Los Angeles, CA — As spring ends and summer begins, John Moran Auctioneers is preparing a sizzling Post War and Contemporary Art + Design sale taking place Tuesday, June 21, 2022, at noon PST. With over 275 lots, this sale includes a smashing selection of prints and multiples lead by key artists, mid-century furniture and design, and modern and contemporary paintings, sculptures, tapestries, ceramics by Southern California artists, and hand-crafted furniture by local and international acclaimed designers. In addition to the post-war art and design, Moran’s will be offering a “capsule collection” of designer furniture coming from a private collector in Los Angeles who sought out the expertise of celebrity interior designer, Martyn Lawrence Bullard.
Martyn Lawrence Bullard is a world-renowned interior designer known for his eclectic, yet sophisticated style. With a star-studded clientele, including Cher, Tommy Hilfiger, and Eva Mendes, his work has been photographed for numerous magazines and publications. Much of this private collection was featured in a major design magazine back in 2019, and now we are fortunate enough to present it to the public. The article highlighted some original Martyn Lawrence Bullard designs, such as a Lucite and chrome etagere, faux fur cream day bed, pink faux fur Lucite chairs, and a beautiful black and white dining set. A green couch and leopard barstools by Milo Baughman, and a pair of Kelly Wearstler stone side tables were also mentioned. But the standout pieces must be the three ultrafashionable Yves Klein cocktail tables— IKB, (also known as International Klein Blue) is filled with his brilliant blue pigment, Monopink, is filled with rose madder, while Monogold is filled with 3000 sheets of gold leaf.
“This table is an iconic statement from one of the most influential artists of the 20th Century. It not only captures the essence of his work, it is also a highly glamorous piece of furniture that adds style and drama to any space it resides in.” –Martyn Lawrence Bullard
Yves Klein, a French artist, and an important figure in post-war European art, was a self-taught, eccentric performance artist, known for works made with pigment. Table Monogold, designed 1961/1963, has been brought to auction with an estimate of $15,000 – $20,000.
Another innovative French artist featured in this sale is the Brutalist textile designer, Mathiew Matégot. This modern wool woven tapestry, Étendards (with an estimate of $3,000 – $5,000), was brought in from the original consigners. Auctioned with the piece is a clothbound book about the artist, purchased at the September 1972 Cal Tech exhibit, Contemporary International Tapestries from The Hurschler Collection where this work was displayed. Additional associated gallery documents are also included. Matégot is one of the most prominent artists from the tapestry weaving revival of the 1950s, who created with metal, rattan, brass, Formica, glass, several types of wood, as well as fabric and leather.
“"This table is an iconic statement from one of the most influential artists of the 20th Century. It not only captures the essence of his work, it is also a highly glamorous piece of furniture that adds style and drama to any space it resides in.” –Martyn Lawrence Bullard ”
Continuing the representation of Surreal art is the Spanish painter, Joan Miro. Known as the pioneer of Surrealism, Miro’s works are colorful and playful, and many include images that draw upon the imagination. His strong interest in the unconscious or the subconscious mind is expressed in his re-creation of the childlike. We are fortunate enough to have five of his works included in this sale. This piece, Série I, is an etching with aquatint in orange and black on woven paper, with an estimate of $15,000 – $20,000.
This auction includes another Latin Surrealist artist, Pedro Friedeberg. He was born in Italy to German-Jewish parents but grew up in Mexico during World War II. With an original interest in architecture, Friedeberg eventually dropped out of school to pursue art. His two-dimensional works feature psychedelic, op art-inspired patterns, ideograms, and fantastical architectural forms. This piece, Decapitaciones Trantamorficas, is ink and acrylic on panel and has an estimate of $15,000 – $20,000.
Shifting the focus away from fine art and back to furniture, is a midcentury masterpiece known as the Cyclone table. This dining table was designed by Japanese American artist and designer, Isamu Noguchi. He became famous for his inventive, interlocking sculptures made from rounded slabs of wood, slate, and other materials that held together sans glue or screws. Integrating Japanese aesthetics and Western modernism, Noguchi’s work transcended the boundaries between art, design, theater, and architecture. The Cyclone table, with an estimate of $1,000 – $1,500, was originally designed as a stool, but Hans Knoll liked it so much they asked Noguchi to adapt the design into a table.
