LAMA BLOG

Peter’s Post-Auction Picks

October 15, 2015

 

One of the great things about life: there are always second chances. Maybe you were busy or distracted during LAMA’s October 11th Modern Art & Design Auction–a sweeping success energized by lively bidding that saw new record auction prices, and total sales of $4.1 million. But several important and highly collectible works by the greatest names in modern and contemporary art and design are still available for purchase. Peter Loughrey, LAMA’s director and curator of the auction, has chosen six pieces from this group to highlight.

 

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

Lot 170
Tom Friedman
Hi
2007

Lot 170 Tom Friedman Hi 2007

Lot 170, Tom Friedman, Hi, 2007
October 11, 2015 Modern Art & Design Auction

“I think that there’s this misconception that playful thinking is not serious and it’s not important,” says the conceptual artist Tom Friedman [Parkett, vol. 64, 2002]. There’s no denying the sense of fun that imbues Friedman’s work, just as it’s true that he is a seriously significant figure in contemporary art. Top galleries have represented him, including Gagosian and Luhring Augustine. Although Friedman is only at the midpoint in his career, his work is already in some of the world’s great public and private collections, including those of the Guggenheim, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Charles Saatchi.

Whether you are immediately drawn in by his oversized wall sculptures of pizza, or more gradually by the intimate collages, his work is powerful and reflective: he twists preconceptions of imagery. This work, Hi, is one of a series of large-scale collages executed in 2006 and 2007. Friedman’s process is always complex, even if his images aren’t—but to paraphrase John Waters in a Parkett contemporary art magazine interview with Friedman: “Your kids most definitely could not do that!”

Available Now: $125,000 (price includes the buyer’s premium)

 

Lot 319
Christo
Wrapped Payphone
1988

https://lamodern.com/auctions-2013/auctions/?auctionID=49&view=AuctionLotProfile&inventoryID=20318

Lot 319, Christo, Wrapped Payphone, 1988
October 11, 2015 Modern Art & Design Auction

Whether alone or with his late wife Jeanne-Claude, Christo almost always worked on grand public projects that are, by design, short-lived. His Wrapped Payphone from 1988 is an important artifact not only of his own artistry, but something in society that has nearly vanished.

You may or may not be old enough to remember using a public telephone to call your parents to come pick you up somewhere. (I personally could never pass one on the street when I was 10 years old. I wanted to see if there might be some forgotten change in the coin return. A few times there was!) But there is a clear and immediate recognition of what lies beneath the canvas and rope packaging in Christo’s sculpture. We as consumers have only just recently abandoned the public telephone, yet back in 1988 Christo was already preparing us for its obsolescence.

Available Now: $50,000 (price includes the buyer’s premium)

 

Lot 42
Annie Leibovitz
Philip Johnson, Glass House, New Canaan, Connecticut
2000

Lot 42 Annie Leibovitz Philip Johnson, Glass House, New Canaan, Connecticut 2000

Lot 42, Annie Leibovitz, Philip Johnson, Glass House, New Canaan, Connecticut, 2000
October 11, 2015 Modern Art & Design Auction

There’s a kind of elegiac poetry to Annie Leibovitz’s late-life portrait of architect Philip Johnson, who gazes out a wall of windows in his Connecticut home. Johnson was 94 years old when Leibovitz photographed him in the Glass House. His pose is simple, but I think you can see someone considering the end of his life and what he’s accomplished–he stands inside perhaps his finest work of architecture, looking out onto a landscape that is also his design work, an arrangement of nature that Johnson and his longtime partner David Whitney cultivated over decades.

The photograph is suffused in legend. Philip Johnson is an icon. The Glass House is an icon. Annie Leibovitz is an icon. The image, whether the viewer likes it or not, comes with a history. Everything you know–or perhaps don’t know–about the Glass House comes with viewing this work. It is truly masterful photography.

Available Now: $11,250 (price includes the buyer’s premium)

 

Lot 84
Alfredo Ramos Martinez
Floripondios (2)
c. 1938

Lot 84 Alfredo Ramos Martinez Floripondios (2) c. 1938

Lot 84, Alfredo Ramos Martinez, Floripondios (2), c. 1938
October 11, 2015 Modern Art & Design Auction

The painter and muralist Alfredo Ramos Martinez (1871–1946) was a prominent and influential figure in the early 20th century in both his native Mexico and his adopted home of Los Angeles. He was classically trained, spent nine years painting in Paris during the heyday of Picasso and Matisse, and returned home amid the 1910 revolution to be a teacher. He brought with him fresh modern ideas and taught Mexican artists to paint outdoors in the simple, unrestrained fashion he learned in France. David Alfaro Siqueiros was one of his students who acknowledged his great debt to Ramos Martinez. In Los Angeles, Ramos Martinez developed a bright romantic style with wistful nostalgia for his homeland. Floripondios flowers–known as “Angel’s Trumpets”–are a frequent motif in his work; a symbol of both spirituality and Mexico.

