On this trip I was also hoping to get to visit:
- the Getty “Crosscurrents” show of post-war L.A. area art
- the Beatrice Wood ceramics show in Santa Monica
- the “House that Sam Built” Sam Maloof show at the Huntington in Pasadena
- the Maloof, Bob Stocksdale and Ed Moulthrop woodturners show at the Maloof foundation in Alta Loma
- the Esther McCoy exhibit at R. M. Schindler’s Kings Road house in West Hollywood.
I know, pretty ambitious. However, it was a Monday the day after we went to the LACMA California Design show. Almost all of the other museums on that list of Pacific Standard Time hot spots were not open for business. (Or so I thought… more on that later. )
All was not lost however – LA Modern Auctions was having a preview all week for their Dec 11th Modern Design auction! So I figured out where Van Nuys was and first thing Monday morning headed out there to check it out.
I was not disappointed. The auction featured a vast range of furniture, design and art, including some major museum-worthy pieces.
In some ways the LAMA preview was more satisfying than the LACMA show, believe it or not. For one thing, there were fewer iconic and well-known pieces at the preview. Don’t get me wrong, people need to see the “hits” and the LACMA show of course had an educational angle as its primary focus.
It was just really cool to leisurely examine up-close some great pieces like a hyper-rare Prouve Antony chair, three Maloof tables, more rare Grossman tables, a bunch of Cressey and Stan Bitters ceramics, a MASSIVE Natzler vase (estimate was 100K on that one) along with some exquisite smaller Natzler pieces, uh… it went on and on. Oh yeah, plus they had their *own* Raymond Loewy Avanti Studebaker up for auction! And this one had been owned by Loewy to boot.
They also had a really nice pair of Bruce Nauman lithographs that I wish I had a time machine to go back and bid on, since they didn’t go for too much.
I did get to the “Crosscurrents” show at the Getty the next day, which was great, and have two pieces of wisdom: 1) be sure to go later in the day so as to avoid the roaming gangs of noisy school kids on a field trip and 2) resin art is really cool in person!