LAMA BLOG

20th Century Modern Art and Design Auction, March 1, 2015

LAMA is pleased to present key lots by two of Los Angeles’s leading contemporary conceptual artists: John Baldessari and Ed Ruscha. Baldessari’s National City Portfolio, the complete suite of eight photographs, and his Two Boats (from Hegel’s Cellar Portfolio) photographs go to auction March 1. Eleven lots by Ed Ruscha, including prints from his ironic Insects Portfolio are also on offer March 1.

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Lot 23, Lloyd Hamrol, <em><em>Green Piece (One Up One Down),</em></em> c. 1969

Sculptor Lloyd Hamrol came of age in the vibrant, freewheeling, and highly charged art world of Los Angeles in the 1960s, as the city established itself a major center of contemporary art. Hamrol made a name for himself as a creator of conceptual installations with his studio-based work. In 1965 he was presented with the New Talent Purchase Award by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and was subsequently featured in the museum’s exhibition Five Younger Los Angeles Artists. Green Piece (One Up One Down) (c. 1969) is on the market for the first time, from a private collector who acquired the work directly from the artist, in March 1, 2015 Modern Art & Design Auction!

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 Lot 266, Bruce Conner, Slides from light shows with the North American Ibis Alchemical Company (8), c. 1967

Somewhat elusive, Conner defied categorization. Driven by a questing intelligence, he embraced various art forms ranging from film to assemblage, drawing, collage, and photography. He is known best for his complex and affecting experimental films. Conner’s quick-paced, montage laden cinematic works have won a place in both film and art history; his works are found in the collections of the Whitney Museum
 of American Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York; among other institutions. Conner enthusiasts–who reference his early film, Cosmic Ray (1961), featuring the music of Ray Charles, and later collaborations with alt-rock icons, such as David Byrne and the band Devo–argue that he is the father of the music video.

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LAMA and Artsy

LAMA is excited to be the first commercial auction house to partner with Artsy for the upcoming March 1, 2015 Modern Art & Design Auction. Together LAMA and Artsy are presenting 24 lots, which will be biddable via Artsy’s online technology. Peter Loughrey, founder and director of LAMA, has picked eight key lots to highlight having the City of Angels in common. These works in LA Connections demonstrate the importance of the art scene, and how so many were made in, around, about, or for Los Angeles. Read more on lots by Frank Stella, Alexander Calder, Charles and Ray Eames, Lucian Freud, Ed Ruscha, Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, and Peter Alexander.

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Lot 134, Tejo Remy, You Can't Lay Down Your Memory, Designed 1991

Tejo Remy’s You Can’t Lay Down Your Memory (c. 1991) chest of drawers occupies a place between art and design: it is at once functional and sculptural. The piece debuted to great acclaim at the 1993 Milan Furniture Fair, as part of the inaugural collection by the famed Dutch conceptual design group Droog, and quickly became an emblem of avant-garde contemporary furniture-making. Remy says of the piece that “you never expect to design an icon.” Peter Loughrey, Director of Modern Fine Art & Design, witnessed Remy’s process firsthand. He claims this example on offer at the March 1st auction, Lot 134, “is rendered completely unique by the wonderfully diverse mishmash of styles used–from Chippendale to Rococo, and Danish Modern to Industrial chic.”

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 Lot 79, Kay Bojesen, Animals (11), Designed 1951-1957

Just look at those faces. The distinguished list of Danish creative geniuses who have delighted children around the world for generations no doubt includes designer Kay Bojesen whose work (Lot 79) is featured in LAMA’s March 1 auction. Bojesen’s winsome and endearing lathe-carved wooden animal figurines are both playthings and sculptures; perfect examples of simple, elegant, useful and affecting modern design.

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Frankl
Viennese-born Paul Frankl first trained and practiced in Vienna, Berlin, and New York, but moved to Los Angeles in 1934. He fell in love with the western city’s climate, scenery, and lifestyle– pronouncing it “heaven.” The relocation proved to be highly influential, and Frankl remained in LA for the rest of his life. His furniture designs became lighter, simpler, and sometimes inflected by Asian aesthetics. Like many of the Austrian émigrés before him, he discovered that with an expanse of land comes an opportunity to reinforce the horizontal plane. The designer’s eye was no longer forced upward by the paucity of grounded square footage. Instead, the wide open spaces of the West allowed for more luxurious and gracious proportions, not only in architecture, but also in the designs of the furniture that filled its interiors.

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Lot 95, Mary Corse, Untitled (White, Black, Blue Double Arch), 2000

Light and Space artist Mary Corse developed her own methods of capturing fluctuating light, changing perspectives, and dynamic surfaces in paintings. She applied small glass beads, called “microspheres,” to paint before brushing the mixture onto prepped canvases, creating a prism-like effect. Corse explains: “… my paintings are not reflective! [… ] They create a prism that brings the surface into view. I like that because it brings the viewer into the light as well.” A dynamic example of one of her “prismatic” paintings goes to auction March 1.

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