Claude Lalanne Sculpture Acquired Directly from Artist Could Bring $150,000 at Heritage Design Auction
Event also features trove from Japanese fashion company Comme des Garcons
“The work of Francois-Xavier and Claude Lalanne is beloved and this sculpture (estimate: $100,000-150,000), in particular, remained the focal point of our client’s homes, first in Paris and then in Los Angeles, for more than three decades,” Heritage Auctions Design Director Brent Lewis said. “It was acquired directly from the artists during a visit to their studio outside Paris and is an extraordinary example of Les Lalanne’s unique artistic vision.”
Heritage also is offering a collection of nearly 100 rare pieces of Comme des Garcons, the legendary Japanese fashion company, each designed by founder Rei Kawakubo or Junya Watanabe. CDG is among the most innovative of fashion houses to emerge in the last century and a survey of Kawakubo’s work was held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, in 2017. This carefully assembled collection includes a variety of work showing the forward-thinking approach Kawakubo and her collaborators having taken for the art of fashion.
Mathieu Matégot’s Dining Table, designed 1958, 1982 (estimate: $30,000-50,000) reflects the artist’s preference to use metal as one of his favorite materials. This rare table design was originally designed and exhibited in 1958, at the Salon des Arts Menagers, Paris, in a room called the “Living room-terrace of a villa.” The base, composed of architectonic and angular rows of black patinated metal and brass columns, holds the original, sculpted glass top, and it presents Mategot’s predilection for combining biomorphic shapes with restrained rectilinear supports.
René Buthaud’s Important Vase, circa 1925 (estimate: $20,000-30,000) was exhibited in Exposition International des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Moderne in Paris in 1925, and in Musee des Arts decoratifs de la Ville de Bordeaux, “R Buthaud Ceramiques” in 1976. Buthaud was arguably the most influential Parisian ceramics artist of the 1920s and remains exceptionally significant in the history of French Art Deco.
Another highlight of the sale is a pair of extremely rare urns by Gio Ponti. Legendary Italian architect and designer Gio Ponti undertook a mission to bring his inspired vision of modernism to the world beginning in the early part of the 20th century and lasting throughout his long and prolific career. In the 1920s, he joined ceramics maker Richard Ginori to create new decorative objects fitting his vision, and under Ponti’s direction, Ginori created incredibly elegant and sophisticated tableware, vases, charges and more, in a slightly Neoclassical style, and with colorful and nuanced decoration. So successful was their collaboration that Ginori was awarded two grand prizes at the famed Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris, 1925. This is a pair of extremely rare urns (estimate: $8,000-12,000), with varied coloration, created during that fruitful period at Ginori and designed by Ponti.
The vases were consigned by a Texas couple who held them back from an estate sale, because something about the inherited pair seemed “special,” according to the consignors. Their inclination was confirmed by Heritage Auctions experts and by Brian Kish, Curator and Specialist in 20th Century Italian Architecture and Design and Associate Member of the Gio Ponti Archives. From Ponti’s 1926 “Lancesca” series, each vase features an inverted bell-form body hand-painted with an exaggerated twisting diagonal of trompe-l’oeil steps in pastel purple and green atop a socle with gilt bands. The geometric design to the surface is complimented by the highly stylized acanthus-form handles molded to either side of the body. According to Kish, multiple markings on the urns indicate they were produced as one-time exhibition pieces or for a very limited run.
Paul Rudolph’s Sofa from the Rudolph Penthouse, 23 Beekman Place, circa 1975 (estimate: $6,000-8,000) comes the artist’s New York City apartment, which was one of Rudolph’s most ambitious projects. The multi-level experimental triplex was filled with custom furniture he designed; after his death, it was bought by leading 20th-century design and architecture collectors and experts Michael and Gabrielle Boyd, who began restoring the house’ they kept this sofa in their personal collection for many years.
A Fernando and Humberto Campana TransPlastic Chair, 2006 (estimate: $5,000-7,000) comes from a collection they introduced in 2007 with an exhibition at Albion Gallery in London. Comprised of seating in various configurations, including single-seat chairs like the offered lot, as well as larger biomorphic benches with multiple seats of incongruous form and shapes, the plastic seats are held within extensions of a natural Brazilian fiber called Apui, altering the original, more familiar forms. The Campana brothers’ semi-organic creations like the offered chair reflect their view of a trend of replacing wicker pieces in Brazilian terraces and outdoor cafes with plastic pieces.
Framed French designer and decorator Mattia Bonetti began his career decades ago, and spent many years collaborating with designer Elizabeth Garouste, creating unique, curious and luxurious furnishings in Paris and in the major centers of the world. This table, from 1990 (estimate: $2,000-3,000), was purchased directly by Los Angeles art collectors who filled their home with works by the designers, and have remained in their home until now. He has exhibited in galleries around the world his work is included in the collections of Le Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Paris and the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum, New York among others.
For images and information about all of the lots in the auction, visit HA.com/8018.
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