First Modern Auction House Turns 20 and Offers Original Works by Francis, Haring, and Warhol

August 6, 2012

For Immediate Release
August 7, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA– On Sunday, October 7, 2012, Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA) will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a landmark auction that will feature original works by Sam FrancisKeith HaringAndy WarholRichard PettiboneKarl BenjaminYayoi Kusama, and David Hockney.

“When I look back to my first auction in 1992, I am amazed at the growth of the Modern auction industry,” says Peter Loughrey, founder of LAMA. “That first auction would not only herald what LAMA would be selling for the next 20 years, but would also become a template for other 20th century design auctions – this was the first auction of its kind.”

The upcoming 20th Anniversary Auction will feature over 500 lots of rare and important fine art and design, including a strong selection of works by Richard Pettibone, Blue Surround from 1982 by Richard Diebenkornnine works by Andy Warhola hand-decorated motorcycle gas tank by Keith Haringa collage by Yayoi Kusamaa painting by Roland Peterson, and a drawing by David Hockney.

The cover lot, an early Sam Francis egg tempera on paper from 1956, is one of the most important works to be sold in LAMA’s history. Untitled (SF56-003), a brilliant exploration of the color blue, comes from Francis’ formative years after his highly influential time in Paris, and similar examples can be found at LACMA, MoMA, and the Guggenheim. Even small works on paper from this pivotal period can be worth more than large canvases from just a few years later.

Pictured: Highlights from LAMA’s 20th Anniversary Auction include a George Nakashima monumental coffee table, Sam Francis work on paper, Charles & Ray Eames red leather lounge chair sold by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to benefit future acquisitions, and a Peter Voulkos Ceramic Sculpture


Design offerings include a rare Jean Prouvé table from 1954 that was commissioned for a hotel in Cameroon, an impressive selection of Greta Grossman designs, and a strong grouping of Serge Mouille lighting. Sixteen designs by Nakashima will go up on the auction block, including one of his masterpieces, a monumental coffee table from 1969. Ceramics include a large-scale Harrison McIntosh vessel, as well as other ceramics by Peter VoulkosPablo PicassoBeatrice Wood, and Stan Bitters.

In addition to the special 20th Anniversary Auction catalogue, LAMA is proud to collaborate with Paul Smith to create a curated space within their Melrose Avenue store in anticipation for the auction. The Paul Smith/LAMA curated space will be up for view from September 4 – 16, 2012 at 8221 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA.

Pictured: Keith Haring hand-decorated gas tank

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In the late 1980s, brothers Joe and Peter Loughrey began buying and selling Modern design and decorative arts in their gallery “Bedrock” on La Brea Blvd.  On October 10, 1992, they held their first auction, selling works such as a Frank Lloyd Wright window, an Eames/Saarinen suite of Organic Design furniture, and a Frank Gehry “Grandpa Beaver” chair.

In 2000, LAMA conducted its first auction dedicated to a single designer: Charles & Ray Eames. This momentous auction led to future curated auctions dedicated to designers such as Paul Laszlo, R.M. Schindler, and James Prestini.  Additionally, LAMA has conducted sales for the estates of well-known collectors such as Max Palevsky, James Byrnes, Richard Dorso and several other important private collections.

In 2007, LAMA set a world auction record for Andy Warhol’s Marilyn (F/S II.28), propelling the auction house into fine art. More recently in the past two years, LAMA has set world auction records for Karl Benjamin, Reg Butler, De Wain Valentine, and a tapestry by Le Corbusier.

Works designed and made in California have always been the nucleus of LAMA auctions. Whether it’s original furniture by Richard Neutra, Charles Eames, and Frank Gehry, or paintings by Sam Francis, John Baldessari, Ed Ruscha, and David Hockney, LAMA has helped build an international following over the past two decades for California artists and designers.

Twenty years, almost 60 auctions, and nearly 30,000 lots later, LAMA has grown to reach a global marketplace and continues to be the auction house of choice on the West Coast.

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LAMA’s 20th Anniversary Auction, to be held on October 7, 2012, will be conducted at the LAMA showroom: 16145 Hart St. Van Nuys, CA 91406 and will start at 12 p.m. noon (PST).

Auction Preview: September 19 – October 6, 2012; open daily 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Auction catalogues available: September 4, 2012

Preview lots online: September 12, 2012

Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA), the fastest growing auction house in the modern and contemporary art world, is the leading auction house dedicated to selling 20th century Modern Fine Art and Design. Auctions are held at the LAMA showroom: 16145 Hart St. Van Nuys, CA 91406.


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