Week of November 27, 2023
A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: a med spa so chic we’d live in it, three unmissable group exhibitions in New York and San Francisco, and pretty new photos of a standout Italian furniture collection (above).
In contrast to the many med spas that go for a minimalist, sterile look, San Francisco designer Michael Hilal wanted his interiors for local haven Elinea to be soft and cozy, with plastered walls, felted wall hangings by JG Switzer, and warm rift-oak ceiling beams. Plus a show-stopping blood-red treatment room lined in Farrow & Ball’s Brinjal paint for a “cocooning” effect. Photos: Lauren Edith Andersen/SENCreative
For her first solo show at Queens, New York’s Mrs. Gallery, Slovakian painter Alexandra Barth elevates the minute architectural details of her home in Sanguinetto, Italy — Venetian moldings, fabrics, door handles, furniture edges — to the level of art. Her past works have similarly featured macro views and domestic scenes, from a show focused on tiled bathtubs to one named after a door hinge. Now on view at Ralph Pucci‘s gallery space in Los Angeles are 19 lamps by LA artist Sébastien Léon, which combine metal, ceramic, wood, and concrete bases with hand-blown silvered-glass shades that look very different when they’re turned off (mirrored) versus turned on (transparent with more colors and patterns visible). We’re not sure how much of the edition is left, since it debuted about a month ago, but Léon makes commissions, too.From left: Mike Ruiz Serra (speaker), Sam Stewart (wall hanging), Shaina Tabak (floor mirror)Louis DurotLS GommaMike Ruiz SerraNicole Walker
You still have three more weeks to catch the fantastic Bowery Gothic exhibition currently on view at Jack Chiles Gallery in Nolita, which is a joint presentation between Chiles and Brussels’s Veerle Verbakel Gallery. It unites the edgy work of 20 designers — including Blue Green Works, Sarah Burns, and Sam Stewart — in a fictional tableau imagining the home of a collector who might have inhabited the 90s downtown loft the show actually takes place in.
Another great exhibition that was on view in New York this month but has since closed: a group show called Social Objects from design gallery Kombi, which is based in New York but spotlights the work of South African makers. It featured the work of 8 artists and designers from the region, and marked a celebration of the decade-long friendship between Kombi founder Fiona Mackay and Alex Tieghi-Walker, founder of TIWA Select gallery, where the show was held. Our personal favorite was a statement-y stainless steel book pedestal by Xandre Kriel. On the other side of the country — if it wasn’t immediately obvious from the aesthetic! — The Lily Too Shall Function is a highly intimate exhibition showcasing the work of three Northern California artists and craftspeople who have contributed to the projects of the San Francisco interiors firm Studio Ahead over the years: Nathan Lynch (ceramic sculptures and firewood holder (!)), John Gnorski (woodblock prints and paper lamps), and Jessica Switzer Green (wool cushions and bench created in collaboration with Studio Ahead). What’s even cooler about the show, which is on view through December 10, is that it takes place at The Jones Institute, which is a gallery situated in the living room of a beautiful old private townhouse.
Softened is the latest collection from the ceramicist Kelsie Rudolph, who makes hand-built, furniture-scale objects from her studio in off-the-beaten-path Helena, Montana. Her goal with the collection was to take a hard material (clay) and make it feel as soft as possible, through bulbuous forms, gentle color gradients, and textured, imperfect surfaces. But it was also to let the world know that she’s open to private commissions — or studio visits, if you should find yourself in the Big Sky State anytime soon!
Our tastes may not always hew to the frilly and classical, but dinnerware is an easy exception — the tabletop for some reason always feels like the right space to play with maximalism, sumptuousness, and heritage, or to mix it up with a little old world and a little new. Charlap Hyman & Herrero‘s new plates series for Sprezz (created in collaboration with Charlap Hyman’s mom, artist Pilar Almon) offers an easy bridge between the two, each one printed with a ribbon in various states of unfurling. There’s also a series of lowball glasses adorned with astrological signs. Our friends at the women-run Italian furniture brand Saba recently sent us their latest photo campaign, and it was so nice we had to share — it features some of the pieces they released earlier this year, like the modular Metis sofa, these Karl Springer–esque coffee tables, and the Vela sofa by Zanellato/Bortotto, plus some new editions like a glass-topped, mustard-colored version of the Teatro Magico table we wrote about awhile back. Brands, take notes!Tired of hearing the name Colin King yet? Well bad news, because we have (at least?) one more project to share with you that bears his signature: The luxury linen homegoods brand Cultiver just release a collab with the in-demand stylist, including heavyweight European flax bed covers, bolsters, cushions, and throws, and we had to mention it, mostly just because if you’re as fixated on all things brown as we are, you’ll appreciate the bedcover above (which also comes in navy, cream, and a very nice broken stripes pattern if you aren’t).
Just two cute new colorful pendant lights from the California glass studio Sklo. The second photo is of Pillow, which features an outer “shade” of frosted glass with an inner globe of glossy glass in a second color; it also comes in a fun wall sconce version. Photos: Beppe Brancato On the other end of the spectrum is Paul Coenen‘s minimalist Arc table lamp and sconce, whose forms are made from a single piece of sheet metal, each bent three times. They fit in seamlessly with Coenen’s design language, which he’s only recently pushed into the realm of lighting.