I have been immersed in Sue Roe’s book In Montmartre this summer learning about the birth of modern art in intense detail. I always thought I understood the basics influences and philosophies, but the author brings the era to life with the passionate personalities and eccentric characters that shaped this defining time in art history. The ardent competition between Picasso, Matisse, Derain, Modigliani and other artists searching for innovative ways of expression, the influence of African sculpture, the patronage of the Stein family and the community they fostered are beyond fascinating.
I was delighted to see the new introductions from Bungalow 5 capture the essence of these influences with their furnishings, art and accessories. Bugalow 5 does a wonderful job explaining the influence behind each piece and they have added several pieces that will work in any interior. I have selected several of my favorites below along with other pieces that highlight the colors and complement the lines in the artwork.The Hearst silk painting is a cubist composition of triangles and other geometries in prismatic blues, grays, greens, charcoals, pinks and golds. Paintings like these sought to modernize art by remixing 400 years of three-point perspective. The dense, energetic, three-dimensional results represented the world as they saw it. Each unique image is a great design solution that captures the spirit of fine art in beautiful hand painted silk.African aesthetics were a powerful influence on jazz, Cubism, Surrealism, Modernism and Lost Generation artists who wanted to move beyond western representations. Cocteau Tables are made of solid mahogany to capture the spirit of Paris between the wars. They feature graphic zig-zag legs, pretty bronze-finish solid brass stretchers, all-over hand-gouged texture and rich color.
The Safira Lamp is a modified Yaolingzun or “Mallet-Shaped” vase that originated in the Ming Dynasty. Our version has a long, elegant neck with a slim, rolled collar atop the flared base. Available in light blue or white porcelain with antique gold leaf base and finial.The monumentality and mystery of Cycladic sculpture like our Delos Head inspired generations of artists like Picasso, Modigliani, Brancusi and Cezanne who admired the ancient style’s sophisticated abstractions. Great as bookends or decorative objects at home or office.The Avignon silk painting is one of those beautiful 1940s French experiments into the optical effects of color. Rectilinear planes of houses at dusk flatten into watery blue, gray, charcoal, rose and soft yellow. This abstracted vision of Avignon, France reflects in mirror image on the Rhone river’s flowing surface. Each hand painted image is a great design solution, which captures the spirit of top-level art in beautiful, décor-friendly materials.
The elegant, medium scale Kaylin Lamp has a classic amphora shape and horizontal banding for texture. Artisanal Chinese porcelain delivers luminous color, updated styling and a modern spirit to a traditional form. The base and finial are gold leafed. Shade sold separately.The Bouquet Collection is a curvy, deco-inspired design that appeals those who want polished, decorated rooms. The romantic, serpentine front profile is finished with lacquered grasscloth that resembles the look and texture of a painted strié finish.The Felix statue is inspired by Alberto Giacometti’s 1951 “Cat” sculpture which arose from a memory of his brother Diego’s pet moving, “just like a ray of light”. Giacometti’s most important works consist of rigidly frontal, radically simplified forms. The emaciation and anonymity were recognized as metaphors for the human condition in post-war Europe. Great at home, office or sophisticated kid’s menagerie.Castelli silk paintings are sophisticated, large-scale calligraphy that capture the spirit of blue chip art in beautiful, hand painted colorways. Each gestural, graffiti-inspired painting bridges antiquity, traditional notions of European beauty and post war American painting.
The Union depicts two standing figures that merge into one. This statue emerges from the visual language of Henry Moore and generations of post WWI artists who sought to make sculpture that was relevant to the times. Great as decorative object at home or office.
The Janak, large 4-door cabinet is a super-glamorous, high-style design that bridges Bauhaus principles and mid-century styling to create a craft intensive version of Hollywood Regency. The design features colored, textured grasscloth sheathing and a shaped top with two central doors that emerge to break the long surface with pretty dimension and matched, diamond patterned nail heads.
The smoky, Silhouette figure might have been seen in Paris during the spring of 1911 at the first Cubism exhibition in the Salon des Indépendants. We see an alert standing figure that explodes three-point perspective into abstract planes.This unique image captures modernisms inventive spirit in beautiful, hand painted shades of griege on silk canvas. Calm. Strong. Fashionable.
The Karl Collection appeals to lovers of texture, contrast and a refined ancient-modern vibe. Skilled craftsmen carve planks of solid mahogany into legs with a tiered shingle detail that displays maximum grain. Each leg has a sawtooth profile edge that narrows toward the top from a wider base. An artisan-made antique glass mirror top complements the design’s warm, natural appeal.
The Marseilles French sailors are realized in beautiful hand painted cobalt blue and crimson red on silk canvas. They interact in a flattened cubist style, which emphasizes bold color and graphic lines that maintain the effect of a third dimension. Each dynamic image is a great design solution, which captures the spirit of blue chip art in beautiful, décor-friendly materials. Vivre a la Jazz!The Demi Statue of an interwoven circle captures the energy of Lost Generation modernism, which sought to make sculpture relevant to its times. Our design is similar to small studies by sculptors like Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore or Constantin Brâncusi that show the artist’s hand on every surface. Great as bookends or decorative objects at home or office.
Lane Mirrors in beveled antique mirror with copper cabochons are a fashionable take on Egyptian Revival styling. The exuberant mirror-on-mirror ziggurat shape has gem-like cuts with intricate faceting that suggest wings that might have surrounded the inspiration jewelry. Available in two sizes.
