LAMA Sets New Auction Records at February 16, 2020 Modern Art & Design Auction

February 19, 2020


Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA) held another record-breaking auction of Modern Art & Design on Sunday, February 16, 2020 at their Van Nuys showroom. Among the many significant lots sold, several original and editioned works far surpassed previous records and expectations. Notably high-selling lots reflected LAMA’s specialization in the West Coast-driven markets, with remarkable prices fetched for works by Los Angeles-anchored artists Charles Arnoldi, Lorser Feitelson, Frederick Hammersley, Ed Ruscha, and Betye Saar.

Oskar Fischinger, Egyptian
February 16, 2020 Modern Art & Design Auction

Leading the record-breakers was LAMA Lot 62, Egyptian, a 1944 canvas by German-American abstractionist Oskar Fischinger that sold for $31,250. This price not only surpassed the work’s estimated value of $8,000-$12,000, but broke LAMA’s world auction record of $22,500 for a Fischinger painting. Lot 7, Vija Celmins’s celestial print Night Sky, doubled the previously held auction record for this edition, finishing at $25,000 — far beyond an expected range of $6,000-$8,000. Lot 94, Kelly’s Blue/Black/Red/Green, set a new auction record for this edition when it closed at $46,875 in contrast to its pre-auction estimate of $15,000-$20,000. 

Vija Celmins, Night Sky
February 16, 2020 Modern Art & Design Auction

In sculpture, Lot 74, Henry Moore’s bronze Maquette for Seated Woman established a new auction record for the edition, garnering $45,000 to exceed its pre-auction estimate of $20,000-$30,000. 

Henry Moore, Maquette for Seated Woman
February 16, 2020 Modern Art & Design Auction

In keeping with her growing recognition in recent years, two works by the LA-based Betye Saar received much attention: Lot 82, a untitled small assemblage, sold for $17,500 skyrocketing beyond a $2,000-$3,000 estimate. Similarly Lot 83, a mixed-media collage by Saar, went for $25,000 — more than quadrupling the pre-auction estimate of $4,000-$6,000. 

Ed Ruscha, Double Standard
February 16, 2020 Modern Art & Design Auction

The auction record for a work on paper by important Southern California artist Charles Arnoldi was tied when Lot 32, an untitled 2005 gouache composition, was purchased for $15,000, compared to a pre-auction estimate of $6,000-$8,000. Lot 102, Magical Space Forms by LA-based Lorser Feitelson, also approached the current record when it closed at $65,625, exceeding the pre-auction estimate of $35,000-$45,000. LAMA mainstay Ed Ruscha‘s Double Standard closed at an impressive $262,500, surpassing the estimated $150,000-$200,000, and Lot 96, Again is a gain by Frederick Hammersley, was purchased for $125,000 — a notably higher result than its expected value of $60,000-$80,000.

“As always, we achieved strong prices for California artists,” noted LAMA Senior Fine Art Specialist Clo Pazera, “representing a broad range of artistic styles and influences from different eras.”

LAMA looks forward to holding its next Modern Art & Design Auction in Spring 2020, date forthcoming.

Lorser Feitelson, Magical Space Forms
February 16, 2020 Modern Art & Design Auction


1. Ed Ruscha, Double Standard. Lot 23. Est.: $150,000-$200,000. Realized $262,500.
2. Frederick Hammersley, Again is a gain. Lot 96. Est.: $60,000-$80,000. Realized $125,000.
3. Jasper Johns, 1st Etchings, 2nd State (13). Lot 58. Est. $40,000-$60,000. Realized $84,375.
4. Lorser Feitelson, Magical Space Forms. Lot 102. Est.: $35,000-$45,000. Realized $65,625.
5. Andy Warhol, The Star (From Myths). Lot 53. Est. $45,000-$65,000. Realized $56,250.
6. Deborah Butterfield, Derby Horse. Lot 38. Est. $40,000-$60,000. Realized $50,000.
7. Ellsworth Kelly, Blue/Black/Red/Green. Lot 94. Est.: $15,000-$20,000. Realized $46,875.
8. Billy Al Bengston, Untitled. Lot 20. Est.: $20,000-$30,000. Realized $46,875.
9. Peter Alexander. Untitled. Lot 30. Est.: $30,000-$50,000. Realized $46,875.
10. Henry Moore, Maquette for Seated Woman. Lot 74. Est.: $20,000-$30,000. Realized $45,000.

For more details or high resolution images, please contact

Source for auction record data: and // Prices Realized include 25% buyer’s premium on the first $500,000, then tiered after.


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