Just In: A Charles Arnoldi Stick Painting

September 2, 2020

Charles Arnoldi has been a visual problem solver for nearly five decades. As a student at the Chouinard Art Institute in the 1960s, he absorbed the notion that painting’s time had passed and subsequently struggled to land on a painting technique that could encapsulate his creative vision. It was a post-wildfire Malibu fruit-foraging expedition that unexpectedly delivered his next material: sticks.

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Just In: Alexander Calder

August 24, 2020

Calder’s gouache works on paper — his preferred two-dimensional medium — lend insight into how the artist came to create the sculptures and mobiles that have become synonymous with his name. During his yearlong stay in Aix-en-Provence in 1953…

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Just In: Josef Albers

October 22, 2018

Josef Albers became fascinated with the architectural silhouettes of the Mesoamerican flat-top pyramids that he observed during his numerous trips to Mexico. This experience is said to have had a lasting impression on Albers’ iconic works, and especially his Homage to the Square series, whose recurring square within a square composition could be seen as a distillation of the shape of the stepped pyramid when viewed from above. LAMA is pleased to be offering this painting in the November 18, 2018 Auction of the Collection of Gerard L. Cafesjian.

Oskar Fischinger: Champion of Pure Abstraction

April 29, 2016

Lot 167, Oskar Fischinger, Wave Five (1948)

A pioneer of modernism in Los Angeles, Oskar Fischinger (1900–1967) is celebrated for his transcendent and metaphysical oil paintings, as well as for his groundbreaking work in abstract film animation. Working as an animator for, by turns, Paramount, MGM, and Disney, Fischinger turned to painting as a creative outlet—one he pursued with vigor for the rest of his life. These paintings uniquely embody a sense of cinematic movement with forms that resonate and pulse, move in waves, swell, and burst. For Fischinger, these abstractions were means to transcendent ends. He sought, through painting, to escape the earthly, and to hint at the eternal.

Emerson Woelffer, Postwar Renaissance Man

April 26, 2016

Lot 275, Emerson Woelffer, Cook and Fish (1943)

A self-described “abstract surrealist,” the painter, collagist, and teacher Emerson Woelffer was in many ways the very ideal of a postwar American artist. His distinctive style of Abstract Expressionism was inflected by his many and varied interests and experiences. Certainly one of Woelffer’s most enduring legacies is the inspiration he gave his students. When Woelffer came to Los Angeles in the 1960s he became a mentor to an impressive roster of devoted students at the Chouinard Institute that included Larry Bell, Ed Ruscha, Joe Goode, and Charles Arnoldi. His work was shaped, too, by his move to Southern California, which prompted a discernable shift to bolder, brighter colors in his paintings.