LAMA BLOG

LAMA: Maker of Markets! March 1 Auction Recap

March 4, 2015

At the March 1 Auction, LAMA set new world records for works by De Wain Valentine, Frederick Hammersley, Mary Corse, and Peter Alexander. LAMA remains at the forefront of the Modern and Contemporary Fine Art and Design auction market as made evident with total auction sales realizing $4.1 million, selling 142% of the 445 lots by value.

March 1, 2015 auction audience

March 1, 2015 Modern Art & Design Auction

The crowd was alive and bidding Sunday at Los Angeles Modern Auctions’ March 1, 2015 Modern Art & Design Auction. The house buzzed as visitors wandered amongst the lots, sat in Modern chairs, visited the Artsy computer kiosks, all while placing bids and watching the live action. At a frenzied pace bidders participated on the phone, or bid online, or raised their paddles in person.

 

March 1, 2015 Modern Art & Design Auction at LAMA

Ruth Asawa, Untitled, S.750 (c. 1960s); Karl Benjamin, #32 (1975); De Wain Valentine, Blue Slab (1970); Frederick Hammersley, Adjective (1966);  and Billy Al Bengston, John (1966)
March 1, 2015 Modern Art & Design Auction

California Light and Space artists proved a marked success as De Wain Valentine’s Blue Slab (1970) (Lot 49, est. $30,000–50,000) set a new world auction record for the artist at $175,000, more than double his previous record, also set by LAMA. 2011 marked the year that Valentine’s work first hit the auction market (at LAMA), and since then, his market value has skyrocketed. No doubt Valentine’s visibility has risen–resulting in more exhibitions. The artist’s first historical survey in New York (and the first solo there in more than 30 years) opens this June at David Zwirner Gallery.

Another record, and another of LAMA’s featured artists–Frederick Hammersley’s painting Adjective (1966) (Lot 309, est. $60,000–90,000) brought $100,000, a new world auction record for the artist–exceeding his past eight top prices, all set by LAMA.

 

Lot 13, Peter Alexander, Wedge with Puff, 1968

Lot 13, Peter Alexander, Wedge with Puff, 1968
March 1, 2015 Modern Art & Design Auction

 

LAMA is proud to specialize in California artists, and continues to lead in Light and Space sales. Peter Alexander’s Green Sphere (Box) (1967), Lot 12, reached $53,125; setting a world auction record for the artist, which was broken again by the very next lot. Alexander’s Wedge with Puff (1968), Lot 13, now holds his world auction record at $68,750. Also, a Mary Corse painting from 2000 realized $81,250, setting a world auction record for the artist.

 

 Lot 202 Harry Bertoia Untitled 1961

Lot 202, Harry Bertoia, Untitled, 1961
March 1, 2015 Modern Art & Design Auction

 

Harry Bertoia’s lots, highly anticipated, encouraged exciting bidding activity. The rare, monumental sculpture, Lot 202, hit the auction market for the first time, carrying a a pre-sale estimate of $250,000–350,000. The crowd buzzed about this one’s provenance: it lived in a Richard Neutra house for more than 50 years, after the private collector had purchased it directly from an early Bertoia solo show (1961) at Staempfli Gallery, New York. Local, national, and international collectors–via phone and paddle–vied for the lot. After intense bidding, the sculpture realized $550,000.

 

Peter March 1, 2015 Auction

Peter Loughrey, Director, standing in action
March 1, 2015 Modern Art & Design Auction

 

From Peter Loughrey, Director of Modern Design & Fine Art:

“It has always been LAMA’s mission to build and foster the market for artists with a California connection. After 22 years, LAMA continues to play a key role in the demand for contemporary art and design on the open market,” says Peter. “Our ability to source quality material is what drives the market.”

Additional fine art highlights include: Ruth Asawa’s Untitled, S.750 (Hanging Open Form with Four Fluted Edges) (c. 1960s) sculpture which realized $93,750; Pablo Picasso’s glazed ceramic Face in Profile (1953), reached $93,750; a relief by Robert Graham from 1989 fetched $68,750; John Baldessari’s photographic suite National City Portfolio (1996) brought $62,500; and a diptych by Roger Brown, Just Around the Corner (Part I & Part II) (1975), realized $56,250.

 

Lot 138, Fernando & Humberto Campana, Pandas chair

Lot 138, Fernando & Humberto Campana, Pandas chair
March 1, 2015 Modern Art & Design Auction

 

Design sales were strong as well at the March 1 auction. Highlights include: a Fernando & Humberto Campana Pandas chair which realized $53,125; a pair of Alfred Porteneuve armchairs brought $46,250; a Sam Maloof armchair brought $22,500; and a Finn Juhl NV-45 armchair realized $20,000. Lot 134, an early iconic Droog design–Tejo Remy’s You Can’t Lay Down Your Memory chest of  drawers–realized $23,750. The drawers design debuted to great acclaim at the 1993 Milan Furniture Fair, as part of the inaugural collection by the famed conceptualist Dutch group, and quickly became an emblem of avant-garde contemporary furniture-making. Director Peter Loughrey founded LAMA in order to bring Modern art and design to market together.

 

Artsy

Artsy at the March 1, 2015 Modern Art & Design Auction

 

Auction History in the Making:

For the first time LAMA and Artsy collaborated together, using Artsy online bidding for 24 lots. Online visitors could bid remotely at the Artsy website, or in person, LAMA visitors viewed the lots in the auction house and bid at computer kiosks in the Artsy lounge. A great collaboration–the 24 lots received 100% sell through success, and many performed above their estimates.

 

TOP LOTS:

  • Harry Bertoia, Untitled (1961), (Lot 202, est. $250,000–350,000) soared past its pre-sale estimate, realizing $550,000
  • De Wain Valentine, Blue Slab (1970), (Lot 49, est. $30,000–50,000) realized $175,000, which more than doubled the previous world auction record for the artist (also set by LAMA)
  • Frederick Hammersley, Adjective (1966), (Lot 309, est. $60,000–90,000) brought $100,000, exceeding the previous world auction record for the artist (also set by LAMA)
  • Ruth Asawa, Untitled, S.750 (Hanging Open Form with Four Fluted Edges) (c. 1960s), (Lot 98, est. $40,000–60,000) fetched $93,750
  • Pablo Picasso, Face in Profile (1953), (Lot 149, est. $18,000–25,000) realized $93,750
  • Mary Corse, Untitled (White, Black, Blue Double Arch) (2000), (Lot 95, est. $30,000–50,000) realized $81,250, setting a world auction record for the artist
  • Massimo Campigli, Untitled (Figures) (1960), (Lot 139, est. $40,000–60,000) realized $71,875
  • Peter Alexander, Wedge with Puff (1968), (Lot 13, est. $7,000–9,000) brought $68,750, setting a world auction record for the artist
  • Robert Graham, Untitled (Duke Ellington) V (1989), (Lot 55, est. $20,000–30,000) exceeded the pre-sale estimate, bringing $68,750
  • John Baldessari, National City Portfolio (1996), (Lot 59, est. $40,000–60,000) totaled $62,500

 

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