DISC Interiors in this 
month's Sunset Magazine!

The Lounge with DISC floor pillows, furniture by Lawson Fenning, rug by Woven Accents, drapery and window covering from the DISC Collection for Smith & Noble

The Entryway: Furniture by Cisco Home, ceramics by Heather Rosenman, ceramic wall hanging by Heather Levine, lamp by Arteriors, staircase design by DISC Interiors.

Our first magazine cover!  We are excited to be featured in this month's Sunset magazine!  We worked on the design for this home for almost a year, and it is such a great feeling to look at the images, and think about all people who worked with us on this home with us.  We were able to incorporate so many ideas that we have been playing with (black cabinetry in the kitchen, neutral color palettes, the "imperfect vs the "perfect", as well as collaborate with so many artists, furniture desiners, carpenters, painters, and photographers throughout the 4,500 sq ft home in Manhattan Beach. We are so grateful to have worked with Lawson-Fenning, Heather Rosenman, Jason Koharik, Brett Cody Rogers, Cle Tile, Sabine Hill, Filmore Clark, Woven Accents, Cisco Home, Krane Wallpaper, Londubh Studio, Heather Levine, Mimi Jung, Zak + Fox, Marcia Prentice, Brooke Woosley, Jock McDonald, and MidCentury LA. A huge thank you to Sunset Magazine for asking us to design this home! We are so appreciative to all that worked with us on creating our version of a modern beach house! - David John

Master Bathroom : Custom Vanity by DISC Interiors, cement floor tile by Sabine Hill, Carl Aubock Hooks, window coverings by DISC Collection for Smith & Noble, sconces by Visual Comfort, Mirror by Made Goods, Hardware from Schoolhouse Electric, ceramic by Heather Rosenman


new book: The Artisanal Home : Interiors and Furniture of Casamidy
By Anne-Marie Midy and Jorge Almada

"I'm from Paris but I am a Mexican at heart...."

 Casamidy's Mexican Ranch, Jamo

"Since the guest room is small, we hung a few of our mirrors on the wall in a pattern resembling puzzle pieces; the reflections help to give depth to the small room."
photograph by Jorge Almada

The furniture designs and works of Casamidy have always made perfect sense to me.  Perhaps it is their rugged simplicity meets old-world elegance, or their finishes of of oak, saddle leather, and iron that immediately show the "hands" that made them.  Their work feels familiar and distinct at the same time, balancing function with the decorative.  The homes they have created feel as if they have always existed, yet are distinctly the work of Casamidy. We've often incorporated their works into our own design projects, as their work is perfect for the California climate, a true blend of indoor and outdoor living.

"The Artisanal Home : Interiors and Furniture of Casamidy" is their newly published book by Rizzoli that tells the story of Anne Marie and Jorge, husband and wife team of Casamidy, from their early days in New York (Anne Marie works as an art director at Martha Stewart Living) to their current projects and homes in Brussels, Paris, and their Mexican Ranch.  Their homes are extensions of themselves, their families, and the artisans they collaborate with on their designs. This book offers a glimpse into not only their creative life, but their total vision and bits of their family history. - David John

"Hospicio" their original design laboratory in San Miguel de Allende
photograph by Ricardo Labougle

Casa Sollano
photograph by Pieter Estersohn

Casamidy's Mexican Ranch, Jamo

"The hand hammered copper bathtub has a jewel like quality, 
especially when we light the candles in the candleabra, which came from a church. 
The material seemed apt since Sonora has a tradition of copper mining."

photograph by Jorge Almada

"The kitchen wall has blue and white Talavera tile in a zig zag pattern 
that adds a contemporary element to the traditional house."

photograph by Pieter Estersohn


new works by Lesley Vance @  Xavier Hufkens

"In Vance’s canvases, the background no longer surrounds the object, but breaks through it – by opening and closing these spaces in the pictorial plane the artist is able to create the illusion of a three-dimensional space. "

"Sweet thing I give you what I reach 
taken what I had to teach
 and re-rendered it with such with such with such." (will oldham)

"Each painting by Vance can be considered an object in its own right, the result of an intense period of engagement with not just the physicality of her subject, but also the medium of painting. Working intuitively, the artist translates both the fixed and mutable qualities of a singular object or grouping before her – shape and form, texture, colour, shadows and highlights, the play of light across a surface – into abstract compositions that evoke a specific atmosphere. While grounded in reality, her most recent works exude a great sense of freedom and are not obviously tethered to their original starting point.   Vance often works wet-on-wet, a technique that allows her to experiment with the painted surface, but which only allows a limited window of opportunity for expression. Vance’s canvases thus result from a concentrated period of addition and subtraction, construction and deconstruction – a process that is as deliberate as it is spontaneous, as considered as it is open to chance. As Vance’s work has become more enigmatic, her paintings employ a brighter and more luminous colour palette."

more here.

