"Some people say there's a golden light 
You're the golden light" 







"Some people say there's a golden light 
You're the golden light"
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Ultimately, their work is about a search for a unique beauty
that is within the materials and forms they find in their process.

- Pelle





PELLE are Korean-American designer Jean Pelle and German designer Oliver Pelle who met and studied at the Yale School of Architecture. From their studio in Red Hook Brooklyn they create lighting, furniture, interiors and architecture. Their inspiration comes from observing and re-imagining the possibilities of objects and spaces around them. Ultimately, their work is about a search for a unique beauty that is within the materials and forms they find in their process.

 PELLE Studio & Showroom:  201 Richards St Suite 105 Brooklyn NY 11231 







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This one was locked, closed down and refrained.
You tore through the glass, no one could understand.
As you pushed them all away, you made them all return.
This on was overcome, yet you lost in the end.

Now you, are on your way. (here)





......


 Well I have been quietly standing in the shade 
All of my days 
Watch the sky breaking on the promise that we made 
All of this rain 
And I've been trying to find 
What's been in my mind 

As the days keep turning into night


A couple weeks ago, as I was rushing around in downtown Los Angeles, I stopped inside the Figueroa Hotel, built in 1925.  A stairwell led to a basement, and as my eyes focused, I began to see a circling vine, with lights, and leaves, and gentle circling illumination. I quickly snapped this photograph as a reminder.

It's been an intense year of change for myself, and as the year ends, I'm grateful for the friends, experiences, and work that has filtered into my life. I've often heard we live many lifetimes, and it is evident that I am entering a new lifetime.  To those who create in their own way, and seek to add, rather than subtract.   To take the time to see what is true to them, and to participate in their own way.  

Happy Holidays, and see you in 2013.  We are on our way.  - David John







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“My painting is built around a great paradox: To deny in order to better assert. My painting thinks and put its thinking on display. It will unfold and thus deny its essential issues and underlying basis: chronology, origin, ending, incompleteness, series, montage, reproduction, etc…

(Bernard Piffaretti in conversation with Matt Connors





Bernard Piffaretti: Report
January 12 - February 16, 2013


Cherry and Martin presents the first United States solo exhibition in ten years by one of the most important contemporary French painters, Bernard Piffaretti, as curated in conversation with Matt Connors.

For more than 30 years Piffaretti has expressed the virtues and contradictions of painting, pairing codes of modern abstraction with a strict conceptual methodology. By vertically dividing the canvas into two equal halves creating the right-side as the original and the left-side its copy, Piffaretti has shaped his oeuvre into a multi-perplexing paradox that runs the gamut of painting’s canon while forming the quintessential Duchampian question to the audience.

The rigor and restraints of Bernard Piffaretti’s practice is riddled with the interruption, or pause, from its initiating mark—the formal constant of the painted-vertical line—that equally connects and separates the whole of the canvas. The paintings’ conception prompts a metaphorical plurality to the viewer on the creation of the pictorial image, the role of thinking in form, and the questions of negation and reaffirmation of the act of painting through the systematic role of copying to once more reveal what was already known. Unlike many of his contemporaries relaying on the power of the mechanical reproductive image, and the objective truth as presented in the photograph, Piffaretti posits himself into the endless variation of form as a traditional painter, acknowledging his strong conceptual threading, the thoughts within his paintings, and their relationship to space and time bearing the weight of the artist’s infinite dualities

(text taken from here)





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LOYALTY is faithfulness or a devotion to a person, country, group, or cause. (Philosophers disagree as to what things one can be loyal to. Some, as explained in more detail below, argue that one can be loyal to a broad range of things, whilst others argue that it is only possible for loyalty to be to another person and that it is strictly interpersonal.)

AMBIENCE is a feeling or mood associated with a particular place, person, or thing : Atmosphere







 
1. Chair: designed: CRS Bonaldo, "Nuovo Arturo" via ddc-nyc
2. Heathered Pearls Loyal: (ghostly)


The album's roots lie in a very utilitarian idea: "I started writing what now has become Loyal as a mental break from my personal anxieties," Alexander says. A study in the hypnotic, calming qualities of music, Loyal is also a tribute to Alexander's mother and Aunt (featured on the cover) who were crucial in instilling the taste and aesthetics so key to his music.  "My mom introduced me to my first ambient record over 10 years ago. Loyal is a response to this."  This is a record that's full of delicate beauty. It embraces fragility and lightness, sounding entirely natural despite being created electronically. Tracks ebb and flow into the mix and the songs themselves wash into your headphones like waves receding slowly into silence. The music is unabashedly beautiful with gentle currents of low level tones and gleaming sparkles of synth loops that build and decay.





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They are paintings
They are prints
They are pictures
They are about removing space.






....
Mario Correa:
"The Muslins" November 9th – December 22nd, 2012
@Redling, 6757 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90038


They are paintings: hand mixed oil and enamel on un-stretched muslin, made upright by the walls they hang on. Their construction is self-reflexively reductive, with rough edges, exposed hanging apparatuses, and layered paint.

They are prints: each work is generated through a variation of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key (black) color passes, creating a field of reveals and overlays, muscled on to the muslin substrate by the weight of Correa’s body. The wood printing blocks themselves are made from discarded worktables, broken from hours and hours of use.

They are pictures: of labor, of repeated gestures, of task-based work. Made during his employment as a woodworker, each line captures the route of a drill, router, chisel, or saw over his Masonite work-surface. With this series Correa eschews his previous investigations in mark making (where the mechanics of the artist’s gesture – measured, deft, awkward, or random – were made as an extension of the body) in favor of the surplus marks of a different kind of work, the byproduct of a different kind of labor.