Available Now: $187,500 (price includes the buyer’s premium)

 

Lot 168
Chris Ferebee
Hollow Table prototype
Executed 1999

Lot 168 Chris Ferebee Hollow Table prototype Executed 1999

Lot 168, Chris Ferebee, Hollow Table prototype, Executed 1999
October 11, 2015 Modern Art & Design Auction

A musician and visual artist as well as a designer, Chris Ferebee is one of America’s brightest young creative stars. His furniture has been recognized by the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and exhibited in such institutions as the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Ferebee’s 1999 prototype Hollow Table, to my mind, embodies all the hallmarks of great contemporary design. It was made in small numbers (in this case, one of an edition of one); it is made of beautiful materials–figured wood, hand rubbed lacquer, and aircraft quality aluminum; and has a striking yet timeless form that makes subtle references to the midcentury era of design. I think Ferebee has a very promising future, and this table will stand as a signal design object in the arc of his career.

Available Now: $10,000 (price includes the buyer’s premium)

 

Lot 54
Russel Wright
Libbiloo Bookends (2)
Designed c. 1927

Lot 54 Russel Wright Libbiloo Bookends (2) Designed c. 1927

Lot 54, Russel Wright, Libbiloo Bookends (2), Designed c. 1927
October 11, 2015 Modern Art & Design Auction

Russel Wright (1904-1976) did more than just about any other designer to introduce modernism into American households, designing everything from dishes to chairs with a template for gracious, up-to-date living. These brawny nickel-plated “Libiloo” horse bookends from 1927 were one of the earliest creations in his career. But to call these “bookends” is to call a Ferrari a “car.” Yes, that was the original intention, but like a Ferrari, these rare sculptural figures–pairs are almost irreplaceable–have taken on a mystique that is evocative of an entire era. The early Streamline Moderne design movement is to America what the Art Deco movement was to France. It’s part of our 20th-century identity.

Available Now: $12,500 (price includes the buyer’s premium)

 

Lot Information:

Lot 170
Tom Friedman
Hi
2007
Collage on paper
Sheet: 108″ x 78″; Frame: 111″ x 81.5″
Provenance: Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills, California;
Private Collection, California (acquired directly from the above, 2007)
Estimate: $100,000 – $150,000
Available Now: $125,000

Lot 319
Christo
Wrapped Payphone
1988
Steel payphone wrapped in canvas, polyethylene, twine, and rope
#8 of 30
Published by Edition Schellmann, Munich and New York
Signed and dated with edition verso
21″ x 8″ x 6.5″
Provenance: Edition Schellmann, Munich, Germany;
Private Collection, Los Angeles, California (acquired directly from the above)
Literature: Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Prints and Objects, 1963-1995: A Catalogue Raisonné. 2nd ed. J. Benecke and J. Schellmann, eds. 1995. #139.
Estimate: $40,000 – $60,000
Available Now: $50,000

Lot 42
Annie Leibovitz
Philip Johnson, Glass House, New Canaan, Connecticut
2000
Gelatin silver print
#6 of 25
Signed with edition in graphite verso with Annie Leibovitz stamp; retains Peter Fetterman Gallery label verso
Image/sheet (vis): 14.5″ x 21.5″; Frame: 26.5″ x 32.5″
Together with copy of receipt from Peter Fetterman Gallery
Provenance: Peter Fetterman Gallery, Santa Monica, California;
Private Collection, Santa Barbara, California;
Thence by descent
Literature: Annie Leibovitz: At Work. A. Leibovitz. 2008. 158.
Estimate: $9,000 – $12,000
Available Now: $11,250

Lot 84
Alfredo Ramos Martinez
Floripondios (2)
c. 1938
Tempera and Conte crayon on illustration board
Each signed “Ramos Martinez”
Board each: 52.625″ x 25.5″; Frame each: 63″ x 35.5″
Louis Stern has confirmed the authenticity of these works. They will be included in the catalogue raisonné of works on paper, to be published by the Alfredo Ramos Martinez Research Project.
Provenance: The artist;
Private Collection, San Diego, California (acquired from the above);
Private Collection, Los Angeles, California (acquired from the above through Butterfield & Butterfield, Los Angeles, California, April 24, 1997, sale 6543, lot 5609)
Estimate: $150,000 – $200,000
Available Now: $187,500

Lot 168
Chris Ferebee
Hollow Table prototype
Executed 1999
Custom
Retains designer’s label
10″ x 48″ x 22″
Provenance: The artist, New York
Literature: Young American Designers. C. Kowalski Dougherty, ed. 2006. 15; Furniture Design. teNeues exh. cat. 2002. N. pag.
Estimate: $8,000 – $10,000
Available Now: $10,000

Lot 54
Russel Wright
Libbiloo Bookends (2)
Designed c. 1927
Russel Wright, Inc.
One with cast mark to underside “RW”
Each: 5.5″ x 6.5″ x 3.25″
Literature: At Home in Manhattan: Modern Decorative Arts 1925 to the Depression. K. Davies. 1983. 59.
Estimate: $10,000 – $15,000
Available Now: $12,500

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