A Conversation with Troscan Design + Furnishings

"I think there is a real appetite for things really made still in America by truly skilled craftspeople and sadly this is a dwindling trade. It is harder and harder to find skilled makers who can work to a high level. We make our own pieces because so few workrooms can really achieve the goals we set out for the pieces.  We are now working with musical instrument makers because it is one of the last places makers devote years of practice to acquiring skills in making. " - Deirdre Jordan of Troscan

Shadow rises and you are here  
And then you cut, You cut it out, 
And everything goes back to the beginning"  (Hollow Talk)
(photo by Jim Warych)

Troscan Design + Furnishings is husband and wife team, Deirdre Jordan and Bob Robinson, who together over the past 12 years have created a stunning collection of modernist furniture from elemental materials of wood, stone, bronze, and clay. South of Ukranian Village in Chicago, a 19th-century building houses their workshop on the first floor, and on the second floor is the concept gallery and showroom, simply called "Room406." In late 2012, Dierdre and Bob created Room406 to highlight the work of American and international makers, designer vintage furniture, handcrafted accessories and rare artifacts. Currently at Room406, the galley is hosting  “Transcendent Objects,” an exhibition that explores how "vessels, textiles and designed objects become communicators of ritual and meaning," which includes ceramic artist Ryota Aoki, Portland-based ceramicist Lilith Rockett, photography by Scott Fortino, and textiles by artist Sarah Nishiura. A huge thank you to Deirdre and Bob for this conversation on their work, their backgrounds, and their personal reflections on American furniture making. - David John

Tell me more about Deirdre Jordan and Bob Robinson, and why did you decide to start Troscan? 

Deirdre Jordan: I began my career as an interior architect but found that I enjoyed architecture on a smaller scale – the scale of furniture and product design where I could realize a design much quicker than the large projects I worked on. Before starting Troscan I was design director at Holly Hunt in Chicago. Bob is a master craftsman and luthier. In addition to his work for Troscan, he has a passion for making guitars. We are very different in our work talents and focus and yet perfectly complement each other in what we each bring to the collaboration.

I think there is a real appetite for things really made still in America by truly skilled craftspeople and sadly this is a dwindling trade. It is harder and harder to find skilled makers who can work to a high level. We make our own pieces because so few workrooms can really achieve the goals we set out for the pieces.  We are now working with musical instrument makers because it is one of the last places makers devote years of practice to acquiring skills in making. We are also focusing on working with some craftspeople regionally in rural areas to fill in our production gaps...we can't make everything and so we look to support craft manufacturing where we can.

The Gus stool and barstool, design by Deirdre Jordan

Your approach of "discovering luxury in simplicity."  Can you explain this further, and define what is luxury to you? What elements of luxury are you interested in  (materials, comfort, finishes, etc.).

It is pretty easy to use luxurious materials (fancy finishes and surfaces like Macassar) to convey a kind of style people understand as luxury. That is not what I am talking about. To do really refined work that has simple lines, like the work of Mies van der Rohe for example, requires such a high level of skill  to realize or else you see all the flaws. To realize super high craftsmanship with simple lines is it's own kind a kind of luxury. We also spend a lot of time on where surfaces join, change, marry. They get a kind of focus on how that is resolved. Sometimes those details take time to emerge for the person looking at it...they are not apparent at first glance. Sometimes it is the way a thing feels in your hand or the surface touch.  We know it intimately and labor and fuss over those quiet details. An example I use is a limited-edition bronze cocktail table called the Granada. It has a deep returning bevel that is actually a different patina surface texture than its polished face, which exaggerates the line where it recedes. It is actually really hard to cast bronze large and get a great surface polish without pits...so this takes a time commitment and skill level by the maker.  It is kind of like when a painter uses certain painting techniques to convey space or surface ...we care about that stuff and that is a luxury.

Bob Robinson at work in the studio 
photo by Janet Moran

What do you see the reasons for your success? 

We have maintained a kind of authenticity to our goals, our quality and our aesthetic. Hopefully the designs evolve over time and we continue to challenge ourselves with new materials, processes etc. Our work is a natural extension of who we are and so hopefully that translate into what others see as success. We just do what we seem to have been born to do.