They are about removing space: between the works and the gallery walls; between the layers of paint and the raw canvas; between Correa’s day job and his practice; between the paintings and the bookshelves, cabinets, tables, chairs, beds… that formed them.






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Max Ingrand, 1957 lamp
vs 
Laura Owens, 2011 painting
vs
Derek Jarman, 1993, voice








Blue Bottle buzzing,
Lazy days, The sky blue butterfly,
Sways on the cornflower, Lost in the warmth,
Of the blue heat haze. Singing the blues. 

Quiet and slowly. (here)

1.  Max Ingrand: Rare table lamp, circa 1957 Colored glass rods, tubular brass, brass, fabric shade. Manufactured by Fontana Arte, Italy. (Design Masters, Phillips de Pury & Company)

2.  Laura Owens :Rumored to be showing soon in Los Angeles, Gavin Brown Downtown L.A. Warehouse. Eagerly awaiting her large scale abstraction to break the bleakness of grey L.A. winter day.





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Young man in a quiet place 
Got a hawk on his arm 
He loves that bird. Never does no harm.
It's the only thing that never can do no harm.
Must be the only thing: That never can do no harm (here)




..... 

Young woman with a drink in her hand 
She like to listen to rock and roll 
She moves with the music 
Cause it never gets old


1.  Coffee Service by Holgar Rasmussen:  Three plump spot hammered vessels with ivory handles, ca. 1950: coffee pot, 7 1/2"; covered sugar bowl with vegetal finials, 4"; off-set handled pitcher, 2 3/4". American silver and Bakelite tray by Baldwin & Miller, 14" (Via Rago)

2. Marianna Kennedy : "Bud" mirror, 2012  A Caplain white gold hand-made carved wooden frame of branches, leaves and buds A concave or convex ultramarine blue mirrored glass.
Marianna Kennedy lives and works in Spitalfields, a quarter long celebrated for its French Huguenot connection and well known as an enclave for artists. Inspired by materials from earlier periods, she designs frames of carved and gilded silver platinum or gold, and tables lacquered with rare mineral pigments. She also works with Bronze as table bases sconces or mirror frames. This, combined with the use of modern materials dramatically reinvents methods which glow in brilliant colours and shades. So using new techniques, she achieves a fresh and modern result, and a strangely classic style. Of Canadian birth she was educated at the National College of Art in Dublin , with further study at the Slade School of Art London. Her London studio is well established with private patronage (via here)




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A conversation with Gerard O'Brien

......
"My timing has been good--I’ve gotten to be involved during the time when they Getty undertook the Pacific Standard Time project, which really shone a light on design in the postwar California period, and that has always been the moment we’ve focused on, and to have Pacific Standard Time focus on that has really helped to promote our agenda." - Gerard O'Brien   





Gerard O'Brien opens "The Landing" on Melrose, inside Reform Gallery
(all photos by David John)



Gerard O'Brien's (Reform Gallery) latest venture is called The Landing. Tomorrow evening, November 29th, The Landing is having its first opening with the work of Morgan MacLean.  Reform Gallery is the go-to place when in search of California post-war craft/design/art in Los Angeles.  Two years ago, Gerard moved his store to a stretch of Melrose, which has become an area concentrated with design gallery and stores (Galerie Half, The Window).  This afternoon, I photographed the gallery as they were installing their first show, in preparation of tomorrow.

When O'Brien was considering the right location for his new gallery, he realized "there’s a raised landing along the store’s front window, and eventually I arrived at the idea of dedicating that footprint to telling art stories."  Eloquent storytellers like Gerard are few and far betweenI'm honored to post this conversation I had with Gerard last week.  -David John


"The Landing's inaugural show will feature sculptures by artist Morgan MacLean.  MacLean renders versions of discarded objects he finds in urban settings--both smaller items like crumpled bags and larger items like industrial refuse--in mahogany and other fine woods.  MacLean starts by collecting abandoned items, then makes to-scale wood sculptures of them, turning these discarded remnants into what he calls "mysterious modern forms." A practitioner of ancient carving techniques, MacLean renders these pieces by hand without the use of power saws and without the help of assistants."  (text taken from press release)




the installation of the first show at The Landing, works by Morgan MacLean 



Tell me more about the Landing and how you see this gallery within a gallery. How will it transform over the years?

Gerard: Ever since Reform moved from La Cienega, which had a dedicated upstairs white box gallery, I’ve wanted to recreate that kind of environment within Reform. The space I moved into in ‘09--on La Brea--just didn’t really have an area that made sense. And now I’ve been in the space on Melrose for two years and as time has passed, the gallery has expanded. When it first opened, it was just the front room, then I opened the library room, and this year we opened the other back room, and I always was thinking, Where’s the right space to do the white box space? There’s a raised landing along the store’s front window, and eventually I arrived at the idea of dedicating that footprint to telling art stories.

It remains to be seen how the space will transform. I haven’t thought much beyond the first three shows, but I love the idea of having a dedicated area to tell more stories than what I’m telling on the floor. Craftsmanship--furniture and decorative art--is an art medium within itself, but the Landing is a place to show what is more traditionally defined as art.


What sort of work will you gravitate towards with The Landing? 

Gerard: Sculpture is a medium I’m interested in--it’s a natural outgrowth of the work I’m doing in Reform. A number of craft furniture makers I’ve handled over the years have done sculptures as well. I also hope to show paintings, video art--whatever feels appropriate.



