PaperCity Magazine

April 2013 - Houston

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DECORATION IT'S NOT DRESDEN, but It's DISPOSABLE CABINET of Curiosities I t's been a decade-in-the-making obsession by a gent who's best known as the co-founder of Texas' first (and foremost) art fair. As for the result, the mere word "book" seems a delirious understatement. We're speaking of Chris Byrne's extraordinary graphic novel The Magician, which debuted to great acclaim at the L.A. Art Book Fair this January. Few who know Byrne from the Dallas Art Fair, or as independent curator, realized this University of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts grad was also an artist on a mission. As The Magician so deftly reveals, its author is infatuated with the arcane, the unexplained and the wondrous. We're hoping this book, which was published by Seattle-based Marquand Books and co-designed by Scott Newton, finds a home at the temple of Surrealism, aka The Menil Collection. This wunderkammer is actually 12 individual publications inside what resembles a magician's hermetic box of wonders, offered in an edition of 20 with five artist's proofs. What are the experts saying? Artist Gary Panter of Pee-wee's Playhouse weighs in: "Chris Byrne has made an alt comic of such invention, thoughtfulness and ambition that only Chris Ware's artistic production is on a similar playing field," while PictureBox publisher Dan Nadel says: "The Magician is … a Cornell-ian box, a visual novel, a conjurer's tool kit. There's never been anything quite like it." Inquiries Ed Marquand, Marquand Books, Catherine D. Anspon Houston's MOD MOMENT W e'll have midcentury on our minds at the third annual Houston Modern Market Week, April 15 through 22. The Market kicks off with a film festival celebrating Palm Springs modern architecture, including flicks about architect Donald Wexler, architect William Krisel and photographer Julius Shulman. Five films will be screened throughout the week at River Eames for Herman Miller compact Oaks Theatre, the Museum of Fine Arts, folding sofa, 1950 Houston's Brown auditorium and AIA Houston Above: Louis Poulsen Artichoke headquarters; some with a lecture by author/ Pendant Lamp by Poul Henningsen, 1958 architect Alan Hess. Friday, April 19, a Preview Party grants diehards early access to the Modern Market itself, which will fill Winter Street Studios with an amalgamation of fine art, furniture and jewelry, plus design and architectural objets; admission includes a three-day pass to the Market, which concludes Sunday, April 21. Other draws include lectures by noted architectural authors Stephen Fox and Don Emitte, as well as the MFAH's David Brauer and Christine Gervais; a vintage car show; and a Houston architecture bus tour. Proceeds benefit Houston Mod, an initiative that aims to maintain the city's modern heritage. Tickets and information, Seth Vaughan JACK THOMPSON The problem with paper plates is obvious, and tastemakers flinch at the sight. Fortunately, designer Michael Aram swooped in this season with melamine and disposable serveware of which one can be proud. After years of dazzling the design world with handmade metal creations, Aram's singleuse plastic twig-inspired forks and spoons and bold graphic-printed napkins and platters have dynamic themes and sophisticated color interplays that balance our need for the pragmatic. Four patterns are available in melamine or paper. Since exclusivity matters, Aram's Madhouse Collection is available only at Kuhl-Linscomb and Neiman Marcus, priced $16 to $20 for a melamine dinner plate, $8 for a set of eight paper dinner plates, and $6 for a set of 12 pieces of twig cutlery (clear, black, gay, teal). Design bonus points if you go for the Lemonwood pattern. Dutch Small HORNS of PLENTY Joyce Horn Antiques, 7065 Old Katy Road, 713.688.0507; A fter two decades at its former Wirt Road location, Joyce Horn Antiques has relocated to Reid Horn Nelson, Joyce Horn, Chris Prewitt the burgeoning design area on Old Katy Road, just opposite Houston Design Center. The venerable 30-year-old firm — run by its namesake, Horn's daughter Reid Nelson and manager Chris Prewitt — gained fame for its ample selection of French antiques with a smattering of European pieces culled from Scandinavia, Germany, Spain and Italy. Every other month or so, a new shipment arrives to refill the sprawling 11,000-square-foot space, which is broken into smaller vignettes with decorative painting by artist Leslie Sinclair and even a charming mezzanine with a spiral iron Louis XIV staircase from a house in Paris, which was sourced eons ago on a buying trip to France. Days before the location's debut last month we spied a Louis XIII 19th-century enfilade, a Gustavian 18th-century settee with strong bones (only in need of great fabric) and a 19th-century painted bombe commode — one of many painted pieces Horn and Nelson seek out for their clientele. And did we mention the mirrors? Horn teasingly admits she was known for years as the armoire queen, and now she's none other than the mirror queen — and no wonder, we can't recall a better selection (particularly loads of those crusty gilded Louis Philippe sort) anywhere in town. Although shopped in large measure by the design trade, Joyce Horn Antiques welcomes everyone, regardless of decorative acumen, Monday to Friday (Saturday by appointment). Laurann Claridge

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