I am interesting in hearing you talk about materials further. Any materials that just get you beyond excited to work with? Or a material you thought you could not work with but eventually found a way to work with?  Any materials that are local to the Mid West that you are proud to have in your work? The most sublime material?

We have worked in a lot of materials that sometime initially excited us but proved difficult to maintain quality over time. We respond often to our clients’ needs but love to work in new processes and combine materials. For example we had a request from a great client to do a large reception desk for a 5 star hotel project in Shanghai using real tortoise. We could not ethically agree so we proposed the material used by luthiers on guitars called "pic guard" which is a cast resin to look like tortoise that we used as tiles. It was beautiful but challenging. We did explore using on some limited-edition pieces, but it never really had enough response for us to get into major production. Clients love the beautiful natural wood surfaces, the hand and feel of a thing with soul. I think all our work that has been most successful has been with pieces were you can see the texture, the surface with a hand rubbed or burnished surface.

We are exploring a range of cast porcelain to combine with bronze and wood for lighting and  bronze with large wood turnings. I also super interested in formed leather and combining that with wood and bronze. I am very in love with opaque white glass at the moment but it is another material with its own hurdles because not many people work with it and sourcing workrooms is a challenge.

I think bronze is a material that particularly resonates with us because of its longevity and it's tactility. We work with an art foundry and the learning curve on producing the desired results has been really exciting. We see its use for so many different forms combined with our wood processes as a growing part of our collection.

Basi Table

In regards to wood, Bob has a very deep knowledge of this material as a master craftsman and maker of fine guitars. We always find a way to try to push this fundamental material – for example we were interested in developing large-scale wood turned tables that could translate into a more refined and less rustic spaces. Since it’s physically impossible to dry solid-turned wood without cracking, we invented a proprietary technique for hollowing the core of the table. After the initial turning, the wood is dried over time in a custom-built kiln and drying room. It can take up to six months to dry each piece depending on the wood species and inherent humidity. Each piece needs to have multiple turnings to keep the table round. Our hollowing out makes the piece inherently more stable and holds the form without the cracks becoming a surface detraction. It’s a very sculptural final form, which we call the Basi. We love rustic turned pieces, too, but a lot of folks do that and we wanted to remain true to our personal history and aesthetic

Another great thing about the Basi, which is representative of what we do, is that is that we are able to source wood that is typically overlooked. For this piece, we like highly figured pieces like tree crotches because we believe it gives more character - this is the stuff typically rejected by loggers and turned into firewood or pulp. So our interest in materials often results in a more sustainable solution. We source the wood directly form the logger locally and so have a truly green process...not just the appearance of a sustainable product.

If you are interested in learning more about how we source our wood and how it impacts our design we wrote a blog post about it. We always support small sawmills and go to the source as we find this makes a huge impact on the heirloom quality of our product. (more here)

Another thing I would add is that we seem to be moving away from some of the more exotic woods to rediscover some of the beautiful native woods. Our customers are requesting this as well. And this is exciting for us as it means that we can go to the forests and sawmills where our wood comes from and truly be a part of the very origin of the design process.

As far as Midwestern sourcing goes, we also source from a family-owned tannery in Chicago. It might be fun to go there when you come! When Chicago was the meat-packing capital back in the day, there were lots and lots of tanneries. Sadly our tannery is one of the last in the country. All that industry has gone to Asia in a rush for lowest possible price. Our local tannery is a great source for us and has beautiful, old, hand-applied and secret processes that make them the coveted source for real cordovan leather for premium men's shoes.  We have them make leather for some of our chairs since the type we want is not really commercially available for upholstery.

Ferros Table designed by Deirdre Jordan

What were the early days of Troscan like, and how quickly were you able to find success? 

We were represented right away by Holly Hunt and within the first year Tiffany & Co. became a primary client for their stores worldwide...so we were off and running from the very first day.

At what point were you picked up by Holly Hunt, and how has they helped their business?

We introduced our first pieces at a show called Chicago Design, which was intended to compete with ICFF. It only lasted two or three years but it was a great platform for us to present a collection. Holly came to us at the show and offered us Chicago representation, and it grew from there. It was a natural extension of my work I did with Holly and she was very supportive of us. She has been a recognized force in our industry and helped us to define a client base for the level we wanted to work at. We were very fortunate to have her support and she has been an advocate of ours for many years

Were there any specific growing pains, and stumbles that felt too big to tackle?

