Peter’s Auction Picks of the Day: Palm Springs Art Museum
Los Angeles Modern Auctions is delighted to host a special benefit auction for the Palm Springs Art Museum. Established in 1938, Palm Springs Art Museum is the largest cultural institution in the Coachella Valley and includes three locations in Palm Springs and Palm Desert. The museum’s collections, exhibitions, and programs connect people to the art and culture of our community and time. Its mission is to produce transformative experiences for local, national, and global audiences that foster and inspire reflection and renewal.
Peter Loughrey, Director of Modern Art & Design, at Palm Springs Art Museum
Pictured with Kenavo by Jean Paul Riopelle
The auction focuses on art that represents the museum’s collecting strengths and features works by major modern and contemporary artists. It provides an excellent opportunity to acquire unique pieces and, since there will be no Buyer’s Premium, all proceeds from the sale will provide vital support to the museum’s exhibitions, education, and public programs.
One of the most notable works in the Palm Springs Art Museum portion is Jean Paul Riopelle’s Kenavo (1962) painted by the artist in the same year that he represented Canada at the Venice Biennale. A member of the post-war School of Paris, this Canadian painter was associated with artists like André Breton, Joan Miró, and Alberto Giacometti. He applied thick strokes of oil paint using palette knives to create his textured, abstract paintings. His expressive tachisme style is evident in the dramatic composition of Kenavo, with its impastoed layers of paint and ferocious, strokes. The title of this powerful work translates as “goodbye” in Breton; a possible reference to the artist’s time spent in the region of Brittany, France..
There may be no more appropriate work for this section than Rob Pruitt’s Death Valley (2016). This striking acrylic on linen painting comprises an airbrushed linear gradient, shading from navy through azure blue to a sandy yellow. Viewed in light of the title, this seemingly abstract painting is transformed into a representation of the pure light of the California desert. One of the leading names in contemporary art, Pruitt’s witty, conceptual work employs a variety of forms including painting, sculpture, and installation.
Peter Alexander’s sculpture 11/11/15 (Blue Bar) (2015) is a feat of pure color and form by the Southern California artist. Part of the Light and Space movement, Alexander’s works capture the ephemeral nature of the region’s sea, sky, and sunlight. The artist grew up next to Newport Beach and, having surfed since the age of 13, is deeply influenced by the light and climate of his native city. Along with artists like Craig Kauffman, Billy Al Bengston, and Larry Bell, he pioneered the use of industrial plastics in sculpture.
Robert Graham’s Sasha (1993-1994) is an outstanding example of this internationally renowned artist’s work. Famed for his monumental public art, this figurative bronze sculpture offers an opportunity to acquire a Graham work that is more suited to a domestic scale. The grace and elegance of this standing female nude is complimented by the narrow form of its elegant plinth. Also in the Palm Springs Art Museum portion of the sale, is a selection of three Tracey Emin works, in which the artist has applied her signature emotive texts to the surface of Longchamp handbags and suitcases. Both attractive and practical, these pieces brim with the color and effervescence that characterizes Emin’s best works. All works seen here, and in the Palm Springs Art Museum section of the sale, were generously donated by artist’s studios and patrons of the museum.
Jean Paul Riopelle
Oil on canvas
Signed and dated lower right; signed and titled wooden stretcher verso; retains Delamare & Cie. label on wooden stretcher verso
Canvas: 18″ x 21.75″; Frame: 19″ x 22.5″
Literature: Jean Paul Riopelle: Catalogue Raisonné. Vol. III. M. Waldberg, et al. 2009. 176.
Estimate: $50,000 – $70,000
Acrylic on linen
Signed and dated verso
Linen: 30″ x 40″
Provenance: The artist and Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York, New York
Estimate: $30,000 – $50,000
11/11/15 (Blue Bar)
Overall: 77″ x 6.5″ x 1.5″
LAMA would like to thank the artist for his assistance in cataloguing this work
Estimate: $20,000 – $30,000
Individually cast bronze with unique patina
Incised “3-31-94” and “NC2B” to the underside of the base
19″ x 4.5″ x 4.5″ (58.5″ x 16.5″ x 16.5″ with base)
LAMA would like to thank the Robert Graham Studio for their assistance in cataloguing this work
Literature: Robert Graham: Eight Statues. M. McClure. 1994. #2 for another example illustrated.
Estimate: $18,000 – $25,000
Suitcase of cotton canvas, leather trimmings, and patchwork
Model no. Le Pliage Valise, from the edition of 200
Signed and inscribed “Bangkok/Longchamp/Tracey Emin” with hand-drawn logo on affixed rosette ribbon; branded “Les Pliages Longchamp ‘Valise’/modèle déposé – made in France” to leather trimming
14.5″ x 19″ x 7″(as illustrated)