The Red and Black is painted in Russian avant-garde style, which comes from a time of utopian experiments in art and politics. Here we have a figure that completely breaks with the traditions of western academic painting. This new aesthetic is abstracted to its modern, dramatic essentials. High-contrast red, black and cream capture the spirit of great art. Get your manifesto on.
Like its namesake country, the Malta dining table is a cosmopolitan mix of Spanish, English and African influences. This rhythmic design in solid mahogany and mahogany veneers features very decorative, downward-facing crenellated and pegged stretchers. The lyre-shaped legs have interesting, inward-facing rounded corbeil feet that repeat in reverse where they meet the simplest tabletop.
The Quartet silk image depicts a period in early cubism when the art of its time exploded the boundaries of easel painting. This modern image in graphic black, white, cream and pale blue celebrates the energy of African art in Paris between the wars. Interlocking, all-over figures capture the spirit of great art in beautiful, hand painting on silk canvas.The Bomeo Collection is hand carved of cape-lilac mahogany. Details like architectural reveals, sender legs and geometrically textured carved fronts give it the spirit and lightness of Italian mid-century designs from Gio Ponti and others.
Like its namesake, the solid mahogany Zanzibar Side Table is a spicy mix of textured global influences. This dynamic design displays hand carved planes of positive and negative space ornamented by a pattern of vertical chisel scoops. The architectural vibe is grounded by a circular top and bottom with matching vertical chiseled edges. Totally totemic.
The Ernst Lamp is inspired by a1930s classic from the Giacometti brothers for Jean-Michel Frank. Available in matte white or black resin that is a convincing substitute for the original plaster. Shade purchased separately.
Please feel free to contact the studio if you are interested in any of these items. For more of my design inspiration, please be sure to follow along on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and subscribe to Bespoke Banter. Thanks for reading and please come back again!
A trip to Los Angeles is not complete without a visit to The Getty Center which is truly heaven on earth. It is rare when a highly anticipated experience actually exceeds one’s expectations and the museum did just that!
|Aerial View of The Getty Center
Photo courtesy of The Getty
J. Paul Getty viewed art as a civilizing influence in society and strongly believed in making art available to the public for its education and enjoyment. He established his own museum to provide public access to his personal collection out of a small ranch house in Malibu in 1954. At that time, the collection was comprised of Greek and Roman Antiquities, 18th century French furniture, and European paintings. Mr. Getty passed away in 1976 and this personal estate passed to the Trust in 1982.
|The Getty Center Entrance|
His lifetime of philanthropy enabled the construction of the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades and the Getty Center seen here. The Getty Center incorporates the modern design of Richard Meier with stunning gardens and sweeping views of Los Angeles. The hilltop setting is comprised of 110 acres and contains 1.2 million square feet of Italian travertine. Meier chose this material because it represents the qualities the Getty celebrates: permanence, solidity, simplicity, warmth and craftsmanship. The curved lines of the architecture contrast with the natural grid the travertine blocks create.
|The Getty Villa
Here are a few highlights from our morning at The Getty Center…
|Mural by Jackson Pollack, 1943
Oil and casein on canvas
The above painting by Jackson Pollack will be getting an entire blog post due to its fascinating history. It has been undergoing a meticulous restoration at the Getty and this is the first time its has been seen by the public. It is considered one of the most iconic works of the 20th century.
|Irises, by Vincent Van Gogh, 1889
Oil on canvas
It is hard to believe Van Gogh painted this masterpiece when he was recuperating from a severe attack of mental illness. Its theme of the healing powers of the earth expresses the artist’s deeply personal belief about the divinity of art and nature.
|Dancer Taking Bow (The Star) by Edgar Degas, 1877
Pastel and gouache on paper
This work by Degas was revolutionary at the time for his new methods in working with pastels. He combined gouache with pastel and experimented with stumping and moistening the pastels to achieve textures and unusual effects.
|Detail of Spring by Lawrence Alma-Tadema, 1894
Oil on Canvas
|Rembrandt Laughing by Rembrandt, 1628
Oil on copper
| Detail: Fruit Piece by Jan van Huysum, 1722
Oil on panel
A detail from this Dutch still life shows the realism of the Dutch old masters combined with the bright colors of the Rococo style of the 1700s. The artist would not let anyone visit his studio for fear they would learn his technical secrets and copy his work.
|In front of Marino Marini’s Horseman|
|The Cactus Garden on the South Promontory|
The central garden was created by Robert Irwin and is a revolving work of art.There are more than 500 varieties of plant material used in the landscaping.
All materials were selected to accentuate the play of light, color and reflection. Irwin’s statement, “Always changing, never twice the same” is carved into the plaza floor.
|Bronze Form by Henry Moore, 1985|
|Alfresco Seaside Lunch at Nobu|
After our fabulous day at the Getty and jaunt to Malibu, we convened with the rest of our Design Trust group to take in more sites. The camaraderie of the group is unlike any professional group I have experienced. Every designer is so willing to share their experiences (both good and bad) to enable everyone else to run a successful design practice and fuel their creative energy. Our official program began with a picnic overlooking the LA skyline from high atop Elysian Park.
|View from our Picnic Dinner in Elysian Park|
Another delightful ending to a perfect day was a visit to the Griffith Observatory, the spectacular landmark high above Los Angeles offering unparalleled views of the city.
|Bright Lights, Big City
View from the Griffith Observatory
The days kept getting better and better and LCDQ had not yet begun!