We opened our doors right before 9-11 and those were scary times only because the world didn't seem to be focused on design, and our sort of industry seemed not that much a part of the zeitgeist, which was totally what we expected. Luckily things picked up and we stayed very busy ...really too busy at times when we grew faster than we wanted. We had to learn how to manage a large group of woodworkers and that wasn't always easy.

the interior of Room406
photos by Brian Guido and Julia Stoltz

What is the concept of Room406, the Chicago design gallery you opened up in late 2012? 

Room406 is a new concept venue and gallery for furniture and accessories. We highlight the work of American and international makers, designer vintage furniture, handcrafted accessories and rare artifacts.  We also showcase the Troscan Design furniture line. The gallery is our home base and is located just south of the city's Ukrainian Village. We are next door to a boxing studio and across the street from a maker of pierogies and borscht... So the true Chicago experience!  Our 19th-century building houses our workshop on the first floor. On the second floor is Room406. The gallery space has high ceilings and natural skylights and exposed brick walls. The feeling is intended to be very residential with a fireplace and open kitchen – most often people come in and think it is our home!

What is the goal of this space?  

There are several goals but probably the overarching theme is to be able to interact with people in a way that we haven’t been able to through the traditional showroom model. We are able to truly show who we are and our vision for how our spaces can reflect our interests, passions and personalities. Also, we are also able to offer support to other makers in this space and create a community. I also think the model for aspirational spaces that typical showrooms present isn't necessarily how people live and I wanted to show how one might truly live with design where things with texture and patina mix with new materials and forms.

Ryota Aoki pottery at Room406

photos above by by Jim Warych

What collections does Room406 carry, and what are the plans in the future? 

Exclusive offerings include merino and cashmere throws by Brooklyn weaver Hiroko Takeda, a former designer for Larsen, hand-thrown luminous white porcelain vessels by Oregon potter Lillith Rockett, gorgeous recycled sari and silk, nettle and wool rugs by Germany’s Jan Kath and colorful handspun twill blankets and textiles by Studio Donegal from Kilcar County, Ireland. We also will soon have a variety of new ceramics  from Tortus Copenhagen, and some new Sophie Cook porcelain. We are working on a collection of new bronze, porcelain and leather objects branded Room406 products that is currently in development including lighting and domestic accessories. I’m extremely excited about the new line that will most likely be launching in spring 2015. We of course also have the great vintage and antique pieces that vary from Japanese iron "Tsubas " which are gorgeous sword handle shields, kashigata cookie molds and vintage axe heads...all sharing a thoughtfulness by the way they were crafted or designed.

Who designed the space, and what was the space before Room406?

It was originally a machine shop and we designed and built out the space to be our home base, design studio and entertainment space. The ground floor is still functioning as a working making space, but the upstairs was a complete renovation resurrecting the skylights, adding light bleached oak floors and restoring what we could of the windows.

How do you find the artists for the gallery shows? 

I look for artists and designers whose work I would (and do!) love enough to have in our own home. These are artists whose work we have personally admired and who in most cases have become our friends through Room406. I also work closely with a few curators we admire and who have introduced to both local and international artists, so we have been lucky really to find great artwork through our network. The artists have all expressed how they love having a chance to step outside of the white box and to have their work seen in context as to how people might live with it. Collectors also love this new context for seeing what I will call "real art" in a domestic sort of environment. Mostly showroom art can tend to toward the kind of work with really broad appeal that is not that interesting and is more decorative...that is not what we are about.

Can you share some advice for beginning furniture designers attempting to grow their business.  A furniture design business  can be extremely difficult to launch, and I would be very interested in hearing your perspective.

1.Though it is hard to do if you are a creative person, establishing a routine and organizational method for capturing and retaining ideas is super important. Simply sketching away in notebooks works for some of us but not all of me! I really need defined design problems and work best when I have parameters. It somehow fuels my creativity more than having ALL the possibilities in front of me. Bob works best as a focused problem solver, so for us that kind of defined design with organization helps us be much more prolific.

2. Create a collection where the scale of the pieces works together. Many designers look at doing only type of thing or working in limited palette of materials, but for us we wanted a certain feel, weight and refinement of details that maybe would not work great with different scale or less refined lines and materials. The pieces don't have to be realized as full working prototypes but can be 3 d modeled to show a complete thought. I think then designers or clients can see how to use the pieces instead of just as isolated moments or ideas.

