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Category Archives: Words from Peter Loughrey

Peter’s Auction Pick of the Day: California Clay

Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA)

Los Angeles was fertile ground for some of the greatest achievements of the American Studio Ceramic Movement between the 1940s and the 1970s. In the auction on Sunday, October 9th, LAMA offers a number of examples by the leading practitioners of the movement whose work served as a catalyst in re-shaping attitudes toward clay. From Peter Voulkos and Paul Soldner, to Stan Bitters and Gertrud & Otto Natzler, Peter Loughrey, director of LAMA, provides his expert insight on the state of clay, while curator Jo Lauria contextualizes these masters works and their lasting influence. Read on!

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Peter’s Auction Pick of the Day: Ed Ruscha

Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA)

Ed Ruscha’s painting, photography, prints, and books are among the most iconic art works of the 20th century. A transplant to Los Angeles, he moved to the city in 1956 and soon became one of the city’s most adept chroniclers. Ruscha’s training in commercial art is evident in the two unique paintings offered by LAMA on October 9, which employ everyday subject matter and neatly set typography. For Peter Loughrey, director of LAMA, the painting in particular has a unique association: “Ruscha’s painting ‘Crescent Heights Becomes Laurel Canyon’ has a special resonance for me because I myself lived at the corner of Laurel Canyon and Crescent Heights for seven years and ran LAMA from that apartment. There’s a little red dot in the word Laurel Canyon and that’s exactly where my building was! It is especially exciting to present a piece with such a connection to Los Angeles.”

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Peter’s Auction Pick of the Day: Helen Frankenthaler

Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA)

Throughout her six-decade career, Helen Frankenthaler created a dramatic body of highly expressive abstract painting, unmatched in intensity and lyricism. Created in 1976, Jade demonstrates Frankenthaler’s facility with acrylics. The work carries Frankenthaler’s signature balance of control and spontaneity. Peter Loughrey, director of LAMA, states, “paintings like this don’t come up in this market very often and LAMA doesn’t always get the opportunity to present works of this stature – it’s a great painting at a very attractive estimate.”

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Peter’s Auction Pick of the Day: Frank Gehry

Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA)

Frank Gehry is one of the world’s leading architects. Gehry’s aesthetic is characterized by its innovative use of materials, from dynamically twisting sheets of steel in his exteriors to the incorporation of plain unpainted plywood in the interiors of his buildings. LAMA is pleased to announce the sale of a sculpture by Gehry, commissioned for the Chiat/Day offices in Toronto, Canada, in the October 9, 2016 auction. This unique work is a great representation of the art produced by the famed architect.

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Peter’s Auction Pick of the Day: Sam Maloof

Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA)

Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA) is delighted to announce the auction of a group of three designs by celebrated woodworker Sam Maloof (1916 – 2009) on October 9, 2016. Self-taught, Maloof first began working with wood as a child and excelled in his craft from an early age. The pieces for auction include a desk, armchair and one of Maloof’s iconic rocking chairs, all created between 1991 – 1992. Carved from comfortable, hard-wearing walnut, the chairs are embody the elegant simplicity of Maloof’s designs, which place function first. Maloof’s attention to detail was legendary and rather than employing hundreds of technicians, he had a hand in every object that left his workshop. Each of these remarkable pieces bear the hallmarks of Maloof’s classic aesthetic.

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LAMA Posts Strong Prices for International Works

Peter and Shannon Loughrey, LAMA, May 22, 2016 Auction

Los Angeles Modern Auctions achieved top prices for works by local, national, and international artists and designers at auction on May 22, 2016. LAMA set world record prices for Sheila Hicks, a work on paper by Ken Price, and a painting by Jules Olitski from his late period, proving that geography is not a limitation for this boutique auction house.

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Peter’s Post-Auction Picks

LAMA-PostAuctionPick-October2015

One of the great things about life: there are always second chances. Maybe you were busy or distracted during LAMA’s October 11th Modern Art & Design Auction–a sweeping success energized by lively bidding that saw new record auction prices, and total sales of $4.1 million. But several important and highly collectible works by the greatest names in modern and contemporary art and design are still available for purchase. Peter Loughrey, LAMA’s director and curator of the auction, has chosen six pieces from this group to highlight, including lots by Tom Friedman, Christo, Annie Leibovitz, Alfredo Ramos Martinez, Chris Ferebee, and Russel Wright.

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Peter’s Auction Pick of the Day: The Poetry of French Postwar Design

LAMA Auction October 2015

In Toward an Architecture, his classic modernist manifesto of 1923, Le Corbusier famously said, “a house is a machine for living in.” But he also wrote these lesser known, yet I think, more telling remarks: “You employ stone, wood and concrete, and with these materials you build houses and palaces. That is construction. Ingenuity is at work . . . But suddenly you touch my heart, you do me good, I am happy and I say: ‘This is beautiful.’ That is Architecture. Art enters in.”

A group of French postwar design objects in LAMA’s upcoming auction put me in mind of Le Corbusier’s observations. In the years following the war few French designers were able to work with the rich stuff seen in the thirties, such as lacquer, shagreen, exotic hardwoods, and kid leather. Instead they made do with humble and industrial materials: painted or enameled sheet metal, stainless steel, pine, oak, or plywood. And yet they created some of the most beautiful and inventive designs of the 20th century. Such lots by Jean Prouvé, Le Corbusier with Charlotte Perriand, Mathieu Matégot, and Jean Rispal go to auction this October 11.

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