 Morgan MacLean's work being installed for The Landing's first show



 California funk glass in the backroom at Reform



Any new discoveries that you are particularly interested in at the moment? You showed me some insane 70's funk glass on my last visit.


Gerard: I’m definitely interested in the funk period in California, the 70s going into the 80s, especially in work from Northern California. Robert Strini works in clay and wood, and is one artist I intend to show at the Landing, and there’s a ceramicist from the 1950s named Myrton Purkiss, a student of Glen Luken’s, who did ceramic plates that were really, for all intents and purposes, paintings on clay. Each plate was unique and he would fire them and create little hanger holes on the back, so the plates could be hung as well as being used as a functioning plates. I see them as paintings on clay and I look forward to being able to show them that way.


How many times has Reform moved in Los Angeles, and how has the idea transformed into what it has become? What has been the most difficult & rewarding  thing about building REFORM? 

Gerard: Reform has moved too many times. We’ve moved three times since we started. The first was because of the opportunity that 816 N. La Cienega gave us, to be in La Cienega’s design quarter, which is one of the premiere design centers in America. When we first moved in, we just had the first floor and back garden, but then the second floor became available and I took it and built a staircase that joined upstairs and downstairs. I did not realize that the owner would sell the building, but he did--he sold the building when my lease was up at the end of 5 years. That’s what forced me to move to La Brea. The space on La Brea turned out not to be a great location for a myriad of reasons, but no location would have been great in 2008 because of the economic climate.

 One of the great things about moving to Melrose is that it allowed me to leave that time and that business climate behind. Melrose has proven to be a really great location because it has great adjacencies, great restaurants and shops, and it’s become a new destination for design in Los Angeles. The people are the most rewarding aspect, both the clients and also the artist/craftsmen I’ve been fortunate enough to get to know. My timing has been good--I’ve gotten to be involved during the time when they Getty undertook the Pacific Standard Time project, which really shone a light on design in the postwar California period, and that has always been the moment we’ve focused on, and to have Pacific Standard Time focus on that has really helped to promote our agenda.

To have a shop and keep it interesting and fresh, it’s all about discovery and what story you can tell or what new object you can present to your clients. That’s a valuable lesson, especially during challenging periods: worry about the clients you have, not the clients you don’t have. There was a time when I was thinking about who I didn’t have as clients, but that was backwards.

Any overlooked California artists/craftsmen that you feel have a strong story/point of view and a large body of work that you want to bring into the current conversation on California craft?

Gerard: For sure. One story I’ve been involved with is J.B. Blunk’s, and there’s still more to tell about J.B., especially regarding his ceramic work. There’s also Robert Strini, who I’ve already talked about, and there’s Maurice Martine too. There are plenty more stories to tell, and there’s more material to shine a light on.

The Landing’s second show? 

Gerard:  Robert Strini.

Any words to the new collector?  

I think that new collectors need to buy what they like and to feel very strongly about the pieces that they bring into their lives. I don’t look at things based on value, I look at them based on how they register with me.


Do you think appreciation for hand-crafted works and furniture has risen in the past few years?

Gerard:  Absolutely. And certainly Pacific Standard Time did a great job of helping that story. Certainly with the shows at LACMA and MOCA and all the other shows--the show at the Craft and Folk Art Museum, and the show at the Mingei Museum in San Diego, and the show at American Museum of Ceramic Art in Pomona--those shows for sure raised the profile of that sort of work.









Any important design fairs that Reform participates in? 

Gerard:  We have participated in the Palm Springs fair since its inaugural show in 2002, and that show--and the Modernism week that has sprung up around it--just gets better every year. The Palm Springs Art Museum  has just broken ground on a new building, and is renovating the building that will host the architecture and design collection, which will only enhance the value of that show, as the museum builds a world class decorative arts collection.

We also participate in the L.A. Modernism show, Los Angeles Antiques Show, and last year we exhibited in the inaugural 1st Dibs fair called NYC20, and we probably will be returning to that show in the spring.






(a huge thank you to Gerard, Nicole, and Morgan)

The Landing's Opening
Thursday, Nov 29th  6-9pm.
6819 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles




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“Here we have a married couple (Ricky Swallow and Lesley Vance), who share a studio, collaborating on an art installation where another married couple lived and assembled a distinctive art collection a century ago...”

- Catherine Hess, chief curator of European art at The Huntington, Los Angeles



  (photo by David John)

Lesley Vance & Ricky Swallow
Nov. 10, 2012-March 11, 2013
Huntington Art Gallery

"Oh I am loving always holding
epic song it tells of how
of she and I are living now" (Bonnie Prince Billy)


I had the pleasure of attending the evening opening of Lesley's and Ricky's show at the Huntington, but made a date to return by myself this past week, in hopes of seeing the work in a much quieter and light-filled setting.  I decided to return on Thanksgiving Eve, climbing the staircase as the sun was setting, joyfully finding an empty gallery. Their works conversing on the second floor of the Huntington Art Gallery; Vance's brush strokes appearing effortless yet painfully detailed, while Swallow's largest sculpture in this new body of work, eerily peered out the window, as if standing watch of the manicured gardens below or waiting for someone to return. Absolutely captivating on every level. - David John


"Lesley Vance and Ricky Swallow are showcased in a new exhibition  In a dramatic departure from tradition, The Huntington presents the first exhibition of contemporary paintings and sculpture to be displayed inside the Huntington Art Gallery, showcasing the work of Los Angeles–based artists Lesley Vance and Ricky Swallow. The stately Beaux Arts mansion that was once the home of Henry and Arabella Huntington is renowned for its collection of European art. In “Lesley Vance & Ricky Swallow,” the artists’ contemporary work is placed in the context of the gallery’s Old Master paintings, Renaissance bronzes, 18th-century French decorative arts, and British grand manner portraits."  







