PaperCity Magazine

March 2015 - Houston

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DECORATION DINNER THEATER H ouston's recent gallery action can be summarized as "two new, one move." At Isabella Court, Samara Gallery joins powerful neighbors Inman Gallery, Devin Borden Gallery, Art Palace and David Shelton Gallery, to forge a five-member gallery district — this is the new Colquitt. Samara occupies a two-story space at 3911 Main Street, with the Isabella's charming '20s-era Spanish Revival architectural touches. Owners Debra and Camille Samara come to the gallery biz via shared engineering backgrounds and an interest in collecting; artist Lynet McDonald serves as director. The first show this scribe viewed, "Andy Goes Street," emitted a high- voltage homage to Pop, as photographer Karen Bystedt was in the right place at the right time to snap Mr. Warhol … Most promising is the return of Lynne McCabe, a Scottish-born, Venice Biennale artist who specializes in social engagement and who has lived and worked in Houston before. In our April issue, we'll explore McCabe's plans for the former The Brandon/Domy Books/Mixture Contemporary space at 1709 Westheimer (adjoining Brasil and owned by its proprietor, Dan Fergus). The flame-haired McCabe directs She Works Flexible, billed as "a site for discourse and poetic exchange" … Zoya Tommy Gallery relocates from the 4411 Montrose Gallery Building to freshly renovated 1,800-square-foot digs at the corner of 4102 Fannin Street at Cleburne, next to DiverseWorks and a block from the Isabella Court. Back in the day, the space was the original Cleburne's Cafeteria; now it serves up contemporary fare with an emphasis on painting. In Tommy's stable are Texas senior masters Earl Staley and Ibsen Espada; important discovery Gil Rocha; and man of impasto Guus Kemp (Tommy's husband), the opening act of the new space, set to unveil Friday, March 6. Catherine D. Anspon Consider your next dinner party performance art. Artist Marina Abramovic's porcelain dinnerware collection for Bernardaud — dubbed Abramovic Method: Misfits for the Table because of the varying shapes and patterns — reflects Abramovic's personal history and her desire to ritualize our meals. Set A includes a bread plate adorned with her recently discovered Montenegro family crest, a dish shaped like the red Communist star (an omnipresent symbol from her youth), a golden serving platter that represents the sun (to counter the star) and a standout dinner plate ornamented with her lips covered in honey and gold leaf from her 2009 show "Gold Mask." Set B is similar, alternating the crest on the dinner plate and the lips on the bread plate with a silver serving platter that represents the moon, and a white star– shaped dish that hints at her fascination with the universe. Or forgo the dinner party, and hang the pieces for the art that they are. Each set is a limited edition of 2,000. Set of four plates $580, exclusively at Anne Lee Phillips GALLERY Buzz A TRIPLE PLAY L ast fall, we watched as a modest domestic structure along West Alabama east of Shepherd was bulldozed, part of a wave of urban transformation remaking Houston as we know it. In this case, the change sounded a positive note: What was once the crumbling HQ of a palm reader was taken down to pave the way for a smart new Mecca for international design. Cue Home Identity, an exciting brand that we got a glimpse of last summer, when the retailer popped up a space at the 4411 Montrose Gallery Building. Now its grand opening is eminent. Stay tuned for a late spring reveal — and a fresh moniker, too. Home Identity will be one of the global collections carried at the new design destination, whose name will be announced in the coming weeks. The two-story light-washed 4,500-square-foot hub for Milan- exhibited furnishings to fabric will be designed by partner Marcelo Saenz, who also heads up creative for the Ecuador-headquartered firm. Houston will signal the decor concept's North American debut. Besides Saenz, who was trained in architecture at the University of Salamanca, other partners also speak a global design language, including CEO Adrian Dueñas (Ecuador), Francisco Araujo (Ecuador) and Vassili Tsipianitis (Greece). Home Identity's main flagships are in Ecuador, with a presence in Spain, so expect a European-South American vibe, with many collections exclusive to Texas; the new store will cater to retail and trade, residential as well as commercial. Names include Kartell (Houston's first Kartell shop within shop); Italian influencer Pianca, which taps important architects and industrial designers; Barcelona brand Nanimarquina of sculptural carpets that recreate fields of flowers; Élitis wall coverings and fabrics, informed by a polished approach to natural materials from opulent mother-of- pearl to understated cork; cheeky Tres Tintas wallpaper (the Heritage Party pattern festively depicts hundreds of Chinese paper lanterns); nuanced lavish fabrics from French maker Casamance; Halley arc lamps and functionally-inspired Vibia lighting; accessories by avant- garde Madrid firm Envés; and art from Athen's ArtAZ Gallery, headlined by post-Pop painter E. Martinou. Home Identity's newest flagship, 2016 West Alabama, 713.623.1177; Houston updates,; entire collection, Catherine D. Anspon SOOTHSAYING GIVES WAY to INTERNATIONAL HOME DECOR L eave it to Alexander Wang to reinvent, in a fit of irony, the beanbag chair. In sumptuous black leather or shearling with a geometric bronze base (and priced at $8,800), the slouchy basement furniture of our youth has been elevated to art … or couture, as the case may be. Wang, the creative director for Balenciaga, is known for his sleek urban style and predilection for black. Two years in the making, his first capsule home collection with luxury Italian furniture maker Poltrona Frau debuted last month during New York Fashion Week and is available to order. The limited-edition three-piece issue includes, aside from the two beanbag renditions, a portable bar cabinet in matte black shagreen with interior chunky brass shelves and recessed wheels ($18,500) to zip from beanbag to beanbag. At Internum, 3303 Kirby Dr., 832.242.9470, Rebecca Sherman HIP HANGOUT STEVEN KLEIN Alexander Wang Alexander Wang leather-and-bronze beanbag chair, $8,800, and shagreen rolling bar, $18,500 Alexander Wang shagreen rolling bar with brass shelving Karen Bystedt and Ralph Ziman's Untitled, photo 1982, collaboration 2014, at Samara Gallery COURTESY THE ARTISTS AND SAMARA GALLERY 2016 West Alabama's new home design destination

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