LAMA, Ken Price, October 2015

Charles Eames once said: ‘Take your pleasure seriously.’ I think Ken Price applied the same sort of philosophy to his work. There’s a sense of fun and a lightness of spirit in his ceramics and, very clearly, in his works on paper which will be on offer this Sunday. Throughout his career, he sketched for enjoyment and peace of mind. But Price is arguably the most important sculptor of clay in the late 20th century. He developed a personal visual vocabulary that shifted back and forth between geometric shapes and biomorphic forms with vibrantly colored surfaces. The lot here, Up Back, is biomorphic in a friendly way; almost like a living thing. Works in this scale with such a presence are rarely seen on the auction market. Bidders should understand that opportunities like this are exceptional. I certainly don’t expect to have another chance to present a Ken Price piece of this quality any time soon. Los Angeles Modern Auctions will offer Up Back, along with five works on paper by Ken Price this Sunday.

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Los Angeles Modern Auctions, Italian Art, Italian Design

With major legacies in art history and fashion, it is no surprise that Italy is a leader of international design. Often Italian midcentury designers have backgrounds in art or architecture. Filtered through varied cultural histories from the Renaissance to Futurism, their results are remarkably contemporary and innovative. Here we highlight Italian pieces we love from the 1950s–1960s. Like they do in Italy, grab an espresso and read on to find out about lots by Gino Sarfatti, Ico Parisi, Aldo Tura, and Achille Perilli.

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Light and Space

It has always been a mission of Los Angeles Modern Auctions to foster the market of artists from Southern California. In the October 11 auction we are pleased to present an array of luminous artwork from LA-based Light and Space artists. The sunlight, sunsets, and atmosphere of the area inspired a number of artists starting in the sixties and seventies. They incorporate sensory phenomena in their work by altering natural light, or using artificial light, or creating with translucent, transparent or reflective materials. In a way, you can say that as artists they’re throwbacks to an earlier time. Such artists are sensitive to subtle changes in the air and shifts in the quality of light–its mutability as it is reflected or refracted, and passes through material. On offer will be outstanding lots by Peter Alexander, Mary Corse, John McCracken, and De Wain Valentine.

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Lot 308 Roy Lichtenstein Modern Head #1 (from Modern Head Series) 1970

The Modern Head Series (1970) was one of Roy Lichtenstein’s signal endeavors in the early mature period of his artistic career. Lichtenstein was deeply taken by Art Deco (or Machine Age) aesthetics, which he facetiously called “Cubism for the home.” The artist worked with Gemini G.E.L., the Los Angeles art printmaking firm that, though founded only in 1966, had already garnered wide acclaim for its technical expertise.

It is particularly noteworthy that each work in the Modern Head Series was produced using a different and distinct printing method. Those employed include woodcut, lithography, linecut, embossing, and the use of a die-cut paper overlay. Though conceived and printed as a cohesive whole, the Modern Head Series is rarely found intact. Here LAMA presents a complete set of the series, nos. 1-5, each edition #62 of of 100, published and printed by Gemini G.E.L., with provenance stemming from the private collection of Murray “Mickey” A. Gribin, Los Angeles, California. Modern Head #1, #2, #3, #4, and #5, Lots 308–312, will be on offer in the October 11 Modern Art & Design Auction.

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Lot 236 Tara Donovan Untitled (Paper Plates) c. 2005

Los Angeles Modern Auctions is pleased to offer two key lots by Tara Donovan at auction this October 11. The New York artist creates wondrous visual experiences, in large-scale installation and sculpture, from everyday objects. By stacking, piling, and densely arranging together hundreds of pieces of mundane materials like paper plates, plastic cups, or plastic straws, she renders surprisingly strange and beautiful results. They resemble great natural phenomena, such as nebulous clouds, or brittle landscapes. Nature and technology meet in Lot 236, Untitled (Paper Plates) (c. 2005), and Lot 237, Untitled (Bubble Drawing) (2003).

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Charles Arnoldi artist, standing in front of his artwork at LAMA

Charles Arnoldi is a painter, sculptor, and printmaker acclaimed for brightly colored compositions that straddle the margins of sculpture and painting; abstraction and representation. Both curiosity and experimentation are hallmarks of Arnoldi’s work–a theme that emerged in his groundbreaking “stick paintings” of the 1970s, made of found twigs and branches that Arnoldi shaped into constructions and affixed to panels.

Los Angeles Modern Auctions spoke with Charles Arnoldi in August 2015 about his career and his artistic philosophy. Five lots by the artist will be offered in our October 11 Modern Art & Design Auction.

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Lot 215 Ed Ruscha Hollywood 1968

Ed Ruscha quickly gained his footing in the Los Angeles art scene and found early success in the 1960s as one of the “Cool School” associated with the Ferus Gallery. Throughout a career of more than fifty years, he has made photo-collages, paintings, prints, drawings, and books, often referencing the city’s vernacular and culture with conceptual word games, text, and a deadpan sense of humor.

In Hollywood Ruscha uses an actual sign as his text, one that is an iconic image and a stand-in itself for the City of Angels. Los Angeles Modern Auctions is pleased to offer Lot 215, Hollywood (1968), a screenprint from an edition of 100. Ruscha published and printed this edition himself, using a split fountain technique.

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Joe Goode, Photo by Caren Levin

Artist Joe Goode has been living in Los Angeles for over 55 years and his work has been exhibited internationally since before the very genesis of terms like contemporary art or Pop art. His paintings are in the permanent collections of many major museums such as the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Recently, Joe Goode sat down with Peter Loughrey, Director of Los Angeles Modern Auctions, to talk about his career and Glass and Spoon (Tickled Pink) (1966–1967), which goes to market the first time in almost half a century. LAMA is pleased to offer four lots by the artist in our October 11 Modern Art & Design Auction.

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