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.
Today, Peter and Dan combine forces to spotlight several amazing lots from last Sunday’s Modern Art & Design Auction that are still available for purchase — all at amazing prices. These iconic works of art and design, from a beautiful Knoll lounge suite, to a masterpiece by Larry Rivers and a Sam Francis work on paper, span an incredibly diverse price range, and are sure to satisfy a variety of buyers.
Larry Rivers is one of the last affordable Pop artists left. Recently, Rivers’ works have become more desirable, and thus have achieved higher prices on the market. I believe, eventually, Rivers will join his friends and peers – Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Jasper Johns, and Willem de Kooning – who are among the most coveted artists of the 20th century. Valentine Painting from 1959 has never been exhibited or widely published. Once major Rivers retrospectives are organized, this work will likely be sought after by scholars and institutions. In my opinion, this is one of the finest long-term investments LAMA has ever had the honor to represent.
– Peter Loughrey, Director of Modern & Contemporary Fine Art
Peter’s Auction Pick of the Day: Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms
Regarding the power of things…there’s a magic trick with which artists have been delighting us for millennia: The conjurer of canvas may invest so much of his own soul into depicting an inanimate object that the resulting painting or photo of mere lifeless metal, vegetable, meat, or clay can evoke in its beholder an overwhelming emotional response.
Therefore, inspired by our neighbors on Van Nuys Blvd—the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms—my picks for today have inspired me to meditate upon a certain type of inanimate object in art: the Object of Vice—Evil you can smoke, drink, and/or shoot.