LAMA BLOG

Peter’s Auction Pick of the Day: Light & Space

October 5, 2015

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

It has always been a mission of Los Angeles Modern Auctions to foster the market of artists from Southern California. In the October 11 auction we are pleased to present an array of luminous artwork from LA-based Light and Space artists. The sunlight, sunsets, and atmosphere of the area inspired a number of artists starting in the sixties and seventies. They incorporate sensory phenomena in their work by altering natural light, or using artificial light, or creating with translucent, transparent or reflective materials. In a way, you can say that as artists they’re throwbacks to an earlier time. Like the plein air artists in France in the late 19th century, or like Van Gogh, they paint not only what they see, but also the way they see it. Such artists are sensitive to subtle changes in the air and shifts in the quality of light–its mutability as it is reflected or refracted, and passes through material.

Lot 164 Peter Alexander Drip 1972

Lot 164, Peter Alexander, Drip, 1972
October 11, 2015 Modern Art & Design Auction

Peter Alexander’s resin sculpture, Drip, looks like a sunset melting. He captures in polyester resin the ephemeral effects of the Southern California sea, sky, and sunlight.

 

Lot 160 Mary Corse White Light Painting (from the White Light Band Series) 1990

Lot 160, Mary Corse, White Light Painting (from the White Light Band Series), 1990
October 11, 2015 Modern Art & Design Auction

Mary Corse’s paintings have the quality of transmutation. Her white isn’t a single white; it changes with the angle from which it’s viewed.

 

Lot 155 John McCracken Five Paintings III 1974

Lot 155, John McCracken, Five Paintings III, 1974
October 11, 2015 Modern Art & Design Auction

Art of this movement can be both personal and inclusive. John McCracken is also associated with Finish Fetish artists–he attempted to create surfaces that approximate perfection. The work was made by hand but looks like it was made by a machine. He invites viewers to use their imaginations. No two people are going to see a work like Lot 155, Five Paintings III (1974), the same way. Some will see outer space, others a pool of black oil, and some will see a shining surface like the hood of a car.

 

Lot 159 De Wain Valentine Disk Purple 1968

Lot 159, De Wain Valentine, Disk Purple, 1968
October 11, 2015 Modern Art & Design Auction

And speaking of space, De Wain Valentine’s Disk Purple looks like a flying saucer. Valentine also experiments in cast resin, creating playful and meditative pieces that are smooth, polished, and reminiscent of the California coastline. The shape has modulations of light, from the opaque to the translucent.

Lot Information:

Lot 164
Peter Alexander
Drip
1972
Polyester resin
68″ x 8″ (largest width)
LAMA would like to thank the artist for his assistance in cataloguing this work
Estimate: $15,000 – $20,000

Lot 160
Mary Corse
White Light Painting (from the White Light Band Series)
1990
Glass microspheres in acrylic on canvas
Signed and dated in felt-tip marker twice verso
Canvas: 86″ x 60″
Provenance: Ace Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles, California;
Private Collection, California (acquired directly from the above, 1992)
Estimate: $50,000 – $70,000

Lot 155
John McCracken
Five Paintings III
1974
Polyester resin, fiberglass, and wood
Signed, dated, and inscribed “John McCracken 5-74/Five Paintings III” in felt-tip marker verso
32″ x 48″ x 2.5″
Murray “Mickey” A. Gribin was a significant art patron who gifted many items from his collection including works by Craig Kauffman, John McCracken, Ed Ruscha, and Larry Bell to the Laguna Art Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. He gifted Five Paintings IV (from this series) to the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego where it currently resides in their permanent collection.
Provenance: Murray “Mickey” A. Gribin, Los Angeles, California;
Private Collection, Los Angeles, California
Literature: Phenomenal: California Light, Space, Surface. R. Clark, ed. 2011. 66 for another work from this series illustrated.
Estimate: $90,000 – $120,000

Lot 159
De Wain Valentine
Disk Purple
1968
Cast polyester resin
5″ x 11.5″ diameter
Estimate: $10,000 – $15,000

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