Hard-edge painting

Just In: The Art of Craig Ellwood

June 29, 2016


From his projects for the influential Case Study House program of the 1950s to his office’s acclaimed design for the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, the work of Craig Ellwood helped define a new architectural aesthetic. Yet, many of his admirers are unaware that he enjoyed a vibrant second career as an artist. Los Angeles Modern Auctions spoke with Ellwood’s widow, Leslie Phillips, about his art.

John McLaughlin: Uncompromised Form

February 8, 2016

Lot 176, John McLaughlin, Untitled (1958)

Regarded as one of the great American painters of the 20th century, John McLaughlin is yet one of the most underappreciated. His work in the 1950s helped define the Hard-Edge school of geometric abstract painting, and his serene, almost austere canvases were in particular seen as a West Coast counterpoint to the assertiveness of New York Abstract Expressionism. His work would have a profound impact on Robert Irwin, Larry Bell, James Turrell, and other members of the Los Angeles Light and Space movement. LAMA is pleased to offer three works by McLaughlin on February 21, 2016.

Classic Frederick Hammersley Painting

September 16, 2015


“Abstract Classicist painting is hard-edged painting. Forms are finite, flat, rimmed by a hard clean edge.” Curator Jules Langsner both defined a movement by exhibiting four artists–Frederick Hammersley, Karl Benjamin, Lorser Feitelson, John McLaughlin–together under the banner “Four Abstract Classicists” in 1959, and is credited for coining the term Hard Edge painting. Noteworthy for putting West Coast abstraction on the map, the exhibition Four Abstract Classicists was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, opened at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and traveled internationally. In this exhibition, painter Frederick Hammersley (1919–2009) first gained critical recognition. Los Angeles Modern Auctions is pleased to offer a stunning example by Hammersley from 1959, which comes with significant exhibition history in the upcoming October 11, 2015 Modern Art & Design auction.

Remembering Hard-Edge Painter June Harwood (1933-2015)

January 7, 2015

Today we remember artist and local treasure June Harwood (1933–2015) who recently passed away. We celebrate her spirited, visionary artistry and her legacy as a member of the Hard-Edge movement. Her vivid, bold paintings—typically utilizing just two or three colors to distill the simplicity of forms, line, and shape—were thrilling to behold while maintaining a sense of harmony.

Just In: Karl Benjamin #23

March 6, 2013

As we continue to remember Karl Benjamin and his profound artistic legacy, we are always excited to see his works come through our auctions. We recently received on consignment an oil on canvas, #23, from 1965, which will be offered in the May 19, 2013 Modern Art & Design Auction. #23, bright and pristine, was acquired directly from the artist and comes from the Collection of James Hueter, a lifelong friend and contemporary of Benjamin’s. The unbroken provenance combined with the near pristine condition makes this a rare opportunity to acquire one of the best California Hard Edge paintings to hit the market in years.

Just In: Vasa Painted Construction

December 9, 2010

“Crimson, Yellow and Green” (Tower) by Vasa Mihich, more commonly known as Vasa, is according to the artist the first piece he ever sold, which was quite meaningful to the artist as he said, “When I sold this piece it meant that I could eat.” After immigrating to the United States in 1960, ultimately moving to Los […]