"The exhibition is co-curated by Hess and Christopher Bedford, the Henry and Lois Foster Director of the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University in Boston.     Approximately nine abstract paintings by Vance and 12 domestic-scale sculptures by Swallow are installed in an upstairs room of the mansion. A number of the works were made especially for the exhibition.     Wisconsin native Lesley Vance is inspired by Old Master painting, including 17th-century still lifes.

Of her evolution toward abstraction, Vance said, “There isn’t much abstract painting that feels warm and intimate. I wanted abstraction that works like representation, that invites you in.” Her work has received increasing critical acclaim since 2010, when it was exhibited in the Whitney Biennial.     Ricky Swallow grew up in Australia, which he represented in the 2005 Venice Biennale. Like Vance, Swallow is interested in the still-life tradition. His most recent sculpture often takes as a point of departure household objects that he models in simple materials, including cardboard, then casts in bronze and patinates with surfaces that recall ceramic glazes" (text taken from here) 


"Major support for this project is provided by Laura and Carlton Seaver. Additional support is provided by the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation; Margery and Maurice Katz; David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles; Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London; and Marc Foxx and Rodney Hill, Marc Foxx Gallery, Los Angeles."


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It’s the same today as it ever was. 
He who seeks beauty will find it.” - Bill Cunningham

vs 

"Scares me how you get older 
how you forget about each other
things mean a lot at the time, don't mean nothing later"- Red House Painters








Chinese white-glazed jars that have been converted into lamps
with double-cluster sockets and brown silk cords. 

Their glaze is off-white, with a pale green tint.

via lawton mull 

"it's our duty as we're respected 
it's our duty as californians
to show him new life" (here) summer 92




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"It's just the darkness, don't make your feelings too complex 
It's just a one man, you have the love light in you 
It's just the beginning, it'll be comin' around again." - winterheart







I wanna find the eagle's nest, Oh take me with you, (Oh oh...) 
And I've been waiting a lifetime for this, And I'm ready, (Oh oh...)


1. NeoNatural  November 17 - December 15, 2012

"Steve Turner Contemporary is pleased to present NeoNatural featuring the work of Claude Collins-Stracensky (Los Angeles); Gustavo Godoy (Los Angeles); Eben Goff (Los Angeles); Ethan Greenbaum (Brooklyn); Edgar Orlaineta (Mexico City) and Letha Wilson (Brooklyn). NeoNatural is curated by Doug Crocco.  For these six artists who live in the most populated cities in North America (Los Angeles, New York, Mexico City), nature is often contained and regulated by man. NeoNatural, while incorporating elements from nature, also reflects nature as it has been altered by urban existence."  more info here

2.  A Wilhelm Kåge 'Farsta' stoneware vase, Gustavsberg Studio 1955 : Bukowski's Auction: Modern Autumn Sale, Stockholm 569 Lot  884. 





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"This music reminds us of how everything eventually falls apart and returns to dust. We're listening to music as it disappears in front of us."

 vs. 

"Considering ornamentation ephemeral and subject to the winds of fashion Royere concetrated on shape and volume; making pieces in fabric, metal and wood which carved space or filled the air with their strong forms and lines."



A certain sense of green emerges 
after winter takes her turn.
 

1.  "The Disintegration Loops arrived with a story that was beautiful and heartbreaking in its own right. It's been repeated so many times that Basinski himself has grown weary of telling it: in the 1980s, he constructed a series of tape loops consisting of processed snatches of music captured from an easy listening station. When going through his archives in 2001, he decided to digitize the decades-old loops to preserve them. He started a loop on his digital recorder and left it running, and when he returned a short while later, he noticed that the tape was gradually crumbling as it played. The fine coating of magnetized metal was slivering off, and the music was decaying slightly with each pass through the spindle. Astonished, Basinski repeated the process with other loops and obtained similar results. " (text from here) (listen here)

2.  "Born in Paris, Jean Royere made an international reputation as designer of luxury interiors in Europe, the Middle East and Latin America in the jetsetting 50s and 60s. Eschewing the mass production mindset of contemporary design; Royere dedicated himself to the creation of lively and spacious rooms for leisure and play, envisioning each of his plush sofas and freeform coffee tables as an singular contribution his total effect. Favoring jewel tones, richly polished wood and curvaceous, vegetal forms, Royere created vibrant spaces which encourage movement and interaction; appropriate to settings for sophisticated entertaining and recreation. Though declaring himself "against furniture," Royere designed influential pieces which have gained attention in the succeeding decades. Considering ornamentation ephemeral and subject to the winds of fashion Royere concetrated on shape and volume; making pieces in fabric, metal and wood which carved space or filled the air with their strong forms and lines. His Tour Eiffel lamps and tables feature the strong geometric lines of his signature Croisillon pattern in dark brass punctuated by patinated balls. His sinuous Corbeille lamps recall the elegance of traditional chandeliers and sconces; but with the boldness of modern style. Though a master of metal and wood, Royere is also known for his buoyant upholstery, including his classic Oeuf and Boule chairs.  (text here)

image of Jean Royere sconce from Galerie Half





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A Conversation with Richard Wright

 ....
I collect a wide range of things. I don’t collect historical rarities.
I collect things that interest me visually, from a Maarten Baas coffee table
to a Jack Lenor Larsen sofa. I like to make unexpected choices."

