Published: September 15, 2020
OAKLAND, CALIF. – Clars Auction Gallery offered a Raimonds Staprans (American, b 1926), “Still Life with Red Piano Stool,” 1987, oil on canvas, valued at $80/120,000 at the firm’s online-only auction on September 12-13. The painting set a new world record when it finished at $147,600 (with buyer’s premium), beating the most recent record of $87,500 from August 2019. “A +68 percent increase!” said Rick Unruh, Clars chief executive officer. “The Staprans was quite a pleasant surprise. This artist has serious momentum going for him. My theory behind that is that his peer group is Richard Diebenkorn and Wayne Thiebaud, who he was friends with. Their prices are, of course, incredibly high, and I think people are realizing he’s undervalued.” Consigned from a San Francisco area collector, the painting now goes to an East Coast private collector, said Unruh.
The oil on canvas depicting a simple tableau of a piano stool next to an open paint can was signed and dated lower right, titled verso and measured 64 by 42 inches overall. Exhibition history included “Raimonds Staprans: November 6 through December 4, 1987,” at Maxwell Galleries in San Francisco, and the lot was accompanied by the original exhibition catalog.
Staprans is a contemporary Bay Area painter known for his depictions of fruit, chairs and architecture, using flat planes of color to create form and light. Born in 1926 in Riga, Latvia, he and his family emigrated to America in 1947. The artist received his MA from the University of California Berkeley, where he studied under Hans Hofmann and Karl Kasten. Also a writer, Staprans is known for his plays, which give an insight into his painting process. His works are held in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the San Jose Museum of Art and the Portland Museum of Art.
For more information, 510-428-0100 or www.clars.com.
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