sorel Etrog ‘Athlete’ Bronze, 1967.” Accessed September 18, 2020. https://www.caviar20.com/products/soreletrog-athlete-bronze-1967 Goucher College. “Ritual Head.” Accessed September 18, 2020. https://blogs.goucher.edu/artcollection/sculptures/ ritual-head/ Mikulinsky, Alma. “Sorel Etrog Life and Work.” https://aci-iac.ca/art-books/sorel-etrog/biography Mikulinsky, Alma. “Significance and Critical Issues.” https://aci-iac.ca/art-books/sorel-etrog/significance-and-critical-issues


DETAIL

LOT 178 SOREL ETROG La Streta 1967 Bronze #1 of 7 Stamped “Etrog 1/7” to base 75.125" x 26.5" x 12" (191 x 67 x 30 cm)

$30,000–50,000


LOT 128 ED RUSCHA Rooster

1988 Aquatint and hard-ground etching on Somerset white paper #33 of 50 Published and printed by Crown Point Press, San Francisco

Signed and dated in graphite lower right margin beneath image; edition lower left; retains Crown Point Press blind stamps lower right edge of sheet Image: 35.5" x 22" Sheet: 44" x 30" Frame: 46.75" x 33" (Image: 90 x 56 cm)

LIT E RAT URE Edward Ruscha: Editions, 19591999: Catalogue Raisonné. 1st ed. Vol. II. S. Engberg and C. Phillpot. 1999. #159.

$6,000–8,000


LOT 150 FINN JUHL

Three-seat sofa Niels Vodder, designed 1953 Etched “Cabinetmaker Niels Vodder/ Copenhagen Denmark/Finn Juhl” 29" x 73" x 29" (74 x 185 x 74 cm)

$9,000–12,000


LOT 149 FINN JUHL Easy chair

Niels Vodder, designed 1953 Model no. NV-53 Branded “Cabinetmaker Niels Vodder/ Copenhagen Denmark/Design Finn Juhl” 29.25" x 28.25" x 29" (74 x 72 x 74 cm) L I T E RAT URE Danish Chairs. N. Oda. 1996. 98-99.

$6,000–8,000


ALEXANDER CALDER The universe is real, but you can’t see it. You have to imagine it. Once you imagine it, you can be realistic about producing it. —Alexander Calder

One of the most celebrated artists of the twentieth century, Alexander Calder (1898-1976) is most widely remembered for his work in three dimensions as the inventor of mobiles, “stabiles,” and wire “drawings in space.” In 1953, however, a yearlong stay in Aix-en-Provence afforded an established Calder the opportunity to hone his focus on the two-dimensional plane. It was here — first in a house with no electricity, and then in a house alleged to be haunted — that Calder practiced and perfected translating his jubilant sculptures onto paper, and was later able to create such works as Nautilus and Sea Flower (1967). Using his preferred medium of gouache, Calder was able to express themes that defined his kinetic sculpture — fluidity of motion and a distillation of cosmic arrangements. Nautilus and Sea Flower is exemplary of Calder’s seamless adaptation of his sculptures’ bold geometry, sense of motion, and overall joie de vivre to an alternate medium. A synthesis of geometric forms, the spirals and arabesques dance across space in whimsical strokes and exuberant lines. Calder claimed that the basis of everything he made was the universe; this expansive view is on full symbolic display in Nautilus: a radiating sun/flower, a black dot for earth, cell, and seed, a chambered nautilus of primary colors for the sea and origins, and a dallying curly-cued line for the infinite paths of time and motion. For Calder, the relationships between cosmic entities amounted to a theory of art — Nautilus and Sea Flower reinforces his investigation of such distinctions through bold color. Black lines against white carry the contrasts of night and day, and in Nautilus are set off by vibrant blue, ochre, and vermillion — the basis for all other colors. An early influence that guided both Calder’s pursuit of abstraction and his affinity for primary colors was a 1930 visit to the studio of Dutch painter Piet Mondrian. Upon seeing the artist’s grids of red, yellow, and blue rectangles, Calder recalled feeling like a “baby being slapped to make his lungs start working.” The circus also served as inspiration for Calder’s experiments in composition. What existed underneath the tent — arcs of leaping


gymnasts, diagonal tightropes, the spherical ring containing the entire spectacle — directly influenced Calder’s two-dimensional abstractions. That the dynamics of the circus might also be spotted within Nautilus and Sea Flower, in its ring of fire, trapeze-artist twirls, and vibrant hues, is a testimony to Calder’s uncanny genius for distilling complex motion and

