Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA) is delighted to present a remarkable painting by the celebrated artist Karl Benjamin, which will be available in our Fall 2017 Modern Art & Design Auction. Created in 1957, ‘Seascape’ is a classic example of Benjamin’s style. The composition is defined on three sides by a jagged blue border, which inscribes a series of pink, blue, and olive green triangles. These latter shapes are suggestive of landforms and the white and pale blue background can be read as an expanse of sky above this seascape.
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.
“Getting to spend time with Sheila Hicks’s 1975 fiber construction has been a continual source of enjoyment since it was mounted on the wall of our showroom,” states LAMA’s Director of Modern Design & Fine Art, Peter Loughrey. “Few pieces in my experience have had such a captivating presence.” Peter fleshes out this work’s magnetism, from its unique context to its scale and honesty.
LAMA’s May 22, 2016 auction of Modern Art & Design will feature an Isamu Noguchi Chess Table, one of the acclaimed sculptor’s finest pieces as a designer and a seminal work in the development of organic modernism. Among aficionados and collectors, the Noguchi Chess Table is among the most admired and coveted objects in the field of mid-twentieth century American design. The biomorphic elements that compose it—the curvilinear top, legs, and tray—are just as striking and surprising now as when they were created. The Chess Table was, perhaps, Noguchi’s most elegant demonstration of his belief that everyday design objects should enrich our lives as much as art.
An artisan, designer, and engineer, Jean Prouvé (1901–1984) was one of the most innovative and influential figures in 20th-century French building and furniture design. Practicality was paramount to Prouvé–his designs are notable both for their economy of means (not a single structural element is superfluous), and resulting graceful forms. This Dactylo desk (the word is French for “typist”) is a classic example of his style. It features a folded enameled steel frame, legs finished with stainless steel sabots, and an oak top. The design is at once efficient, elegant, and effortlessly chic.
Today, let’s revel in a group of artists who take core principles and staples of traditional modernism and reinvigorate them with, as Robert Hughes would say, “the shock of the new.”