At a time when figuration was considered dead, Larry Rivers insisted that figurative art and portraiture remained relevant—even radical. The singular style he developed combined the force and gesture of Abstract Expressionism with perfectly rendered, representational imagery. His preferred subject matter—everyday objects like playing cards, cigarette packs, and foreign currency—together with his signature cool, ironic detachment, have caused some to regard Rivers as the forerunner of Pop Art.
We tend to think of artistic creativity as a solo act. In the popular imagination, a painter or sculptor works alone in a studio, driven by singular personal genius. Several lots in LAMA’s February 21st sale of modern art, however, demonstrate how frequently art is the result of collaboration. Many of these are examples of technical cooperation. Others arise from friendly participation in a project. But a few works represent a true synthesis of creative minds. Of these, one name recurs: Frank O’Hara. LAMA’s upcoming auction features several collaborative artworks, including four pieces made in collaboration with O’Hara.
LAMA Director Peter Loughrey discusses a work by Alex Katz, which goes to auction on February 21:
“There are some artworks that I pause to look at time and time again during the weeks they are kept in our office. One of these lately has been Here’s to You, a 1962 portrait by Alex Katz.” Peter explains this work’s je ne sais quois and more in today’s Peter’s Pick!
There are many things to say about the George D. Sturges Residence, and over the past few months—speaking with collectors, design lovers, and the media as we prepare for our February 21st sale—I’ve said a lot. But here I want to describe perhaps the most important aspect of the Sturges Residence: its atmosphere; the ambiance—what it is that gives the house its special sense of place. The feeling of being inside the Sturges Residence is a little hard to convey. It’s warm; it’s embracing. Inside the dark, wood-paneled rooms with logs crackling in the big brick fireplace, you experience a sense of serenity and security. You feel instantly at home.
Joe Brainard developed an odd and appealing personal iconography. One of the most prolific and protean figures in the American art and literary world of the 1960s and 1970s, he worked in a range of artistic mediums that included oil painting and drawing, but is best known for his collage and assemblage pieces. Of Brainard critic Bruce Hainley wrote, “His little books of drawings and writings can be placed snugly next to Edward Ruscha’s [books]: both reveal the genius of fearlessly pursuing a banal idea with single-minded thoroughness.”