Fritz Scholder skyrockets to $225k, and more from Los Angeles Modern Auctions Spring Auction
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Fritz Scholder skyrockets to $225k, and more from Los Angeles Modern Auctions Spring Auction
Fritz Scholder, Indian with Peace Medal, 1972. Est. $10,000-15,000. Realized: $225,000.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- Los Angeles Modern Auctions closed its May 23rd spring auction with a climactic bout of competitive bidding for Fritz Scholder's 1972 painting Indian with Peace Medal. The large portrait realized a final price of $225,000, fifteen times its high estimate of $15,000, setting the world auction record for any work by the artist.

A member of the La Jolla Band of Luiseno Indians, Scholder (1937-2005) described himself as a "non-Indian Indian." His post-modern, Pop-inflected depictions of Native Americans are said to have "forever broke[n] the mold of what Indian painting had been," as reported by the Los Angeles Times upon the artist's death in 2005. Scholder studied in his youth with Wayne Thiebaud, created lithographs with the Tamarind Institute, and would influence a new generation of Native American artists, in large part through his teaching role at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in the 1960s.

Other record-breaking lots included editions from Ed Ruscha, Frank Stella, and Mark Bradford. A 1971 Ruscha Made in California print set a new auction record for the edition when it realized $87,500. Frank Stella's dynamic The Funeral (Dome)(from Moby Dick Domes Series) realized $30,000, achieving twice its high estimate. And the 2003 lithograph 630C-MB03 by Mark Bradford fetched more than three times its high estimate when it realized $18,750.

The top-selling lot was Keith Haring's 1988 Growing Suite: the series of five prints exceeded its high estimate with a price realized of $262,500. Among the auction's most high-performing lots were an untitled 1967 sculpture by Peter Alexander and the Frank Gehry-designed Little beaver chair and ottoman. The pink-hued Alexander "wedge" realized a notable $84,375, and the Gehry design more than doubled its high estimate when it realized $12,500.

“We're delighted to see that longtime clients and new bidders alike are bringing a renewed energy to collecting,” says LAMA President Shannon Loughrey. "The record-breaking Scholder sale exemplifies this verve. We're eager to build on the momentum by holding larger auctions with a live audience as it becomes safe to do so. Our doors are open to the Los Angeles art community, and beyond."

LAMA will be holding its next auction on July 18th.

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