universality into simple and deeply pleasurable forms. Calder Foundation. “Biography.” Accessed September 18, 2020. http://www.calder.org/life/biography Calder Foundation. “Large-scale developments and inter-continental commissions: 1953-1962.” Accessed September 18, 2020. http://www.calder.org/work/by-lifeperiod/1953-1962 Corbett, Rachel. “How Alexander Calder Gave Objects a Life of Their Own.” The Atlantic, May 2020. Kuh, Katherine. Alexander Calder in The Artist’s Voice: Talks with Seventeen Artists. New York and Evanston, Illinois: Harper & Row, 1962.

LOT 62 ALEXANDER CALDER

Nautilus and Sea Flower 1967 Gouache and ink on paper Signed and dated lower right; retains Perls Galleries label frame verso

Calder Foundation #A05921 Sheet: 22.5" x 30.75" Frame: 24.625" x 32.25" (Sheet: 57 x 78 cm)

P ROV E NANC E Perls Galleries, New York, New York; Private Collection, Pasadena, California (acquired directly from the above, 1968); Thence by descent

$40,000–60,000


LOT 127 ERIC ORR Untitled

1983 Acrylic on board with gold leaf and blood on lead wall relief 35.5" x 57.5" (90 x 146 cm) P ROVENA NC E Neil G. Ovsey Gallery, Los Angeles, California; Private Collection, Beverly Hills, California (commissioned from the above, 1982)

$6,000–8,000


LOT 132 LARRY BELL

DCF #40 (Double Curve Fade) 1978 Aluminum and silicon monoxide on Arches paper Signed and dated lower edge of sheet

near center; titled sheet verso; retains Janus Gallery label frame verso Sheet: 59.5" x 41.75" Frame: 60.5" x 42.5" (Sheet: 151 x 106 cm)

P ROV E NANC E Janus Gallery, Venice, California; Beverly Morsey, Los Angeles, California (acquired directly from the above, c. 1980); Thence by descent

$20,000–30,000


LOT 98 ANDY WARHOL Vote McGovern

1972 16-color screenprint on Arches 88 paper #180 of 250 Published and printed by Gemini G.E.L, Los Angeles Retains Gemini G.E.L. blindstamp lower right edge of sheet; signed with edition in ballpoint pen

sheet verso; stamped “Copyright 1972 Andy Warhol” sheet verso F/S #II.84 Gemini G.E.L. #54.1 Sheet: 42" x 42" Frame: 42.375" x 42.375" (Sheet: 107 x 107 cm)

L I T E RAT U R E Andy Warhol Prints: A Catalogue Raisonné. 4th ed. F. Feldman and J. Schellmann. 2003. #II.84.

$18,000–25,000


LOT 175 JOHN FOLLIS & REX GOODE Pig planter

Architectural Pottery, designed c. 1949 Model no. G-99 14.25" x 43.5" x 27" (36 x 110 x 69 cm) L I T E RAT URE Architectural Pottery. Manufacturer cat. March 1961. 14.

$3,000–5,000


GUY DE COINTET

Nicknamed “the Duchamp of LA,” Guy de Cointet’s (1934-1983) enigmatic career expanded the parameters of the conceptual art movement that emerged from 1970s Los Angeles. Born in Paris, de Cointet lived in New York from 1965 to 1968, when he moved to Los Angeles to be Larry Bell’s studio assistant. As Bell recalled, “[de Cointet] was a very eloquent guy but he was very private, very quiet. To pull anything out of him, you had to really go after him.” De Cointet’s mysterious persona was likely seeded early — as a young man, he developed an interest in cryptography and the riddle-poems of French surrealist Raymond Roussel. As his practice developed, de Cointet continued to explore language through performance and drawing, incorporating random phrases and words gleaned from popular culture. Within his theatrical productions, de Cointet’s paintings and art objects functioned as props for translating feeling and emotion to his audience. As Matthew Brannon wrote of this slippery triangulation of objects, actors, and audience: “We [can] fully understand that the art is not only not the props on the stage, nor the performance itself – but us. Us as an audience watching such a performance.” Untitled (Sticks) (c. 1966) is considered an immediate predecessor to de Cointet’s works-cum-theatrical-props (or vice versa, as the case may be). Marie de Brugerolle notes in her essay “Post-Performance Painting” that de Cointet most likely made this work in New York, and that it serves as “a link between the ‘ping pong’ paintings that he made just before moving to the United States and the art-object-props that he created for his first performances.” Brannon, Matthew. “Guy de Cointet.” Mousse Magazine. V. 22. February-March 2010. Brugerolle, Marie de. “Post-Performance Painting.” Mousse Magazine. V. 66. Winter 2019. Finkel, Jori. “Clues to his mystery hang on the walls.” The Los Angeles Times. January 10, 2013.


