LAMA BLOG

Peter’s Auction Pick of the Day: 1980’s Works

May 18, 2017

Every auction has its trends. Of late, I have noticed that a great deal of material from the 1980s has begun to surface on the resale market. This is reflected in our upcoming auction, which includes key works by figures such as Vija Celmins, Mike Bidlo, Howard Ben Tré, Raymond Pettibon, Jonathan Borofsky, Laddie John Dill, Larry Bell, and Ronald Davis, among many others.

 

Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA)

Lot 59, Mike Bildo, Not Brancusi, 1984-1985
May 21, 2017 Modern Art & Design Auction

The 1980s saw the rise of the Pictures Generation artists, who culled imagery and language from mass media in order to question the meaning of its messages. As an appropriation artist Bidlo’s work is particularly of its time, and the work available in our auction, Not Brancusi (1984-1985), is typical of his practice. For this work Bidlo has recreated Constantin Brancusi’s famed marble sculpture Mademoiselle Pogany in wood as a means of dismantling the aura of the artwork and showing how works of ‘genius’ can be re-made. Not Brancusi serves as a reminder that we often encounter artworks in reproduction, whether it be online or in a book. In this way Bidlo shows that the act of copying can be a creative one, revealing unexpected new meaning and insights.

 

Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA)

Lot 61, Vija Celmins, Jupiter Moon- Constellation, 1983
May 21, 2017 Modern Art & Design Auction

I’d also like to highlight Jupiter Moon – Constellation (1983), an exquisite mezzotint by the remarkable artist Vija Celmins, now aged 79, whose work has lately been the subject of numerous exhibitions and retrospectives at museums worldwide, including at the Wiener Secession, Vienna (2016), Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2011), the Hammer Museum (2007), and Centre Pompidou, Paris (2006). This beautiful print with its celestial subject matter, which is so characteristic of Celmins’ work, was produced by the legendary print studio Gemini G.E.L. here in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA)

Lot 55, Raymond Pettibon, Untitled (Play Ball!), 1989
May 21, 2017 Modern Art & Design Auction

While most of these artists have been working since the 1960s, increasingly it is their output from thirty years ago that is coming to light. I can see parallels between this and my early days selling vintage art and design, back in the 1980s, when I focused on material from the 1950s. These works later became highly sought after and increased rapidly in value. Those who purchased works from me then–the early adopters–were rewarded for their foresight when the market caught up and realized that such pieces were a critical part of our culture. These days people are reassessing and considering the impact of the art of the 1980s. We are hitting that point in the cycle now, where we are going to be selling thirty-year-old works for the next ten years, so I recommend that you become an early adopter now, while prices remain reasonable.

Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA)

Lot 39, Jonathan Borofsky, Man With A Briefcase (C), 1991
May 21, 2017 Modern Art & Design Auction

Download our new App to discover more outstanding works featured in our upcoming auction.

Lot Information:

Lot 61
Vija Celmins
Jupiter Moon- Constellation
1983
3-color mezzotint and etching on Fabriano Rosaspina white paper
#35 of 48
Published and printed by Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles
Signed in graphite lower right margin of sheet beneath image; edition lower left; Gemini G.E.L. blind stamps lower right sheet
Image: 10.75″ x 7.625″; Sheet: 23.75″ x 18.5″; Frame: 25.25″ x 20.25″
Gemini G.E.L. #9.5
Literature: The Prints of Vija Celmins. S. Rippner. 2002. 50.
Estimate: $5,000 – $7,000

Lot 59
Mike Bidlo
Not Brancusi
1984-1985
Wood
Stamped “B”
17″ x 9″ x 9″
Literature: Masterpieces: Mike Bidlo. R. Rosenblum. 1989. N.pag. for similar example illustrated.
Estimate: $4,000 – $6,000

Lot 60
Howard Ben Tré
Column 33
1986
Cast glass and patinated copper
95.5″ x 28″ x 14″
LAMA would like to thank the Howard Ben Tré Studio for their assistance in cataloguing this work
Exhibited: “Cast Glass Sculpture,” The Main Art Gallery, California State University, Fullerton, April 12-May 11, 1986
Estimate: $20,000 – $30,000

Lot 55
Raymond Pettibon
Untitled (Play Ball!)
1989
Screenprint on paper
Artist’s proof aside from the edition of 65
Signed and dated lower right; edition lower left
Image: 36″ x 24.5″; Sheet (vis.): 38.5″ x 26.5″; Frame: 44.25″ x 32.5″
Estimate: $3,000 – $5,000

Lot 39
Jonathan Borofsky
Man With a Briefcase (C)
1991
Woodcut with collage on handmade paper
#4 of 12
Published and printed by Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles
Signed lower right; edition lower left
Sheet: 92″ x 39″; Frame: 93.5″ x 39.25″
Gemini G.E.L. #7.72
Together with two catalogues
Provenance: Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles, California; Private Collection, Los Angeles, California (acquired directly from the above)
Estimate: $5,000 – $7,000

Lot 17
Laddie John Dill
Untitled
1981
Mixed-media on paper
Signed and dated lower right
Sheet (vis.): 53.75″ x 35″; Frame: 66.125″ x 46.625″
Estimate: $1,000 – $1,500

Lot 10
Ronald Davis
Bow Tie Butterfly (PTG 884)
1987
Acrylic on canvas
Signed, titled, and dated verso
Canvas: 42″ x 30″; Frame: 44.5″ x 32.5″
Together with catalogue and copy of invoice from Scott Hanson Gallery dated August 21, 1987
Provenance: Scott Hanson Gallery, New York, New York; Private Collection, Los Angeles, California (acquired directly from the above, August 21, 1987)
Exhibited: “Summer Group Show,” Scott Hanson Gallery, New York, 1987
Estimate: $3,000 – $5,000

Lot 12
Larry Bell
Untitled (Vapor Drawing)
1979
Vaporized metal on paper
Signed and dated in graphite lower right sheet
Sheet: 58.5″ x 41″; Frame: 59.5″ x 41.5″
Provenance: Marcia Weisman, Los Angeles, California; Private Collection, Los Angeles, California (acquired directly from the above)
Estimate: $12,000 – $15,000

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