Peter’s Auction Pick of the Day: Brazil & Mexico

October 20, 2017

Los Angeles Modern Auctions was a proud participant this year in “Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA,” which celebrates the collective identity shared between Los Angeles and Latin America as expressed in the visual and performative arts. On this occasion LAMA contributed with an exhibition of important works by the “grandfather of L.A. Modernism,” Emerson Woelffer, which showed a clear debt to the local culture to which he was exposed while in Mexico. The rich body of works included in the exhibition found their nascence during the extended tenures that the artist spent on the Yucatán Peninsula.

In our 25th anniversary auction, on Sunday, October 22nd,  we are thrilled to offer a number of works inspired by the same spirit behind “Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA.” A group of important design pieces from Latin America feature in the auction, including whimsical furniture by Brazilian designers Fernando & Humberto Campana, Jorge Zalszupin, Joaquim Tenreiro, and Jean Gillon, each of whom significantly left their mark on the design scene in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA)

Lot 216, Jorge Zalszupin, Paulistana lounge chair and ottoman, Designed c. 1969
October 22, 2017 Modern Art & Design Auction

Born in Romania, Jean Gillon moved to São Paulo in the 1950s, where he focused on innovations in architecture, design, and fine art. His furniture designs, such as his 1965 wooden Lounge chair and ottoman, which is included in our upcoming auction, drew on both of these pursuits, producing pieces that are both highly functional and decidedly easy on the eye. Similarly, fellow Brazialian émigrés Joaquim Tenreiro and Jorge Zalszupin pioneered functionality in their innovative furniture designs. Tenreiro’s 1960 Cadeira com Braços dining chairs and Jorge Zalszupin’s c. 1969 Paulistana lounge chair and ottoman all integrate a functional sensibility with sensual, high design elements achieved through the use of local materials that elevate the everyday.

Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA)

Lot 213, Fernando and Humberto Campana, Dolphins and Sharks Chair, Designed 2002
October 22, 2017 Modern Art & Design Auction

In a league of their own, Brazilian design duo Fernando and Humberto Campana have pushed the envelope in terms of art and functionality to entirely new territory. We are thrilled to auction the Campana brothers’ Cake Stool and the Dolphins and Sharks Chair in our October auction. These two signature, editioned pieces of playful plush furniture elicit a response of sheer, exuberant delight and wonder. In step with most of the designs Fernando and Humberto Campana have created over the course of four decades, the Dolphins and Sharks Chair (designed 2002) and the Cake Stool (designed 2008) function under the premise of a kind of deceptive chaos that is actually underpinned by a calculated precision. Both pieces are constructed out of a bevy of plush and playful stuffed animals that form surprisingly comfortable lounge seating. Similar to the work included in this auction by other important Brazilian designers, for the Campana brothers, material always comes first; it always dictates the design. Playing with readily available mass-produced materials, or discarded and reclaimed stock, the brothers’ designs embrace the lowbrow and the everyday, elevating these humble materials to new heights by incorporating them into highly sophisticated, bold designs.

Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA)

Lot 222, Rafael Coronel, Untitled, c. 1975
October 22, 2017 Modern Art & Design Auction

Our October 22nd auction also spotlights the work of a clutch of important visual artists that sprang out of Mexico, including paintings by artists Rafael Coronel and Gunther Gerzso, a work on paper by Francisco Toledo, a tapestry by Leonora Carrington, a lithograph by Rufino Tamayo, and sculptural works by Francisco Zúñiga and Felipe Castaneda. Each of these works draws on the rich cultural landscape of Mexico. Surrealist artist Leonora Carrington’s 1955 Fire Dancer on a Grey Ground found its inspiration in pre-Columbian artifacts, while Francisco Toledo’s provocative 1971 Te Tengo con Sombrilla is informed by ongoing social and cultural issues facing Latin America, and Rufino Tamayo’s enigmatic 1964 Moon Face (Cara de Luna) sprang from his Zapotec heritage. Francisco Zúñiga’s and Felipe Castaneda’s sculptures often celebrate unsung heroes from local culture. Zúñiga’s 1974 bronze Maternidad
and Castaneda’s sleek 1979 white onyx sculpture, Untitled (Reclining Nude), each pay tribute to the multitude of women who continually contribute to Mexican culture and identity.

Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA)

Lot 218, Gunther Gerzso, Blue Square, 1964
October 22, 2017 Modern Art & Design Auction

Rafael Coronel, whose father-in-law was Diego Rivera, created many somber, representational paintings—including his c. 1975 oil-on-canvas portrait, Untitled, that drew on his immediate surroundings in Mexico, both topographically and culturally, in combination with a sustained interest in the work of European Old Masters. Similarly, pioneering Mexican Modernist Gunther Gerzso’s 1964 architectonic abstraction Blue Square sprang out of the artist’s exposure to Pre-Columbian visual culture in Latin America, coupled with Western artistic movements, such as Surrealism, Cubism, and Abstract Expressionism.

Lot Information:

Lot 217
Jean Gillon
Lounge chair and ottoman (2)
Wood Art, Designed c. 1965
Chair: 33″ x 35″ x 43″; Ottoman: 14.5″ x 26″ x 17″; (Chair: 84 x 89 x 109 cm); (Ottoman: 37 x 66 x 43 cm)
Estimate: $4,000 – $6,000

Lot 215
Joaquim Tenreiro
Cadeira com Braços dining chairs (10)
Designed c. 1960
Tenreiro Móveis e Decorações
Each: 30.5″ x 25″ x 20″; (77 x 64 x 51 cm)
Literature: Tenreiro. S. Cals, et. al. 1998. 92, 120.
Estimate: $30,000 – $50,000

Lot 216
Jorge Zalszupin
Paulistana lounge chair and ottoman (2)
Atelier Zalszupin, designed c. 1969
Chair: 37″ x 32″ x 29″; Ottoman: 12″ x 28″ x 21″; (Chair: 94 x 81 x 74 cm); (Ottoman: 30 x 71 x 53 cm)
Estimate: $8,000 – $12,000

Lot 213
Fernando & Humberto Campana
Dolphins and Sharks
Estudio Campana, Brazil, designed 2002
#26 of 35
Stitched edition on underside “Campana/Dolphins and Sharks/#26/35″
34.5″ x 56″ x 38.5”; (88 x 142 x 98 cm)
Together with slip case and copy of certificate from Estudio Campana
Literature: The Campana Brothers: Complete Works (So Far). D. Alfred, et al. 2010. 266.
Estimate: $20,000 – $30,000

Lot 214
Fernando & Humberto Campana
Cake Stool
Estudio Campana, Brazil, designed 2008
#93 of 150
Stitched edition on otter’s side “Campana/Cake Stool #093/150″
25.5″ x 51″ x 53”; (65 x 130 x 135 cm)
Together with slip case and copy of certificate from Estudio Campana
Literature: The Campana Brothers: Complete Works (So Far). D. Alfred, et al. 2010. 286.
Estimate: $20,000 – $30,000

Lot 222
Rafael Coronel
c. 1975
Oil on canvas
Signed lower left
Canvas (vis.): 23″ x 29″; Frame: 29.25″ x 35.25″; (Canvas: 58 x 74 cm)
Estimate: $8,000 – $12,000

Lot 218
Gunther Gerzso
Blue Square
Oil on canvas
Signed and dated lower right; title frame verso; signature, date, and title canvas verso
Canvas (vis.): 21.25″ x 17.75″; Frame: 28.125″ x 24.5″; (Canvas: 54 x 45 cm)
Provenance: Private Collection, Hollywood, California
Estimate: $50,000 – $70,000

Lot 219
Leonora Carrington
Fire Dancer on a Grey Ground
Wool tapestry
Fabricated by Taller Paloma Workshop, Mexico City
Woven manufacturer’s mark top right
64″ x 48.5″; (163 x 123 cm)
Together with appraisal from Gump’s Gallery dated August 8, 1980
Provenance: William and Jacqueline Sharlin, Kallis House, Los Angeles, California; Thence by descent
Illustrated: R.M. Schindler. J. Sheine. 2001. 214.
Estimate: $3,000 – $5,000

Lot 221
Rufino Tamayo
Moon Face (Cara de Luna)
Lithograph on Rives BFK paper
#10 of 20
Published and printed by Tamarind Lithography Workshop, Inc., Los Angeles
Signed with edition in graphite lower right sheet
Sheet: 14.25″ x 11.25″ ; (36 x 29 cm)
Literature: Rufino Tamayo: Catalogue Raisonné: Gráfica 1925-1991. J.C. Pereda. 2004. #87.
Estimate: $2,000 – $3,000


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