LOT 134 GUY DE COINTET Untitled (Sticks)

c. 1966 Mixed-media sculpture 27" x 22" x 1.625" (69 x 56 x 4 cm) P ROV E NANC E Private Collection, Palm Springs, California (acquired directly from the artist, c. 1968) ILLUST RAT E D “Post-Performance Painting.” Mousse Magazine. M. de Brugerolle. Winter 2019. 210.

$6,000–8,000


LOT 50 ELAINE DE KOONING Action Self-Portrait c. 1956 Oil on canvas Signed lower left edge of canvas Canvas: 23.5" x 19.5" Frame: 31.25" x 27.25" (Canvas: 60 x 50 cm) P ROVENA NC E The Estate of Israel “Sol” Levitan & Idee F. Levitan (acquired directly from the artist); Samuel J. Hardman, Commerce, Georgia (acquired directly from the above, 1983); Private Collection, San Diego, California

$15,000–20,000


LOT 99 ROY LICHTENSTEIN Modern Head Relief 1970 Brass From an edition of 100 Published and fabricated by Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles Gemini G.E.L. #31.34 Relief: 24" x 17.75" Mount: 30" x 23.75" (Relief: 61 x 45 cm) PROVE NANC E Murray “Mickey” A. Gribin, Los Angeles, California; Private Collection, Los Angeles, California L I T E RAT URE The Prints of Roy Lichtenstein: A Catalogue Raisonné, 1948-1993. 1st ed. M. Corlett. 1994. 33.

$25,000–35,000


LOT 25 ROBERTO SEBASTIAN MATTA New View

1996 Carborundum etching on handmade paper #22 of 125 Published by Nordstamp Fine Art, Buford Initialed lower right; edition lower left Image/sheet: 43.25" x 38.5" Frame: 52.625" x 47.875" (Image/sheet: 110 x 98 cm)

$7,000–10,000


LOT 196 BRUCE COHEN Untitled

1980 Oil on canvas Retains unknown information label to canvas stretcher verso 67.5" x 42" (171 x 107 cm) PROVE NANC E Private Collection, Los Angeles, California (acquired directly from the artist)

$4,000–6,000


TERRY WINTERS Painting is a combination of carpentry and catastrophe. —Terry Winters

Hybrids to their core, the abstract paintings of Terry Winters (b. 1949) emerge from a deliberately cultivated blend of spontaneity and structure. For Winters, the connection between process and picture-making is constantly evolving, and his interdisciplinary interests — in “natural science, jazz, computers, fractals, balloons, the world of Edgar Allan Poe and the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze” — have yielded such defining works as Logical Cube from 1997. “[Winters] draws together the most advanced aesthetic debates that preceded him,” offer Juan Manuel Bonet and Catherine Lampert, introducing their Winters retrospective. His oeuvre, they argue, “would be unthinkable before Minimalism” and evidences “an ongoing interest in merging concept and representation as well as exploring semantic systems.” While Winters’s early paintings maintained a minimal aesthetic and presented legible images drawn from natural history, his later work expands upon his desire to represent “real” forms difficult to identify apart from their context. Richard Axsom notes, “As [Winters] revised and elaborated upon his earlier vocabularies of botanical forms, new shapes began to crowd the page. Spheres and ovoids opened into extended patterns, often with honeycombed interiors, suggesting irregular grid geometries.” Such “new shapes” are on full display in Logical Cube, exemplary of this period, and its tangled lines merging at the center evoke another Winters motif, rhizomatic structure. Alchemizing the tensions of universal order and chaos for full effect, Winters managed to imbue works like Logical Cube with his own distinct energy. “I want the pictures to have an associative power,” Winters stated, “a sense of life.” Axsom, Richard H. “The Philosophers’ Stone: The Prints of Terry Winters.” Samet, Jennifer. “Beer with a Painter: Terry Winters.” Hyperallergic. February 7, 2015. Terry Winters [Exhibition Catalogue]. London: Whitechapel Gallery, 1999.