"Truly, American design is one of the greatest bargains out there."  






Richard Wright needs no introduction.  

A few weeks ago, Richard Wright answered some questions regarding the history of Wright, his upcoming One's King Lane Sale, and the future of Wright in Chicago. Collectors, interior designers, writers, and the design obsessed know Wright as one of the premiere auction houses in America, and as a key promoter of good design. Let's hope this conversation is only the beginning of future conversations with Richard regarding decorative arts, furniture, architecture, and sculpture. - David John 






I'm always impressed with your catalog design. 

Richard Wright: Thank you, catalogs are the defining feature of our auction house, and have been from the very beginning. We helped change the industry. Prior to our opening, auction catalogs were done in a very tradiitonal, staid model. We were the first auction house to apply graphic and book design to the auction catalog. It made perfect sense for an auction house focused on design, and became the singular mark of our brand.


JUNE 2000 was Wright Auction’s first Auction. What have you learned?

RW: Yes, we held our first auction in June of 2000. At that point, I’d been in the industry for 14 years so I had deep knowledge of the material and deep contacts within the industry. Before launching the first auction, I went around to all of my friends and asked them to give me stuff to sell. They were happy to do it.  Honestly, I’m glad that I didn’t know all the difficulties of auctioneering. It made it a lot easier to just plunge ahead and do it. We’ve certainly learned a lot along the way. Throughout my career, I’ve learned just about every lesson by doing things the hard way, but I’m also proud of the fact that we continued to incrementally learn and grow. That’s a process which I hope continues.   The market for modern design has exploded since 2000, both in its breadth and its depth. There are many more players and many more categories that are traded. As the market matures, we also see the inevitable cyclical nature of some areas – some have gone up, and some have gone down. The category of 20th century design is now really an established one.






 
 
Can you speak of the psyche of a collector? Why collect objects at all?  Is there a philosophical dimension to Wright?    


RW: Collectors are as different as the materials they collect. Some are obessive, some are very generous. I think that there is something deeply human about collecting.  We define ourselves by the objects we surround ourselves with in our intimate spaces. Design touches people in a way that is more direct and accessible than art.  Our philosophy at Wright is to continue to grow and change. I see Wright not only as an auction house, but as a real platform for the promotion of good design.


After operating for over ten years now, what are some of the most surprising sales that have happened?

RW: I’m very proud of the diversity of what we’ve offered, from the record-breaking Isamu Noguchi table which sold for $630,000 in 2005 to the Pierre Koenig Case Study #21 House in Los Angeles, which we sold for $3,185,6000 in 2006. While we mostly sell functional design, we’ve also offered art and aesthetic objects like an Aston Martin DB6 Coupe, which we sold in 2009 for $122,500. We’ve been successful because we seek material that is fresh and interesting to us. We’ve been fortunate to find an audience that is as enthusiastic as we are about the works Wright represents.


Apart from your auctions, what contemporary designer do you collect?  Have you ever shown your personal collection of design? 

RW: I collect a wide range of things. I don’t collect historical rarities. I collect things that interest me visually, from a Maarten Baas coffee table to a Jack Lenor Larsen sofa. I like to make unexpected choices. I’ve never exhibited my personal collection of design.







For the established collector, as well as the newly initiated, what in your opinion are areas or specific designers that are gaining interest in the market? 

RW: I always stress that people should buy what they love. As the market has matured, it’s clear that some works can be truly defined as blue chip. The top of the market has been dominated by French midcentury designers. I find Scandinavian design to be increasing in value.

There‘s absolutely valid things to buy at all price levels in the design markets. Truly, American design is one of the greatest bargains out there.


I know you recently showed some work from Mexican Modernists designers.  Is there a market for these designers, and how were they received?

RW: I’m proud of the fact that we continue to try to pioneer and explore new markets. Some forays into new markets are more successful than others. I think we had mixed results with the Mexican Modernists. We maintain continued interest in the market, but it’s been hard to get high-qualtiy pieces.


Of any auction house, is there a specific auction that has happened that is particularly significant and interesting to you?

RW: My favorite auction project was the selling of Pierre Koenig Case Study House #21 in Los Angeles. We not only sold the house, but we sold the entire contents including the Porsche that is in the garage. We were able to work with Julius Shulman, who had photographed the Koenig Case Study House #21 in 1960. We commissioned him to come back and rephotograph this iconic home for a monograph on the house which accompanied the auction. It was perfectly produced and was a market success. We were 100% sold.






What do you see as the future of auction houses?  

Auction houses are a vital and integral part of the market. We provide transparent pricing information and liquidity. Auction houses are here to stay.

Wright continues to come up with new and innovative sales. We’re focusing a lot of attention on developing the possibilities of our website by adding new historical analyses and in-depth content which has never been done in the auction industry.



Is auctioning architecture different that auctioning an object?

RW: Auctioning architecture is extremely different than auctioning an object. The art auction houses‘ ventures into real estate auctions have been complicated, and have been met with mixed succcess. We successfully sold two of the four properties we’ve offered at auction: the Pierre Koenig Case Study #21 House in Los Angeles the Frank Lloyd Wright Kenneth Laurent House in Rockford, Illinois. We failed to sell an absolute jewel of a home by Louis Kahn and a quirky Marcel Breuer property. The complexities of a real estate transaction do not translate well to the time limited nature of auction sales. Even for the sale of architecture, we ensure bidders have a chance to preview. Generally, they‘re done by appointment and the potential bidder interfaces with a traditional real estate agent.


