PaperCity Magazine

March 2019- Houston

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Page 29 of 131

2 2 2 3 D E L M O N T E D R I V E R I V E R O A K S RUTHIE PORTERFIELD OBSESSIONS. DECORATION. SALIENT FACTS. 28 ART NOTES F ourth-generation Italian jeweler Franco Valobra has unveiled his nearly 5 , 0 0 0 s q u a r e - f o o t gleaming new Palladian- style flagship, Valobra Master Jewelers. The space is reminiscent of the architecture of his homeland: Travertine and stucco clad the façade, while the interior shines with silvered Venetian plaster walls by Segreto Finishes, a rotunda with hand-applied bas-relief molding of vines and roses, and a custom Murano chandelier by Ongarato. Natural light spills through the large arched windows, showcasing pristine cases of jewels alongside antiques and art, including important pieces from Valobra's family. The Valobras founded Valobra Jewelry Atelier in 1905 in Piazza San Carlo in Torino, Italy, where they earned the designation of official jewelers to the Italian royal family. The River Oaks set was all abuzz last month, as Valobra — who has a penchant for extravagant entertaining — secured three of the world's most famous chefs to appear and craft masterful hors d'oeuvres at the security-heavy, invite-only grand- opening event: Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller, and Jérôme Bocuse. In addition, two of the world's most exquisite stones were on display that evening: the Farnese Blue Diamond, a 6.16-carat, pear- shaped blue diamond mined 300 years ago, which passed through generations of royals including Marie Antoinette and is rarely seen publicly, and the Golden Eye Diamond, a 40.10-carat fancy vivid yellow diamond, which was 124.5 carats when it was mined in South Africa in 1871 — at the time, the largest ever of its cut and color. Valobra carries both important vintage pieces, such as an Edwardian pearl choker with an eight-carat emerald, as well as stunning new jewels. Valobra Master Jewelers, 2150 Westheimer Road, Anne Lee Phillips VA-VA- VALOBRA F amily Fluxus: C r e a t i v e collaborators S t e p h a n Hillerbrand a n d M a r y M a g s a m e n , aka Hillerbrand+Magsamen, unveil images from "The Devices Series" at their new dealer, Heidi Vaughan Fine Art. With a personal practice that employs domestic props from their own house, a bit of chaos theory, and cameos by their kids, Madeleine and Emmett, the husband-and- wife duo redefines the Fluxus movement for the 21st century. Expect a series of photographs alongside collectible plates and freshly minted assemblage sculpture (through March 30). Otto Space + New Space: Along the West Alabama corridor, Nancy Littlejohn Fine Art's second show in its new gallery presents the light-and-space portal canvases of Wimberley-based McKay Otto. A Houston resident for decades, Otto is widely collected in town and beyond; this is his first solo exhibition here in many years. Opening night, Saturday, March 2, should be another happening equal to the gallery debut for Paul Kremer in mid-January (through March 30) … Also venturing to a fresh iteration is gallerist Franny Koelsch, who keeps her Koelsch Haus in Montrose but relocates to another charming bungalow, now at 1020 Peden. The gallery will continue to be HQ for Koelsch's new fashion endeavor: the Ears of Buddha shirt collection, a promising new label forged and sewn in Houston. More details coming in our April Art + Design issue. Deasil Fuel: They're back! Arturo Palacios and Hilary Hunt continue their new model of nomadic exhibitions that are light years ahead of the concept of pop- ups. Their latest endeavor, Deasil, returns this spring with seven exhibitions launching statewide, each with a viewing span of a month. Rumor has it there will be chef collaborations, too. Five talents solo at Deasil in Houston at these venues: Gabriela Martinez at Front Gallery, Sunday, March 3; Sophia Anthony at Bermac Arts, Saturday, March 9; Charlie Kitchen at Optical Project, Saturday, March 16; Manik Raj Nakra at Poissant Gallery, Saturday, March 23; and Katy Heinlein at the McClain Gallery project space, Saturday, April 6. Get your collecting on with Deasil's stable, which includes mid-careers as well as new talents such as ceramics artist Gabriela Martinez, fresh out of art school. Catherine D. Anspon Edwardian pearl choker with eight-carat emerald COURTESY THE ARTIST AND DEASIL Gabriela Martinez's Maceta Emplumada, 2019, at Deasil / Front Gallery

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