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The $1.58 million 'Joke'; Highest price achieved in Los Angeles Modern Auctions' history
Alex Katz, Here's to You (1962), Realized: $162,500. Photo: Los Angeles Modern Auctions.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- On Sunday, Los Angeles Modern Auctions, the boutique auction house dedicated to modern and contemporary fine art and design, set a new company record, selling a single work for the highest price in the company’s 24-year history: Richard Prince’s Bedtime Story (1988) from the seminal Monochromatic Jokes paintings realized $1.585 million. LAMA additionally set world auction records for artists and designers Mary Corse, Fred Eversley, John Lautner, James Gill, and Joe Brainard. LAMA’s total auction sales for the February 21, 2016 Modern Art & Design auction realized $5.1 million, selling 116% of the 419 lots by value.

Bedtime Story hit the auction market for the first time on Sunday carrying LAMA’s highest ever pre-sale estimate of $1,000,000–2,000,000. After bidding from local, national, and international collectors, the work realized $1,585,000, marking the highest amount ever paid for a work at LAMA.

The highly anticipated offering of art and design from the Jack Larson and James Bridges collection totaled $618,893, exceeding the collection’s pre-sale total estimate of $507,000. Highlights from the collection included a rare, early painting by Alex Katz, Here’s to You (1962), which brought $162,500; Jasper Johns’ Skin with O’Hara poem (1965), which realized $28,750; and a pair of John Lautner floor lamps (c. 1965), which realized $21,250 (Lot 90).

As a dedicated champion of California artists, LAMA is especially proud to have established new world auction records for Southern California modernists: Mary Corse’s Copper-Four Crosses (1979) realized $100,000, a John Lautner floor lamp (1939) brought $43,750 (Lot 96), and a James Gill painting from 1968, when the artist worked in Los Angeles, achieved $22,500.

Works by blue-chip veterans also soared past estimates including art and design by Alberto Giacometti, Frank Stella, Alighiero Boetti, De Wain Valentine, and David Hockney.

Design highlights include an Alberto Giacometti floor lamp, which brought $125,000, a 1939 John Lautner floor lamp, which realized $31,250 (Lot 97), a Sam Maloof circular table, which achieved $21,250, two Frank Lloyd Wright “Origami” lounge chairs, each of which brought $20,000, and a Sam Maloof sculpted armchair, which realized $16,250.

“Record-setting prices have convinced some important collectors to act locally instead of sending works to New York, which used to be the norm,” states Peter Loughrey, Director of Modern Design & Fine Art. “The Richard Prince sale underscores our growing strength in the field of contemporary art and demonstrates LAMA’s ability to offer West Coast collectors expanded opportunities to buy and sell.”

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February 24, 2016

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