Small Auction House Gets Big Consignments – Prince “Joke” Goes to Auction at $1 Million

October 19, 2015

For Immediate Release

October 19, 2015

LOS ANGELES, CA – There may still be a drought in California, however, major works of art continue to flood the market. Specialty auction house Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA) has been consistently representing top tier icons in the past year from blue-chip modern artists such as Alexander Calder and Pablo Picasso, to contemporary stars like Mike Kelley and Vija Celmins. Record setting prices have convinced some important collectors to act locally instead of sending works to New York, which used to be the norm.

LAMA just recently announced a major work by Richard Prince, Bedtime Story (1988) from the series of Monochromatic Joke Paintings, which will be the star lot in their next auction of Important Modern Art & Design in February 2016. With a $1,000,000-2,000,000 pre-sale estimate, it is the highest value work ever offered by the boutique auction house. Asked about his response to some reporters and art insiders expecting the market to drop, Peter Loughrey, director and founder of LAMA says, “Things may be cooling off back East, but the weather out here is just fine.”

Richard Prince, Bedtime Story, 1988, LAMA Auction February 2016

Richard Prince, Bedtime Story (1988), Estimate $1,000,000–2,000,000
To go to auction February 21, 2016 at Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA)

Richard Prince Bedtime Story (1988)

Bedtime Story will be offered at auction for the first time since its owner purchased it from Regen Projects in 2004, and will be sold with a copy of the original receipt.  This painting is from one of Prince’s most pivotal series, the Monochromatic Joke Paintings, an early and immediately critically acclaimed body of work that the artist produced from 1987 to 1989. This impressive work is representative of the apex of the appropriation movement of the 1980s that other artists such as Sherrie Levine, Barbara Kruger, and Mike Bidlo were part of.  Even more than that, it connects the new generation of younger artists working in New York to the Pop Art movement of the 1960s, championed by artists like Andy Warhol, famous for his nearly mechanical reproductions of Campbell’s Soup Cans on canvas. Like the Campbell’s Soup Can paintings, Bedtime Story is rendered in a way that shows no indication of a single brushstroke or the touch of an artist’s hand.

Bedtime Story is not just a painting,” states Zoe Weinberg, LAMA’s Fine Art specialist, “It is an object that represents a paramount moment in recent art history and a turning point in Prince’s career.”

Richard Prince, Bedtime Story 1988, LAMA Auction February 2016, detail

DETAIL: Richard Prince, Bedtime Story (1988), Estimate $1,000,000–2,000,000
To go to auction February 21, 2016 at Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA)

Paintings from the Monochromatic Joke Paintings are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Full Lot Details:

Lot 189
Richard Prince
Bedtime Story
Acrylic and silkscreen on canvas
Signed and dated “R Prince 1988″ in felt-tip marker on overlap verso; retains Barbara Gladstone Gallery and Regen Projects labels verso
Together with copy of invoice from Regen Projects LAMA would like to thank the Richard Prince studio for their assistance in cataloguing this work (RPS5633)
Canvas: 66″ x 54”
Provenance: Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York, New York; Regen Projects, Los Angeles, California; Private Collection, Los Angeles, California (acquired directly from the above, 2004)
Estimate: $1,000,000 – 2,000,000
Realized: $1,585,000

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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.


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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