Peter’s Pick: Abstract Expressionism
Los Angeles Modern Auctions | Front Gallery
I hope that some of you will join us at the Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA) preview, where you can view a number of superlative Abstract Expressionist works from the upcoming sale in our front gallery and beyond. Here we have 10-9-55, a spectacular ink on paper drawing by David Smith dating from 1955. Made up of sparse, monochromatic lines intersecting to form geometric shapes, this drawing resembles a diagram for one of the artist’s large-scale abstract steel sculptures. This is an excellent chance to acquire a piece of this unique figure’s legacy.
At the heart of our display is Edward Dugmore’s Untitled (1960-G) (1960). With a dark expanse at its center, connected to two deeply colored strips at its top and bottom borders by expressive dripping paint, this monumental oil on canvas painting is characteristic of the artist’s aesthetic. Dugmore was closely connected to developments in abstraction on both the East and West coast, studying under Clyfford Still at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco, and later moving to New York in 1952. His work features in prominent collections across the country including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C., and the Menil Collection, Houston.
Fields IV (1992-1993), a print made by Joan Mitchell in the last year of her life, is an exquisite composition that epitomizes the artist’s vibrant use of color and emotive, gestural compositions. This piece is complemented by the typically vivid works on paper by Sam Francis that are included in this auction. Untitled (SF79-979) (1979) is a work of particular quality, with its powerful vertical and horizontal strokes in bold green and red contrasting with more expressive paint spatters and small areas of white space, left intentionally blank.
These works will be accompanied by a mini survey of the work of Emerson Woelffer, featuring paintings from 1950-1993. Woelffer taught at Black Mountain College and worked with Láslzó Moholy-Nagy at the Institute of Design in Chicago. He mentored some of the defining artists of our generation including Ed Ruscha, Larry Bell, Joe Goode, and Llyn Foulkes. According to Goode, Woelffer was respected by students for his “link to history” and his friendship with Robert Motherwell. Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA), Otis College of Art & Design, and the Estate of Emerson Woelffer are pleased to announce an ongoing partnership that will include the management and sale of the artist’s estate in future LAMA auctions to benefit the Scholarship Fund of Otis College of Art and Design.
Ink on paper
Signed and dated in ink lower right sheet; retains Margo Leavin Gallery label verso
Sheet: 15.75″ x 20.25″; Frame: 23.375″ x 28″
Together with copy of original invoice from Margo Leavin Gallery dated February 16, 2006, two gallery mailers, and exhibition catalogue
Provenance: The estate of David Smith; Margo Leavin Gallery, Los Angeles, California (acquired directly from the above); Private Collection, Los Angeles, California (acquired directly from the above, February 16, 2006)
Exhibited: “David Smith: Paintings and Drawings, 1955-1958,” Margo Leavin Gallery, Los Angeles, July 9-August 20, 2005
Illustrated: David Smith: Paintings and Drawings, 1955-1958. P. Stevens. 2005. #26.
Estimate: $20,000 – $30,000
Oil on canvas
Signed and dated lower right; signed and dated in black felt-tip marker verso “Dugmore/1960-G”; retains Manny Silverman Gallery and Joseloff Gallery labels verso
Canvas: 79.5″ x 93.875″; Frame: 80.75″ x 95″
Estimate: $40,000 – $60,000
Color etching, aquatint, and carborundum on white TGL handmade paper
#11 of 14
Printed by Tyler Graphics, Ltd., Mount Kisco
Signed with edition in graphite lower center edge of sheet; Tyler Graphics, Ltd. blind stamp lower right corner of sheet
Image (approx.): 20.5″ x 14″; Sheet: 23″ x 16.5″; Frame: 29″ x 22.75″
Together with copy of print documentation from Tyler Graphics, Ltd.
Provenance: Tyler Graphics, Ltd., Mount Kisco, New York; Private Collection, Los Angeles, California (acquired directly from the above)
Estimate: $4,000 – $6,000
Acrylic on paper
Signed and dated in graphite verso
Sheet (vis.): 18.75″ x 13.75″; Frame: 26.75″ x 21.75″
Provenance: Private Collection, Santa Monica, California (acquired directly from the artist)
Estimate: $20,000 – $30,000
Born To The Day
Oil on Masonite
Signed lower right; signed, titled, and dated verso; retains paper label that bears the inscription “EST 393″; retains two The Artists’ Gallery stamps verso
Board: 24″ x 17.5″; Frame: 24.75″ x 18.25”
Provenance: The estate of Emerson Woelffer
Estimate: $5,000 – $7,000