Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA) achieved the highest sale total in company history, realizing $5.28 million including commissions, with a sell-through rate of 90% of the 386 lots offered in the February 23, 2014 Modern Art & Design auction. A Ruth Asawa hanging sculpture soared to $1.43 million, marking a new record for the highest price ever achieved for a single lot in the company’s 22-year history and effectively tying the world auction record for the artist.
Ruth Asawa’s complex hanging sculpture, Untitled S.437 (Lot 236 est. $300,000 – 500,000), more than doubled its high estimate, soaring to $1.43 million, effectively tying the world auction record and setting a new company record for a single work. Original works by top-tier artists brought the strongest prices, including Vija Celmins’ Untitled (Ham Hock) (Lot 210 est. $400,000 – 600,000) that achieved $531,250, a large-scale John McLaughlin painting (Lot 38 est. $180,000 – 250,000) that brought $212,500, and Alexander Calder’sThe Black Arrow (Lot 136 est. $40,000 – 60,000) that realized $106,250.
A selection of 60 designs by George Nakashima from the Edmund J. Bennett collection together brought $469,875, going over its total estimate of $372,800. Highlights from the collection include a set of 12 Conoid chairs (Lot 260 est. $60,000 – 80,000) that realized $68,750, a hanging wall case (Lot 245 est. $20,000 – 30,000) that achieved $65,625, a Frenchman’s Cove II dining table and extension (Lot 261 est. $40,000 – 60,000) that totaled $43,750, and a table lamp (Lot 247 est. $8,000 – 10,000) that reached $15,000.
Fine art highlights include a selection of Hard Edge paintings by Karl Benjamin, Lorser Feitelson, John McLaughlin, Frederick Hammersley, and June Harwood, which together brought $443,750. Joe Goode’s Untitled (1969) realized $68,750, and a painting by Sam Gilliam, Live (1972), went seven times over the high estimate bringing $56,250. Additionally, prints and multiples saw strong prices, including Flowers (1970) by Andy Warhol that realized $35,625, and Jeff Koon’s Balloon Dog (Red) (1995) that achieved $20,000.
Additional design highlights include a Sam Maloof dining table and eight chairs that reached $81,250, and a rare rosewood rocking chair that brought $61,250. European designs also excelled including a Frits Henningsen Highback armchair that fetched $50,000, and a pair of Gio Ponti lounge chairs that realized $45,000.