LAMA Sets New Records with Robust Fall Auction

October 21, 2020

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA) held its first live auction since the Covid-19 outbreak on Sunday, October 18, 2020, debuting an internet-broadcast live auction format. Of the 213 lots on offer, 154 sold, and the auction exceeded pre-auction expectations by realizing more than $2M. The headlining lot, an untitled 1987 Jean-Michel Basquiat work on paper from the collection of American screenwriter Becky Johnston, realized more than twice its high estimate for a selling price of $468,750. Other high-selling lots included John Baldessari’s 1963 canvas White X Sign, a turn-of-the-century Henry Moret seascapethe 1973 preparatory work Jeziory (Sketch) by Frank Stella, and Roy Lichtenstein’s Modern Head Relief.

Jean-Michel Basquiat | Untitled | 1987 | Est. $150,000-200,000
Realized: $468,750

Among the significant lots sold, several original and editioned works surpassed previous records and expectations. Reflecting LAMA’s dedication to Post-WWII California artists, an untitled 1985 monoprint by Charles Arnoldi achieved the highest price for a print by the artist at auction, realizing $31,250. A pair of whimsical and ingenious Frank Gehry “Wiggle” chairs broke the auction record for the design, more than quadrupling their high estimate with a selling price of $13,750. A new auction record was established for color field painter Paul Allen Reed when the 1966 canvas, Upstart XXXVI, realized $27,500.

Frank Gehry | Wiggle chairs (2) | designed 1972
Est. $2,000-3,000 | Realized: $13,750

“We had a great offering of works not often found on the West Coast, and our results show that our collectors come to us for more than just the Southern California artists and designers that we know and love, but really the full gamut of what the modern and contemporary market has to offer,” noted LAMA Fine Art Specialist Clo Pazera.LAMA looks forward to holding its next Modern Art & Design Auction in January 2021, date forthcoming.

Images available upon request.


1. Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled. Lot 107. Est. $150,000-200,000. Realized $468,750.
2. Henry Moret, Rochers de Goulphar. Lot 55. Est. $70,000-90,000. Realized $131,250.
3. John Baldessari, White X Sign. Lot 82. Est. $80,000-120,000. Realized $118,750.
4. Frank Stella, Jeziory (Sketch). Lot 17. Est. $48,000-65,000. Realized $93,750.
5. Alexander Calder, Nautilus and Sea Flower. Lot 62. Est. $40,000-60,000. Realized $65,625.
6. Karl Benjamin, Laguna Seascape II. Lot 73. Est. $30,000-50,000. Realized $37,500.
7. Roy Lichtenstein, Modern Head Relief. Lot 99. Est.: $25,000-35,000. Realized $37,500.
8. Sorel Etrog, La Streta. Lot 178. Est. $30,000-50,000. Realized $34,375.
9. Charles Arnoldi, Untitled. Lot 1. Est. $8,000-12,000. Realized $31,250.
10. Larry Bell. DCF #40 (Double Curve Fade). Lot 132. Est. $20,000-30,000. Realized $30,000.


1. For a print by the artist: Charles Arnoldi, Untitled. Lot 1. Est. $8,000-12,000. Realized $31,250.
2. For 20th Century design: Frank Gehry, Wiggle chairs (2). Lot 109. Est. $2,000-3,000. Realized $13,750.
3. For a painting by the artist: Paul Allen Reed, Upstart XXXVI. Lot 135. Est. $8,000-12,000. Realized $27,500.

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

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