Dimitri Hadzi is another American abstract artist featured in the sale. Born to Greek American immigrant parents, Hadzi studied painting and sculpture in New York, continued his education in Greece, then moved to Rome where he lived for twenty-five years. He eventually resided in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and taught sculpture at Harvard University for over a decade. This piece, Atlas, is one of two sculptures up for auction, and represents his perception of art—in clear, formalist terms, but with nuances of mythic meaning drawn from his Greek heritage. The patinated bronze sculpture has an estimate of $15,000 – $20,000.
Last but certainly not least, we present the extremely rare Richard Diebenkorn sculpture, Untitled.
“The last time Richard Diebenkorn’s sculpture ‘Untitled’ appeared at auction was in the 1980s. Its appearance in this upcoming sale represents itself once in a generation, or even once in a lifetime. It’s an opportunity for collectors or a museum to acquire one of the only sculptures that Diebenkorn ever produced.” –Hayden Hunt, Post War and Contemporary Fine Art Specialist at John Moran Auctioneers.
Diebenkorn is often associated with the Abstract Expressionist movement, but his background differs from many of the other New York artists from that period. He was in the Marine Corps from 1943 to 1945, then, under the GI Bill, studied painting at the California School of Fine Art. Following his undergraduate studies, Diebenkorn taught at CSFA for a couple of years, but in 1950 he left to complete a master’s degree at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. The Abstract Expressionist artist was very spontaneous in his work, bypassing aspects of the conscious mind while searching for unrecognized forms and emotions. For his master’s degree exhibition, Diebenkorn selected work from the seventeen months of his residency. It included sixteen paintings, six drawings, and at least two welded metal sculptures created from scrap iron.
This untitled work was created in 1951. Having no prior experience with this medium but wanting to try his hand at open form recycled metal sculpture, Diebenkorn sought the help of a fellow graduate assistant, Herb Goldman, to teach him the fundamentals of welding. Its significance lies in the uniqueness and rarity of the piece and has an estimate of $70,000 – $90,000.
With its distinguished provenance, including exhibitions at Les Hass and Robert Hooton in Albuquerque, NM, The San Jose Museum of Art, The Phillips Collection museum in Washington D.C., and two galleries in New York— Grey Art Gallery and Leslie Feely Fine Art, this extraordinary piece of art history is sure to capture the attention of abstract expressionism art collectors worldwide.
“It’s incredibly exciting for us to be able to offer such a wide range of works by many notable artists and designers of the twentieth century,” said Hunt.
This auction will also include editioned works by Escher, Rauschenberg, Nevelson, Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Giacometti, and Berenice Abbott, Salvador Dali, Frank Stella, and Henri Matisse. There will be an extensive selection of paintings by Andrew Salgado, Nobuo Sekine, Paul Jenkins, Thomas Nozkowski, Ynez Johnston, Milton Avery, and Sally Michel. We have works on paper by Fernand Leger and Jim Dine, as well as design by Macintosh, Flavie Audi, Charles Hollis Jones, Otto & Vivica Henio, Allan Adler, and Alexander McQueen. And finally, this sale will offer even more fabulous furniture featuring designers such as, Hans Wagner, Vladimir Kagan, Poul Cadovius, Philip and Kelvin LaVerne, Raymond Loy, Sam Maloof, Herman Miller, Knoll, and B&B Italia.
—Brenda Smith, John Moran Auctioneers
As we head into the second half of 2022, John Moran Auctioneers continues their summer lineup with the ReDesigned Auction on Tuesday, July 19th, followed by the Art of the American West online-only sale, Tuesday, July 26th. Be sure to mark your calendars for these upcoming auctions so you don’t miss out on the action, and the treasures!
ReDesigned: Tuesday, July 19th | 12:00 pm PST
Art of the American West: ONLINE Tuesday, July 26th | 10:00 am PST
Made in Mexico: Tuesday, August 23rd | 12:00 pm PST
Summer Modern & Contemporary Fine Art: Tues, Aug 30th |12:00 pm PST
Fine Jewelry: Tuesday, September 13th | 10:00 am PST
John Moran’s takes the health and safety of our staff and customers seriously; as such, sales will continue to be held online and without a live audience. However, each item is available for public preview. Moran’s auction showroom is over 10,000 square feet and allows clients to preview objects within established social distancing guidelines so that buyers can feel confident when making an appointment to preview the property. 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.
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