LOT 19 TERRY WINTERS Logical Cube

1997 Acrylic and oil crayon on paper Signed and dated in graphite upper right edge of sheet; retains Matthew Marks Gallery label frame verso

Sheet: 41.5" x 29.75" Frame: 50.375" x 38.25" (Sheet: 105 x 75 cm) PROVE N A N CE Matthew Marks Gallery, New York, New York; Private Collection, California (acquired directly from the above, 1997)

Art Gallery exh. cat. 1999. 114. E XHIBIT E D “Terry Winters,” traveling exhibition, Institut Valencia d’Art Modern (IVAM), Valencia, December 17, 1998-January 10, 1999; Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, February

I L LU ST RAT E D Terry

19-April 25, 1999

Winters. IVAM Centre del

$20,000–30,000

Carme/Whitechapel


LOT 121 VARIOUS ARTISTS

In Barcelona Suite (Portfolio California) 1988-1989 The complete suite of 16 etchings and lithographs on Guarro paper in original case #16 of 75 Published by Ediciones Polígrafa, Barcelona; printed by Polígrafa Obra Gráfica, Barcelona Each signed and dated with edition; edition inscribed on colophon Comprised of works by Billy Al Bengston, Peter Alexander, Larry Bell, Laddie John Dill, Craig Kauffman, Ed Moses, Eric Orr, and Ed Ruscha Together with two additional Peter Alexander lithographs each marked “SPECIMEN” Sheets each: 29.875" x 22" (or alternate orientation) Portfolio case: 32.125" x 23" x .75" (Sheets each: 76 x 56 cm) P ROVENA N C E Mark Moore Gallery, Santa Monica, California; Private Collection (acquired directly from the above, c. 1989)

$12,000–18,000



LOT 122 JOE GOODE Forest Fire

c. 1983 Oil on canvas in three parts Inscribed “Joe Goode” frame verso Canvas (overall): 16" x 44" Frame (overall): 17.375" x 45.5" (Canvas: 41 x 112 cm) P ROVENA NC E Murray “Mickey” A. Gribin, Los Angeles, California; Private Collection, Los Angeles, California

$10,000–15,000


LOT 2 CHARLES ARNOLDI Untitled

1973 Painted sticks Retains Hunsaker/Schlesinger Associates label frame verso Composition: 23.75" x 23.75" Frame: 28.25" x 28.25" (Composition: 60 x 60 cm) PROVENANC E Hunsaker/Schlesinger Associates, Los Angeles, California; Private Collection, Paso Robles, California (acquired directly from the above, 1990)

$5,000–7,000


LOT 8 ROBERT GRAHAM

Julie Ann (from Eight Figures Series) 1993 Individually cast bronze with unique patina From the unnumbered edition, each with unique patina or hand painted Together with copy of invoice from Hunsaker/Schlesinger dated October 7, 1993 19.5" x 4.75" x 4.5" 59" x 18" diameter (including base) (50 x 12 x 11 cm) P ROVENA NC E Hunsaker/Schlesinger Associates, Los Angeles, California; Private Collection, Paso Robles, California (acquired directly from the above, 1993) LITERATURE Robert Graham: Eight Statues. M. McClure. 1994. #5.

$18,000–25,000


MARKINGS DETAIL

LOT 165 ALEXANDER GIRARD Obelisk

1953 Mixed-media on painted wood Signed and dated “Sandro Girard/May 28 1953” to one face Together with letter from Charles Eames to Alexander Girard dated May 15, 1953 18" x 5.125" x 5.125" (46 x 13 x 13 cm) CHARLES EAMES LETTER

