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Los Angeles Modern Auctions announces top lots for its 25th Anniversary Auction
Roy Lichtenstein, Reverie (from 11 Pop Artists Portfolio, Vol. II)) (1965). Estimate: $60,000 -$90,000. Photo: Los Angeles Modern Auctions.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- Los Angeles Modern Auctions announced the top lots from its fine art and design pieces as a part of its 25th anniversary auction. The October 22, 2017 Modern Art & Design Auction speaks to LAMA’s versatility and strength in the global, modern marketplace with its inclusion of a selection of specially curated pieces with wide variety of movements, regions and mediums of modern art and design.

The top lot of the auction is an early and iconic work by Ken Price, Astronauts in the Ocean (1960-1961) that was exhibited at LACMA, the Nasher Sculpture Center, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. LAMA is thrilled to present such an important work by the acclaimed artist. A total of six works by Price will be offered in the October 22nd auction, a second being McShann (2004), which takes the recognizable form of the artist’s later work.

“This auction is a milestone for LAMA, and I am thrilled with the selection of art and design that will be offered to celebrate our 25th year,” said Peter Loughrey, Director of Modern Art & Design. “There are several artists and designers represented in this sale that I offered at my very first auction in 1992. Over the last 25 years, LAMA has grown to encompass every sector of modern and art design.”

New York Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein is well represented with three exemplary works in the forthcoming auction. Reflections on The Scream (from Reflections) (1990), Reverie (from 11 Pop Artists Portfolio, Vol. II) (1965), and Sweet Dreams, Baby! (from 11 Pop Artists Portfolio, Vol. III) (1965) each showcase the highly graphic aesthetic for which Lichtenstein is known. Reverie and Sweet Dreams, Baby! were both owned by another important Pop artist, James Rosenquist, making the provenance of these two works particularly special. Stubb’s Supper (S-1, 1X) (from Moby Dick Series) (1986-1987) by Lichtenstein’s contemporary, Frank Stella, will also hit the auction block on October 22. This wall sculpture was inspired by the artist’s fascination and appreciation of the Melville novel.

Works by two of the most important names in modern art history, Marcel Duchamp and Paul Klee, will also be offered during the 25th Anniversary Auction. Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 (1937) by Marcel Duchamp is a smaller composition of the artist’s legendary painting. The provenance of the 1937 work includes the estate of Julien Levy, the New York gallerist who was both a friend and dealer of Duchamp’s. One of the earliest works in the auction, Ein Komet am Horizont Einer Stadt (1918) by Paul Klee was created following a trip to Tunisia. Composed with ink and watercolor, the work will be offered on the secondary market for the first time in nearly 50 years.

Additional fine art highlights include works by Emilio Greco, Ed Ruscha, Judy Chicago, Karl Benjamin, and Frederick Hammersley, among others.

The top lot of the design and decorative arts portion of the auction is a bronze and copper head, La Dormeuse by Claude Lalanne. The 1994 work demonstrates Lalanne’s mastery of a difficult medium, as the piece includes remarkably lifelike human and natural features. A custom wall unit by designer Gio Ponti (designed c. 1956-1967) that was commissioned for a home in Buenos Aires is another important design lot in the upcoming auction.

Two important American craftsman, George Nakashima and Sam Maloof, are also well represented in the auction. Two bespoke rocking chairs, one made of fiddleback maple and ebony (1990) and one of walnut and ebony (1972) will be on the block. A triple sliding door cabinet (1960) and a free edge coffee table (1979) by esteemed woodworker George Nakashima will round out the design portion of the auction.

Additional design and decorative arts highlights includes designs by Charles & Ray Eames, Pablo Picasso, Rudolph M. Schindler, Fernando & Humberto Campana, Edward Wormley, and Poul Kjaerholm.

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