3. Learn about the market, the business, the industry. Often would-be furniture designers get seduced but the star designer that has that cult  "it " design and then works to emulate that success with their own hoped for rock star moment. It is work to make beautiful pieces with design longevity and staying power and not like a lottery. It sometimes takes a lot of bad ideas to get to a well resolved, thoughtful and beautiful piece...and at is work much like a musician practices their music or a dancer works out...albeit it is pleasurable work for us but it is work.  

4. One more thing....learn from the makers wherever and whenever you can! Design is not an aesthetic concept. Design is the verb of making the thing come to life after the concept and the people who make the pieces can SO bring much to the final outcome.

Furniture designers of the top of your head that you look to for inspiration? 

Poul Kjaerholm, Joaquim Tenreiro, Prouve, and Eero Saarinen. The anonymous vernacular designer is usually the best. Christian Liaigre really figured that out and made it his own aesthetic. The best designers can see the beauty in the simplicity.  That is inspiration in its self.

What has been the most successful piece of Troscan Collection, and is there a signature piece in your collection?  A personal favorite is the Sumo Table. I think this table is such an incredible statement of how rusticity can be in full harmony of modernity, and inform the other.

We are working more in the vein of the Sumo. It is definitely our favorite kind of work we do. We have many more in that collection coming out in the next 4-6 months if we can keep ahead of orders on the Sumo!

Sometimes the most successful pieces are the bread and butter...but they support the other work so it is all good. The Bella chair has been our single most successful piece. It fits all body types and has a sort of classic appeal, I suppose. The Weekend Ottoman too. It is an easy piece to live with and people tell us they love it because its one unusual feature is that you can put your feet on it and the tray top moves. I never imagined that years alter we would still be selling so many of those! I have dogs and a young child so we have one too because it is also family friendly!

Where is your work sold? National and international?  

We are sold nationally through Holly Hunt and Desousa Hughes and Town. Our projects live all over the world and include 5 star hotels, high end retail like Tiffany & Co, restaurants  and private residences . We consider ourselves primarily a residential furniture company but more than 30% of work ends up in commercial projects where the clients require a certain level of design and quality atypical of contract projects.

Visit Troscan Design + Furnishings here. 
Thank you Deirdre Jordan and Bob Robinson!


new book: Jaime Parladé "Decoracion"
by Ediciones El Viso

"This is a generously illustrated, large-format book by the renowned Spanish interior designer Jaime Parladé, who began his career in Marbella with the decoration of the Hotel Guadalmina in 1958. That project singled him out as one of the principal designers of interiors in the city, where he decorated the houses of numerous families and prominent figures in the social, aristocratic and intellectual circles of Marbella and its coastline. Jaime Parladé has also worked in Corfu, Marrakesh, Miami, Gstaad and Connecticut, among other places. His great talent lies in his ability to mix styles, but what is most stiking is the quality of his work and its level of comfort, meaning that all his interiors are attractive and welcoming from the moment we step into them.  Jaime Parladé's favourite creations are those for country houses as well as the remodelling projects he has undertaken of residences in Madrid, Ciudad Real and Toledo. Illustrated with images by well-known photographers, this book offers a tour of some of these houses."

photography by Ricardo Labougle
more info here..

Design and Decoration   The Alan Moss Collection   
October 7 2014 at Wright
Focusing on quality, Alan Moss has an eye for not only those rare high points 
of 20th century design, but also for those objects which represent 
over a century of decorative evolution. — Brent Lewis, Director, Wright 

"Alan Moss, a fixture of New York City for over forty years, has been among the city’s important dealers since the very beginning of the 20th century market. Alan’s eponymous shop has long been frequented by interior designers, celebrities and design aficionados. 

“Focusing on quality, Alan Moss has an eye for not only those rare high points of 20th century design, but also for those objects which represent over a century of decorative evolution,” notes Brent Lewis, Director of Wright’s New York location. “Whether it is the style of Paul Poiret, the substance of Donald Deskey or the surrealism of Piero Fornasetti, Alan’s inclusive and eclectic taste has long influenced, and in many cases defined, the market for 20th century decorative art and design.”  

Comprised of nearly 300 lots, Design and Decoration: The Alan Moss Collection attests to Moss’s deep appreciation for quality, workmanship, material, finish, and ultimately, decoration. Outstanding examples of early modernism are presented alongside midcentury & postwar designs, including works by Gio Ponti, Donald Deskey, Georges Jouve, Karl Springer and Jacques Adnet, among others. (text taken from Wright)

Carl Auböck  table lamps, pair Austria, 1949 brass, bamboo, linen
Estimate: $3,000–5,000  These table lamps feature a tilting base that 
allows the user to adjust the angle.