$4,000–6,000


LARRY RIVERS It is widely believed that the painter, sculptor, and printmaker Larry Rivers (1923–2002) changed the course of American art in the 1950s and '60s, when pure abstraction was the dominant force in art. At a time during which figuration was considered dead, Rivers insisted that figurative art and portraiture remained relevant—even radical. The singular style he developed combined the force and gesture of Abstract Expressionism with perfectly rendered, representational imagery. His preferred subject matter— everyday objects like playing cards, cigarette packs, and foreign currency— together with his signature cool, ironic detachment have caused some to regard Rivers as the forerunner of Pop Art. Drawing on sources ranging from Courbet and Manet to Matisse, a major theme in Rivers's work is the relocating of iconic, established imagery in contemporary art. One of his early successes was his 1953 work Washington Crossing the Delaware, a detached dissection of the famed Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze painting. In 1963, Rivers painted the first of his Dutch Masters works, a theme he explored several times over. Wryly, these works reference not any Dutch master proper, but a brand of cigars whose packaging co-opts Rembrandt's The Sampling Officials of the Amsterdam Drapers' Guild to commercial ends. In so doing, these paintings are classic Rivers, who surely relished the absurd reincarnation of a Rembrandt masterpiece as promotional fodder in twentieth century consumer culture. Rose, Barbara, and Jacquelyn Days Serwer. Larry Rivers: Art and the Artist. Boston: Little, Brown and in Association with the Corcoran Gallery of Art, 2002. Print.

LOT 106 LARRY RIVERS

Dutch Masters White Plains Box 1981 Oil on shaped canvas support Signed lower right “Larry Rivers”

LAMA would like to thank the Larry Rivers Studio for their assistance in cataloguing this work 76.75" x 60" x 19" (195 x 152 x 48 cm)

PROVE NANC E Private Collection, Beverly Hills, California (acquired directly from the artist, 1982); Private Collection, Los Angeles, California (acquired directly from the above)

$40,000–60,000




MARKINGS VERSO

LOT 108 FRANK GEHRY

Grandpa Beaver armchair New City Editions, Venice, executed 1987 #12 of 50 Corrugated cardboard Titled with edition in ballpoint pen to underside; retains etched Frank Gehry and Joel Stearns signatures to underside 35" x 46" x 42" (89 x 117 x 107 cm) PROVENANC E Private Collection, Palm Desert, California (acquired through Los Angeles Modern Auctions, Los Angeles, California, October 10, 1992, lot 131) ALTERNATE VIEW

$10,000–15,000


LOT 81 ROBERT MOTHERWELL Plate (from Alphabet Series)

1986 Aquatint, lift-ground etching and aquatint, and collage on Whatman paper Archive proof aside from the edition numbered A-Z Published and printed by the artist

Signed and inscribed “archive” in graphite lower right margin beneath image; retains artist’s blind stamp lower right edge of sheet; retains Bobbie Greenfield Gallery label frame verso

Image: 29.5" x 21.75" Sheet: 37" x 27.875" Frame: 45" x 36" (Image: 75 x 55 cm) L I T E RAT URE Robert Motherwell: The Complete Prints 1940-1991: Catalogue Raisonné. S. Engberg and J. Banach. 2003. #375(Archive).

$7,000–10,000


LOT 135 PAUL ALLEN REED Upstart XXXVI

1966 Acrylic on canvas Signed, titled, and dated canvas verso 22" x 52" (56 x 132 cm)

$8,000–12,000


AMERICAN STUDIO WORKS As technology and machine-based manufacturing continue to blur disciplinary boundaries within furniture design, the aura of authentic craftsmanship only grows brighter. Merging the warmth of the human touch with impeccable and often ingenious design, American studio furniture invites us to nurture our relationship to both the material world and daily life. Among the 20th century stalwarts of the field are Arthur Espenet Carpenter, Wendell Castle, Victor DiNovi, and Sam Maloof, each represented in this auction with exquisite works of handmade furniture. A California-based contemporary of Carpenter and the first craftsperson to ever be recognized with a MacArthur Fellowship, Sam Maloof (19162009) is today famed for his minimal and organic designs created without any nails or metal hardware. The Sam Maloof freestanding cradle, is one of relatively few that Maloof made and evolved from the “cradle-hutch” design he created in 1966 under pressure to contribute to a bed-themed exhibition organized by the Museum of Contemporary Crafts. At the time, Maloof chose to create something that “would prove immediately useful at home afterwards.” His son Slimen and wife Kathryn were expecting a baby, and Maloof made this first “cradle-hutch” to maximize the small space where the family was living with ample storage features. This cradle freestanding version executed in 2007, retains the boat-like form of this first endeavor, while morphing into a stand-out centerpiece to be enjoyed by all members of the family.