The state of design in Chicago?

RW: There continues to be great energy in Chicago architecture and design. The MCA is launching an exhibition this month on the work of Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, which Wright is sponsoring. Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang has an exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago this month as well, which includes some of her functional designs.   The Illinois Institute of Technology, where Mies van der Rohe educated a whole generation of truly great modern architects, has a new dean. Wiel Arets will continue the tradition of mentoring young up-and-coming architects. We are lucky that Chicago is a community that has always valued good building design, and we’re able to draw talent from all over the world.  Wright has a tradition of selling of architect-designed furniture, and of course we’re fans of design in general. We really pride ourselves on being engaged with the local design community, and feel fortunate to be based in a city that has always really excelled at architecture and design.


What is Wright20? 

Wright20.com is Wright’s presence online. We make every lot available for preview three weeks prior to the date of an auction. Wright20.com also includes additional images, information and historical content. We would like to develop this even further so that our website will be home to evergreen content that can be a great resource for collectors, students or anyone else who is interested in design.   Wright-Now.com is our other website. It is a digital storefront and is separate from the auction side of our business. Everything on Wright Now is available for immediate sale, so you don’t have to wait for an auction. The items listed on Wright Now are on par with what we offer in auctions – take, for example, the rare bahut by Charlotte Perriand which we’re offering for $195,000. That’s an expensive piece, but other items are more accessible. Regardless of what you buy, we want Wright Now to be a user-friendly interface which simplifies buying good design. You can even view condition reports online, or make an offer by clicking a button. All of the pieces offered on Wright Now are in our warehouse, so we can come in by appointment and see whatever you’re interested in in person.


You are having a Tastemaker Tag Sale on One King’s Lane. Isn’t this an unusual step for Wright?

RW: Certainly, but in terms of marketing, Wright has always strived to be on the cutting edge. One King’s Lane is leading a massive digital retail movement for the interior design industry, and we’re pleased they asked us to be a part of it. I curated a selection of items which I hope appeals to buyers who are just entering the market as well as collectors and interior designers who are more seasoned and looking for pieces that are truly special. We’ve never done any kind of flash sale, but One King’s Lane provides a great opportunity to expose our brand to a new audience. The paradigm of buying and collecting has truly shifted: now you can purchase anything from anywhere in the world. This is true, too, for our auctions which are streamed live over the internet. I hope people will enjoy the collection I assembled for One King’s Lane. I vetted each piece for its quality and beauty, just as I do for my auctions.   



Thank you Richard!




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This is how we walk on the moon,  Every step is moving me up
I'm so far away, One moment there. Moving me up
Every step is moving me up, One moment there/
One tiny, tiny move. It's all I need and I jump over - Arthur Russell  (here)

vs.

She said, 'did you do it?' I said, 'I did it.' And that was that. Our last conversation. 





 Agnes Martin, Milk River, 1963. 





Agnes Martin  Paintings, Writings, Remembrances by Arne Glimcher : The first and only complete career retrospective publication of the visionary painter, Agnes Martin  Arne Glimcher (more information here)

"I think what she wanted most from me was the idea that I would install the shows the way she wanted and place the pictures in collections that weren’t speculative. 30 years ago it was very tough art that very few people could even see as art. But great artists turn the tide of taste in their own direction. "  -  Arne Glimcher on Agnes Martin
 

What’s your lasting memory of Agnes? 

Arne Glimcher:  I think of somebody who was not interested at all in commerce, somebody who spent her entire life searching for truth and beauty. I remember her saying to me at the beginning of our relationship, ‘If you ever try and sell my paintings I will leave your gallery. If people really want them let them buy them, but don’t ever try to sell them.’ It’s the only time I’ve every heard an artist say that! I think what she wanted most from me was the idea that I would install the shows the way she wanted and place the pictures in collections that weren’t speculative. 30 years ago it was very tough art that very few people could even see as art. But great artists turn the tide of taste in their own direction. Martin reinvented painting by taking everything out of the painting: colour, composition. . . The things that are all beneath notice in a painting became the subject of the painting. You could say minimalist in that way, but they take you to a step beyond in perception - the touch and the brush stroke, the way the pencil line was drawn over the surface of the weave of the linen. These paintings exist more like music or mantras than they do like paintings as we knew them.

 It was such a long relationship. Agnes said to me at the beginning she said ‘we’re never going to be friends, we’re co-workers in the art field.’ And then we became really close friends. The visits that maybe stick in the mind are the ones where she would show me four versions of a single painting and she’d say to me. ‘I think this is the best one, what do you think?’ Invariably there was so little difference between them, it was so hard to say, they were all really beautiful. And then she’d say OK we’re gonna keep that one and we’re going to cut up the others. And I would help with a knife slice up the paintings. Those are the studio visits that I think are the sharpest, helping her destroy the work.

What goes through your mind the first time you hear something like that?

Arne Glimcher: It’s her work, and I’m a co-worker in the art field. . . but yeah. It is brutal. I was there at the end of her life and she said ‘go down to the studio, there are three paintings. Hanging on the wall is the one I want to keep, I want you to destroy the other two.’ So I went down to the studio. The two paintings she wanted me to destroy were magnificent – absolutely perfect. The one on the wall was a very stormy painting, unlike anything that she had made since the 60s. I certainly didn’t want to destroy those two spectacular paintings but I did. I sliced them to ribbons and put them in the trash. When I came back. She said, 'did you do it?' I said, 'I did it.' And that was that. Our last conversation.


