Winter Modern and Contemporary presented by Moran’s
MONROVIA, CA – Monrovia, CA – Tuesday’s (February 23, 2021) Winter Modern and Contemporary Sale was lively and well-attended. The pieces were obtained from collectors all over the country and the range of artists represented in the auction spanned the globe. The 66 lots were a carefully curated selection of prints, paintings and sculpture from a variety of artists including household names like Warhol, Lichtenstein, Rauschenberg and Picasso.
The sale began with TR I, an eye-catching color lithograph by German born, American artist Anni Albers. For over 40 years Anni created striking woven works of art, and her contributions are accredited with closing the gap between craft and fine art. It was not until Albers was in her 60s that she moved away from the physical demands of the loom and began producing works on paper made through various printmaking processes. TR I was made through an involved printing process with each color requiring a separate stone. Estimated at $3,000-$5,000, this two-dimensional piece harkening back to Albers’
rich textile background sold for $6,250.
California artist Charles Arnoldi made quite the impression on Tuesday with Untitled, oil and acrylic on rag paper. Two seemingly distinct abstract depictions rest comfortably side by side in Arnoldi’s signature use of bold color and geometric shapes. The painting’s layered texture and composition provide a strong tie to Arnoldi’s sculptural works that frequently involve tree branches. This piece soared past its $2,000-$4,000 estimate and sold for $7,500.
While there were a number of lots that came in over their estimates, this next highlight set a new record. Lampe Femme, a ceramic vase by Pablo Picasso, originated from the collection of the artists’ 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 of 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. This innovative vase with a valuation of $15,000-$20,000 was well-fought and sold at an unparalleled $100,000.
“This William Spratling River of Life Silver Cuff Bracelet is a prime example of his design style incorporating waves and Aztec inspired rings. ”
Another highlight was the inclusion of 8 prints by Los Angeles-based pop artist, Ed Ruscha. His work 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 was estimated to fetch $3,000-$5,000 but instead sold to the tune of $10,000.
The notion of celebrity and Hollywood plays a reoccurring and conflictual role in Ruscha’s output. In Further Landmark Decay, 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. It was estimated at $3,000-$4,000 but sold for $6,250.
Untitled from 1967 was a handsome addition to the sale from Japanese American artist, Tadashi Sato. His 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. Even though it was estimated at $6,000-$8,000, bids surged to a selling price of $18,750.
Vietnamese French artist, Le Pho was a vital part of a small group of painters blending Asian sensibilities with European methosds. An excellent example of this delicate hybrid is seen in the serene florals of Bouquet Champêtre. It was estimated in the $10,000-$15,000 range but realized a selling price of $16,250.
The International buzz kept going with the mixed media paintings of Canadian artist, Dominic Besner, Les Betes A Cornes and Petite Quadrille Des Carrousels depict regal figures and horses in a world that feels post-apocalyptic. The heavily textured scenes fully embrace the figural and abstract themes that permeate his work. Both paintings exceeded their estimated values of $1,000-$1,500 with Les Betes A Cornes seilling for $4,062 and $3,125 for Petite Quadrille Des Carrousels.
– Angela Bryant and Noelle Valentino, John Moran Auctioneers
Moran’s is showroom- ready for The Alan Schneider Collection taking place on Tuesday, March 2, 2021. The Spring season will keep blooming with installments of California Living, California & American Fine Art and The Traditional Collector. 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