LOT 45 SAM MALOOF

Freestanding cradle Studio, executed 2007 Walnut and ebony Inscribed “No. 20 May 2007/Sam Maloof/M.J. L.W. D.W./D.F.A. R.I.S.D.” 50.75" x 49" x 32.25" (129 x 124 x 82 cm) P ROVENA NC E Private Collection, Santa Monica, California (acquired directly from the studio, 2007) LITERATURE The Furniture of Sam Maloof. J. Adamson. 2001. 135.

$20,000–30,000

DETAIL



Like Carpenter’s elegant and deceptively simple Wishbone chair, Wendell Castle’s Zephyr chairs harmonize material, line, and quotidian need for maximum effect. Castle (1932-2018) challenged the traditional boundaries of functional design from the outset of his career, maintaining that furniture should have the same impact as sculpture. Renowned for developing original techniques to shape solid, stack-laminated wood, Castle created furniture with a whimsical and organic approach, resulting in such iconic designs as the Zephyr chair — which has almost no hard edges.


Nurturing the needs of the body with objects of daily usefulness that are used, admired, respected and appreciated nurtures the soul as well. - Wendell Castle

MARKINGS DETAIL

LOT 40 WENDELL CASTLE Zephyr chairs (2)

Studio, executed 1977 Laminated and bent walnut and suede Each initialed and dated Each: 29.5" x 24.25" x 22.5" (75 x 61 x 57 cm) PROVENANC E Wendell Castle, Scottsville, New York; Private Collection, Rochester, New York (acquired directly from the above, 1977) L I T E RAT URE Wendell Castle: A Catalogue RaisonnĂŠ 1958-2012. E. Eerdmans. 2016. 176.; Furniture by Wendell Castle. D. S. Taragin, E. S. Cooke, Jr., and J. Giovannini. 1989. 45, for similar example illustrated.

$20,000–30,000



A self-taught furniture maker, Arthur Espenet Carpenter (1920-2006) co-founded the Baulines Craft Guild in 1972 to further the legacy of studio furniture by connecting apprentices with established craftspeople. That same period saw the completion of Carpenter’s Wishbone chair and a desk and bookshelf/desk combination from the Baulines Craft Guild, respectively. Named for the distinct shape of the chair’s two sides, the sleek walnut and leather Wishbone chair (executed 1972) combines a naturally occurring form with understated beauty and utility. As Carpenter himself articulated: “My whole thing has been utility. If it isn’t comfortable and if it doesn’t last and if it doesn’t function, it’s no good. Furniture to me is something the body touches.” Thus appealing to the senses, Carpenter paid especial attention to his rounded edges, like those of the Wishbone chair, as well as his selections of wood — contrasting grains for the eye and unfinished wood from Japanese oak trees for its aroma, for example.

LOT 43 ARTHUR ESPENET CARPENTER Wishbone chair

Studio, executed 1972 Walnut and leather Etched “7211” and branded “Espenet” 30.75" x 22" x 23" (78 x 56 x 58 cm)

$6,000–8,000


While each created with their own sensibility, these master craftsmen are united by shared tenets on full display in their works: namely, the conviction that furniture should not only be useful, but life-affirming.

Craft in America. “Victor DiNovi.” Accessed September 21, 2020. https://www. craftinamerica.org/artist/victor-dinovi Fine Woodworking. “Sam Maloof.” Accessed September 21, 2020. https://www. finewoodworking.com/author/sam-maloof Smithsonian American Art Museum. “Arthur Espenet Carpenter.” Accessed September 21, 2020. https://americanart.si.edu/artist/arthur-espenet-carpenter-7496 Wendell Castle. Biography. Accessed September 21, 2020. http://www.wendellcastle.com/ Adamson, Jeremy. The Furniture of Sam Maloof. Smithsonian American Art Museum, W.W. Norton & Company. 2001.

ALTERNATE VIEW


LOT 41 BAULINES CRAFT GUILD Desk

Studio, executed 1972 Walnut Etched “Guido ‘72/30” to underside 41.25" x 46.25" x 24" (33" extended) (105 x 117 x 61 cm) DETAILS

$6,000–8,000


Highlights of the MODERN ART & DESIGN AUCTION Go to lamodern.com to view all 200 lots offered in the October 18, 2020 auction


OTHER NOTABLE PROPERTY BY: CHARLES & RAY EAMES GEORGE NELSON VLADIMIR KAGAN HANS J. WEGNER GERTRUD & OTTO NATZLER ETTORE SOTTSASS

SAM FRANCIS KEN PRICE TONY BERLANT PABLO PICASSO VASA ROBERT INDIANA


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