Local Los Angeles Auction Company Sets New World Records

March 8, 2017

For Immediate Release

March 8, 2017

LOS ANGELES, CA- Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA) set new world auction records on Sunday, March 5, 2017. Over 900 bidders competed for 396 lots of Modern Art & Design, proving that the art market is as strong as the stock market in 2017. Rare works by Alma Thomas, Chris Burden, Keith Haring, Georges Jouve, Pablo Picasso, and Peter Alexander all far surpassed auction estimates with many achieving world auction records for the artists. These results demonstrate that LAMA is a global marketplace for collectors searching to invest in artworks on the secondary market. LAMA’s total auction sales for the March 5, 2017 Modern Art & Design Auction realized $4.1 million, with a sell through rate of 84% of offered lots sold, and achieved an impressive 120% by total value.

Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA)

Lot 323, Alma Thomas, Spring Flowers in Washington D.C. (1969)
Estimate: $125,000-$175,000. Realized: $387,500
March 5, 2017 Modern Art & Design Auction

The top lot in the auction was a rare painting by Alma Thomas, unseen on the market since its original sale from the artist’s studio in 1969. Spring Flowers in Washington D.C. (1969), estimated at $125,000-$175,000, more than doubled the high estimate realizing $387,500 thereby setting a new world auction record for the artist. The painting was met with competitive bidding by local, national and international collectors, all in hopes of securing the purchase of a painting by Thomas, whose work is getting rarer on the secondary market.

“For 25 years LAMA has been a champion for artists both established and growing in popularity on the secondary market. We are always looking to expand market awareness and present context for these sometimes overlooked figures,” states Peter Loughrey, Director of Modern Design & Fine Art. “Alma Thomas was 78 years old when she painted ‘Spring Flowers in Washington D.C,’ in 1969 and I am proud to represent her work at this point to ensure that she commands the market attention she deserves, even if it is almost 50 years overdue.”

Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA)

Lot 306, Keith Haring, Untitled #3 (1987)
Estimate: $150,000-$200,000. Realized: $362,500
March 5, 2017 Modern Art & Design Auction

A highly anticipated work by Keith Haring, Untitled #3, also soared past the pre-auction estimate of $150,000-$200,000 to realize $362,500. The impeccable provenance and condition of the Sumi ink drawing led to intense bidding before the hammer dropped on this New York pop icon.

Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA)

Lot 12, Chris Burden, 747, Bed Piece, and Prelude to 220 or 110 (1971-1973)
Estimate: $50,000-$70,000. Realized: $93,750
March 5, 2017 Modern Art & Design Auction

As the premier West Coast auction house, LAMA is particularly proud to have established new world auction records for Chris Burden, Peter Alexander, and John M. Miller. A rare suite of photographs by Chris Burden, realized $93,750, setting the auction record for highest price paid for photographs by the artist. 747, Bed Piece, and Prelude to 220 or 110 (1971-1973) is now the second highest world auction record for any work by Burden. LAMA also shattered the world auction record for Peter Alexander, previously set by LAMA in 2015. The resin wedge, Untitled (1967), an icon of California’s Light and Space movement, realized $87,500 on auction day. Untitled (1978) by artist John M. Miller also set a new world auction record for the artist, as the work realized $25,000- more than doubling the auction estimate.

Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA)

Lot 164, Jean Paul Riopelle, Kenavo (1962)
Estimate: $50,000-$70,000. Realized: $170,000
March 5, 2017 Modern Art & Design Auction

In a portion of the auction dedicated to The Palm Springs Art Museum (PSAM), 73 lots of art and design donated by patrons of the museum saw spirited bidding and raised over $500,000 for the beloved desert institution. LAMA waived the standard Buyer’s Premium in this section to help achieve the highest price in support of PSAM. The top lot was Kenavo by French Canadian artist Jean Paul Riopelle which tripled its estimate of $50,000-$70,000 bringing in a $170,000 hammer price. Proceeds from this portion of the auction will support the museum’s acquisition and exhibition programs.


Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA)

Lot 125, Georges Jouve, Sconces (executed c. 1955)
Estimate: $40,000-$60,000. Realized: $90,625
March 5, 2017 Modern Art & Design Auction

The design portion of the auction was highlighted by the sale of lighted wall sconces by Georges Jouve as the custom designed pair realized $90,625. Other notable sales were a handcrafted, Persian walnut room divider (1977) by George Nakashima originally acquired directly from the studio, realized $50,000. A rare Wood Owl vase by Pablo Picasso took flight and landed at $23,750, more than double its presale estimate. Constantinoplean Day-Dreaming Chair (c. 1966) by Pedro Friedeberg realized $20,000.


Source for auction record data: and // Prices Realized include 25% buyer’s premium on the first $500,000, then tiered after. Lot 164 through Lot 236 were sold to benefit The Palm Springs Art Museum and did not incur a Buyer’s Premium.

Images available by request.

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 Modern and Contemporary Fine Art and Design. LAMA’s next auction of Modern Art & Design is scheduled for May 21, 2017.


For more information and images, please contact Shannon Loughrey, Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA), 16145 Hart St., Van Nuys, CA | tel: 323-904-1950 | fax: 323-904-1954 | e-mail:

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