(interview sourced from Phaidon)



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DISC Interiors on Remodelista

"To realize their vision, they turned to David John and Krista Schrock of DISC Interiors; a newish firm that's quietly making its mark on the design scene with their clean yet classic interiors. For this 1,000-square-foot Sonoma Valley loft, a renovation of a onetime commercial office space, David John and Krista Schrock employed a neutral, quiet palette with textural accents like cork, reclaimed wood, and seagrass carpet." - Sarah, (read more here)


  

We spent part of last summer designing a modern loft space that would blend beautifully into the wine country.  We worked with a local cabinet maker, and sourced some amazing leather bar stools from Lawson and Fenning for the reclaimed butcher block island.  Thank you Remodelista for such kind words about this latest project up in Northern California, near Sonoma!  - David John

"A long custom shelf runs the entire length of the kitchen. "The shelf is perfect for wine glasses and ease of living. Over time, I'm sure this kitchen will be full of wine bottles and some good wine stains." The owner is a partner in a boutique winery specializing in "intense terroir-driven zinfandels" from the Russian River and outlying areas. (more here)



"David John and Schrock opened up the ceilings and painted it the same color as the walls, creating a loft-like, airy feel. In a nod to the surrounding wine country, they used cork for the kitchen flooring."






---above 2 below ------



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Jason Koharik: Collected by
Opening Reception Friday, Nov 9th, (more here)

"New Nouveau" the new new. It is a response to this trend. Something growing out of it maybe. There was a time when some one said "new art, Art Nouveau", and it described something pretty, flowing, and up lifting, it was painterly, gestural, and spontaneous. I guess I have just been thinking about those types of things when I am working."



"Everything Has Possibility."

This upcoming Friday evening, November 9th,  Jason Koharik opens an important show of hand crafted and rare vintage furniture, lighting, paintings, and sculpture.  Last year, I met Jason and became a huge admirer of his work, and I had a chance to speak with him about his collection of lighting in his Echo Park studio, and his practice as a designer.  Over the past year, I've seen him working on this show, and previewed many of the works last week.  I'm in total awe of how it has been realized.  Materials of leather, brass, wood,  a muted color palette, combine for a story of possibility and beautiful imperfections.

See you at the opening!  - David John

Information / directions here.  
(all photos by David John)







"Jason Koharik built a studio and wood working shop in his home in Echo Park California, where he works through an older but timeless method: Hand tooled, hand stitched, and hand woven. A discarded Ikea bucket seat, becomes a patiently hand stitched reclaimed saddle leather sculpture. "I look for the discarded and under appreciated. I value the beauty and potential of all things wood and metal. I collect them. I clean them. I fix them. I rebuild them. In some cases, I just place them in the right environment. I follow a use what you have mentality.  Nothing goes to waste, that way everything has possibility."


(all photos by David John)



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Let's be still, be still for awhile 
There's no place I wanna be
Lose our way and sit side by side
Passing time so carelessly, so carelessly (here)





 

New works: Collected by Jason Koharik,  
Opening Reception Nov 9th


"All the while, I was continuing to meet people that were interested in design. I would find them some rare or interesting piece, and in many cases, that led me to their homes where I began dressing them, and custom building/designing pieces for them. I do enjoy putting a room together. Finding balance both visually and with their life style and interests. I also get to turn people on to things they would otherwise never consider or designers they are not really aware of.  I am, I suppose, self taught on much of what I do, (metal working, weaving, leather work, sewing, electrical, wood working), mostly out of necessity. I don't know how else to get it done "


Read a past interview with Jason Koharik here.
all photos by David John 


















. . .





























"o much of what I do I feel is collecting. Even the way I learn to do it is a collection of mistakes and break


"So much of what I do I feel is collecting. Even the way I learn to do it is a collection of mistakes and break throughs. Most of my works, paintings, sculptures, are made from materials that have taken 10 -15 years to collect. Examples being: Paintings made from hundreds of used paint stir sticks creating large linear color fields. I have collected what seems like miles of lost or acquired steel and cloth tape measures to weave large canvas inch by inch.

Collected by also refers to my love of "hunting". I have a collection of furniture, lighting, designer, rare discoveries, and things that inspire me. Some I reupholster, some I re-purpose. Some are so far gone I turn them into something new. I also collect old scrap leather, a material I am very fond of. I reuse this (hand stitched) on old bent metal chairs to give them a new life. I love to collect the unusual. The pieces passed by because they no longer have a place. Some of them are just better used as something else. Potential energy."   - Jason Koharik




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"Viewers were free to further transform the spaces by scratching, writing, and marking the pristine yet vulnerable material with whatever was at hand, leaving individual traces that were soon subsumed into the accumulated mass of marks that the space became."







Rudolf Stingel
October 16 - December 22, 2012 
4 rue de Ponthieu 75008 Paris

Central to Rudolf Stingel's oeuvre is the passage of time rendered palpable, together with the expansion of the vocabulary of painting and its perception: from the abstract tulle silver paintings of the 1990s to the carpet installations that aestheticized both the surface of spaces and visitors' traces; from the series of melancholic self-portraits to the latest gold studio-floor paintings.

