Moran’s Winter Modern and Contemporary is full of Editioned Prints that will make a lasting impression on collectors
Los Angeles, CA – Moran’s is pleased to offer a spirited collection of prints, paintings and sculpture in their Winter Modern and Contemporary sale, to be held on February 23, 2021 at noon PST. The live auction will feature prints by Ed Ruscha published by Hamilton Press and a wide selection of Gemini GEL prints by Roy Lichtenstein, Anni Albers, Robert Rauschenberg and Claes Oldenburg. Market Darlings KAWS, Andy Warhol and Pablo Picasso round out the auction.
In addition to the works on paper included in the 66 lots are paintings, photographs and ceramics sourced from collectors all over the country. Many of the works that will go up on the block feature a vibrant palate and a fun, pop art sensibility, deriving influence from Warhol and his contemporaries.
The sale features two prints by the art world provocateur himself. One example, from Warhol’s 1975 series, Ladies and Gentleman imbues his portrait subject, a member of the New York cross-dressing community, with a heroic quality befitting his earlier celebrity prints. The use of bright color block is a nod to the panache and glamour of the counterculture he depicts. Another Warhol work on offer is S&H Green Stamps, ripe with visual pun reflecting the now-defunct retailer’s customer loyalty trading stamps, while simultaneously alluding to the stamp-based silk-screen process Warhol employed to create the work. Ladies and Gentleman is estimated at $7,000-$9,000.
Meanwhile, closer to home, a selection of 8 prints by Los Angeles-based pop artist, Ed Ruscha, will be featured for sale. His oeuvre often incorporates cheeky text and glorifies seemingly banal imagery, coupled with a playful perspective inspired by advertising. In his print Music, Ruscha flexes his clever sense of humor through the juxtaposition of a regular ledger line and a distorted one below, implying cacophonous and dissonant sound. Music is estimated to fetch $3,000 – $5,000.
In another example, Ruscha pays false tribute to one of American art’s most iconic painting cycles, Thomas Cole’s Course of Empire. The epic nineteenth-century series expresses an inevitable forward march of progress in western civilization. By contrast, the utilitarian architecture of Ruscha’s tire shops and trade schools denounce Cole’s thesis, while likewise acknowledging their inescapable global ubiquity. There are three variations of this print on offer in the sale estimated value is $6,000-$8,000.
“Ruscha flexes his clever sense of humor through the juxtaposition of a regular ledger line and a distorted one below, implying cacophonous and dissonant sound”
Like Warhol, the notion of celebrity and Hollywood plays a reoccurring and conflictual role in Ruscha’s output. In two prints from the Landmark Decay series, Ruscha considers the ruin of one of American’s most iconic structures, the Hollywood Sign. The sketchy, abstracted quality underscores the imagined impermanence of this legendary LA monument.
Another pair of prints by Ruscha highlights methods of time keeping, ancient and modern. Reloj, meaning watch in Spanish, describes both an image of an hourglass and watch bezel. The blurry, abstracted quality implies time’s subjectivity and transience.
Hunt Slonem’s Black Finches on Yellow also recalls Warhol. Reminiscent of the Warhol’s famed patterned canvases and vibrant silkscreen prints, Slonem’s color, form and repetition is subtle homage. This piece is estimated at $3.000-$5,000. Likewise, his expressionistic style of paint handing adopts brushwork more akin to Rauschenberg, whose artwork is also featured in this sale.
Another artist picking up the pop art mantle from Andy Warhol is Kaws, the art world’s latest rebel blurring the lines between commercial and artistic output. Kaws modifies recognizable cultural icons, recalling Disney characters such as Pinocchio & Jiminy Cricket estimated at $5,000 – $7000. He also does popular cartoons and figures of his own design. The works on offer in the sale typify his cross-market appeal and unmatched ability to straddle high and low art.
While there is a strong LA lean to the sale selection, like the market at large, it is at once local and global. The international contingent represented in the auction line-up includes Vietnamese-French artist, Le Pho, whose Bouquet Champêtre is a subtle blend of Asian influences and European forms and has an estimated value of $10,000-$15,000. Likewise, Japanese-American artist, Tadashi Sato’s vibrant career spans the far reaches of the globe, from Honolulu to Manhattan, drawing inspiration from both sources. Sato worked in the orbit of Pollock and the other New York abstract expressionists. At the same time, his painterly forms find influence in his native Hawaii, where the colors and shapes of the ocean become evocative of the islands. An example in the same vein can be seen in the work to be sold. Other international artists featured include Nyoman Gunarsa and I Made Wianta, two Balinese contemporary artist, as well as Agbagli Kossi from Togo and Dominic Besner of Canada.
Finally, Pablo Picasso’s ceramic vessel “Lampe Femme,” will be among the works to be auctioned. Boasting an esteemed provenance, it originated from the collection of Picasso’s second wife and longtime muse, Jacqueline Picasso. She sold the vase to Hammer Galleries in New York, where it was purchased by the parents of the present owner, who inherited it by descent. Picasso met Jacqueline at Madoura Pottery, the ceramic workshop where many his works were produced. Attracted by the versatility of clay, Picasso not only mastered traditional ceramic forms but invented new ones. “Lampe Femme” is a technical achievement of firing in which Picasso overlays the face of a woman onto a unique shaped vessel. He hand-painted her features in a pleasing blue reminiscent of the Mediterranean Sea, not far from the Cote D’Azur pottery studio. In characteristic form, Picasso achieves harmony of proportion coupled with unmatched innovation.
The auction also presents works for bidding by Sam Francis, Salvador Dali, Anni Albers, George Braque, John Harvey McCracken, Enrique Martinez Celaya, Charles Arnoldi, Carrie Marill, John Charles Haley, Peter Tunney, Robert Jay Wolff and Jonathan Borofsky, among others.
Moran’s Spring season will bring installments California & American Fine Art, Traditional Collector, and much more. Moran’s takes the health and safety of our staff and customers seriously, as such, all previews for the auction will be by appointment only and the sales will be held online and without a live audience.
For upcoming highlights, online catalogues, and more information on these sales, visit Moran’s website: www.johnmoran.com. Bidding is now available online via Moran’s new mobile app, Moran Mobile, available on both iOS and Android operating systems. Live bidding on a desktop is available through our website; bidding is also supported by telephone or absentee.
Consignments are always welcome