Casting and plating large sections of graffiti-covered Celotex insulation panels, Stingel has produced opulent paintings that both celebrate and memorialize the passage of time. The original panels for these paintings come from the environmental installations of his mid-career retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and the Whitney Museum in New York in 2007. In each of these renowned participatory works, Stingel transformed the exhibition space by covering the walls in a layer of reflective aluminum-faced insulation material. Viewers were free to further transform the spaces by scratching, writing, and marking the pristine yet vulnerable material with whatever was at hand, leaving individual traces that were soon subsumed into the accumulated mass of marks that the space became. The new works are selected fragments of those inscribed walls cast in copper via a process that captures even the most delicate surface detail. The cast base is then electroplated with gold, transforming the random inscriptions alchemically and permanently into something new and shamelessly beautiful. (text images taken from here)




1-----leads ----2---and eventually --- 3

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"It is more just the small things, like that candelabra that I got from Adam Blackman of Blackman Cruz, the half moon. I love just the fact that I could change anything here at any moment. For me a beautiful object is like, I love that chair, and if I found a different one, then I would put it in my store, and let someone else love it.

That is the idea of the store. I mean I know it is probably smarter, or more marketable, to say “We sell California mid-century modern; Come here for that.” But I am looking to see where this goes and I like change, I really do....   I like feeling things. So physical things are there for a moment, but they could go away at any time."  - Coryander Friend, set designer






Earlier this summer, I worked on a story for Berlin-based magazine, Freunde von Freunden. I'm honored to have worked with Daniel Trese the photographer on this story.  Daniel and I spent the early morning up in Laurel Canyon with Coryander Friend, while the intense summer sun slowly came to full force. Thank you to Coryander for welcoming us into your home.

The full interview and photographs can be seen here.

With a background in poetry and art from the Buddhist-inspired Naropa University, Coryander Friend has a natural ability to sense and feel her surroundings, and then translate them into the physical world. The day we sat in her Laurel Canyon home, she told me “It’s energy, it’s just energy and we are hit with so much information, that to me, the space around me, the space that I can control, is important to me psychologically, it keeps me sane.”

In addition to working as a set/production designer with film directors Mike Mills (Beginners) and Errol Morris, Coryander has recently opened Storefront LA, a gallery and vintage store in a warehouse district in Los Angeles, while she also just launched her line of jumpsuits called Parachute. Storefront will allow her to offer her flea market finds and the works from the community of furniture designers, artists, potters and storytellers she surrounds herself with.

- David John
read entire interview here on FvF 







Do objects allow you to feel? 

Coryander: Yeah, (big exhale) big time. That’s really how I feel. I mean it’s weird, but how something is placed in a room is really how I communicate with the room. It’s hard for me to be in places that there is a bad spatial scenario happening. It’s energy, it’s just energy. We are hit with so much information, that to me, the space around me, the space that I can control, is important to me psychologically. It keeps me sane.





(excerpt from the FVF interview)

Did you collaborate with the set design on Beginners, or were those your visions?

It was very much a collaboration between Shane, Mike, and myself. Because the story was so personal, we ended up going to his sister’s house and his house, picking Mike’s parent’s actual furniture that they had collected, including art, books. Really the whole thing. Then we pulled a lot from my house, because we really didn’t have a lot of money. So we were like let’s take this from real life. Mike and I were neighbors at the time in Silver Lake, so we were shooting all in our neighborhood. I would literally just walk to the set. and we were shooting in a house right between our two houses. I would have to run back to my house and think, what would Hal have in his house that I have in my house (laughing). And so it was really organic.

Did he rent the home for the shoot? 

The one that he shot that was Oliver’s house was a neighbor’s house that he rented for the location. The house we shot for two weeks in, which was the house where Hal grew up, that was a Neutra house in Griffith Park. It’s where they shot L.A. Confidential and lots of other films. It’s an amazing place.

It was really an incredible film, I was surprised by how much I felt it.

Yeah, it was really heartfelt and Mike put a lot into it. He had lots of references for us to watch different movies, of course Woody Allen’s Manhattan. He is so well thought out, he had a book put together of visuals that he had been working on for two years that we all poured through, with colors, everything. Everything in that movie was so thought out and I was so pleased that people really got it. I wasn’t sure that they would actually understand it, because the aesthetic was so personal. It flowed together in our minds, but I really did not know if people would get it. I had no idea that it would be so successful.






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"In this it is to be noted that Vincent Fecteau seems to color his sculptures less artistically, but rather applies paint on them in the way a housepainter treats walls or rooms. Mostly with relatively blunt, muted emulsion paint. Any spatial effects, shading, or even permitted stains or dirt seem to derive from the repertoire of a painter for stage designs. "





"Deepest light, the secret lies 

Wishing well gives you all that you desire
 Homes and trains, and the greenest of plains 
That you ever happened upon The silent wish, it calls you out 
Calls you out by name Lays upon the plain, on the mountain high" - B. Mould

Vincent Fecteau has so far always worked on a group of sculptures at the same time over a rather long period. He develops the final form through handling the material and only rarely and in small details does he work from preconceived ideas or sketches. In the past the creative process was determined by a core form determined by the material, for example an inflatable beach ball, or boxes to which he then applied layers of papier-mâché. These first layers were removed, cut up, re-assembled and in this way became the formal basis for numerous further formal modifications, until he arrived at the final shape of the sculpture. The coloring of the sculptures too goes through many different stages. In this it is to be noted that Vincent Fecteau seems to color his sculptures less artistically, but rather applies paint on them in the way a housepainter treats walls or rooms. Mostly with relatively blunt, muted emulsion paint. Any spatial effects, shading, or even permitted stains or dirt seem to derive from the repertoire of a painter for stage designs.

Galerie Buchholz
Vincent Fecteau  Fasanenstraße 30, Berlin (text from here)

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