Jean Perzel  table lamp France, 
1929 lacquered brass, frosted glass
estimated 2,000-3,000

  Robert Guillerme and Jacques Chambron  
chairs, pair  estimate: $5,000–7,000

Jacques Adnet  armchair from S.S. Île de France France, 
c. 1950 saddle-stitched leather, enameled steel, brass

new works by Jason Koharik 
debuting at Parachute Market, Los Angeles, Sept 20-21

"Making the lamps are to me making a sculpture. 
I cannot "mass produce" them, nor do I want to." - Jason Koharik (here)

Jason Koharik, of Collected by will be showing new works at this weekend's Parachute Market! 
Go here for all the info on this weekend's event.  See you there!  - David John

"Jason Koharik was born and raised in Bedford Ohio. And is now a working artist and designer based in Los Angeles, California. From a small studio in Echo Park and working from a timeless method, he has designed and handcrafted a sophisticated line of lighting and furniture. His work is inspired by the fluid beauty and natural forms of the Art Nouveau period, as well as an effort to create a unique silhouette that becomes an anomaly in an interior. Each piece takes on a one-of-a-kind quality. Working with natural materials such as wood, steel, brass and leather he finds a balance between furniture and sculpture.  In addition to his own designs, Jason Koharik is also a collector of interesting and rare vintage furniture and lighting. Pieces which he often transforms, with his own unique upholstery, hand stitched leather,metal and wood working skills, to create a piece of furniture which stands alone. Jason Koharik is a self taught artist and craftsman whose methods and work are always evolving. " 


She always lives at the seas, Once in my mind, in my dream 
And she sees every day more like cubes 
Says we don't see the signs that we use 
Just look, see the signs that we use 
And you'll see every day more like a cube." (nick mulvey, april)

Deluge Chandelier. 
Seventeen 3 sided solid brass cubes cascading from a center brass canopy.

Calve Geo Pendant.
A solid brass race track ovel around a plunging geo glass form. 
Six brass and porceline candleabra sockets with two drop stem brass canopies.

Read a past interview with Jason Koharik here.

Tansaekhwa (monochromatic painting)

"Starting in the mid-1960s, a group of Korean artists began to push paint, soak canvas, drag pencils, rip paper, and otherwise manipulate the materials of painting in ways that prompted critics to describe their actions as “methods” rather than artworks"

Ha Chonghyun Conjunction 74-26, 
1974 Oil on canvas

Blum &Poe announces From All Sides: Tansaekhwa on Abstraction, (September 13-November 8, 2014) a large-scale survey of Korean monochromatic painting from the 1960s to the 1980s. Consisting of more than thirty-five seminal paintings, the show is the first major overview of Tansaekhwa in North America, focusing on six of its most representative artists: Chung Sang-hwa, Ha Chonghyun, Kwon Young-woo, Lee Ufan, Park Seobo, and Yun Hyongkeun.  

From the mid-1960s and especially during the 1970s, Tansaekhwa artists variously pushed paint, soaked canvas, dragged pencils, ripped paper, and otherwise manipulated materials in ways that productively troubled the distinctions separating ink painting from oil, painting from sculpture, and object from viewer. Mostly rendered in white, cream, black, brown, and other neutral hues, Tansaekhwa works invited and deflected the gaze of the viewer in ways that enabled audiences to affirm their own sense of presence, an effect with significant implications against the backdrop of authoritarian South Korea. By the early 1980s, Tansaekhwa was the first Korean artistic movement to be successfully promoted internationally. Viewers in Seoul, Tokyo, Taipei, and Paris saw in its most representative examples the possibility of imagining what a distinct contemporary Asian art might look like, thus setting off a pattern of recognition that anticipated what is described as contemporary art's "global turn."  

Yun Hyongkeun Umber-Blue , 1976 
Oil on cotton 31 1/2 x 25 3/4 inches

Ha Chonghyun Work 74-05, 1975 
Oil on hemp

The show is curated by Joan Kee, Associate Professor of History of Art at the University of Michigan and a leading authority on contemporary Asian art. Her book, Contemporary Korean Art: Tansaekhwa and the Urgency of Method (University of Minnesota Press, 2013), was one of four finalists for the Charles Rufus Morey Award, which honors an especially distinguished book in art history by the College Art Association. The exhibition will be accompanied by a substantial catalogue with over one hundred images, narrative artist biographies, twelve newly translated artist texts, and a scholarly essay by the curator featuring previously unpublished archival sources.

Photography by David John
More info at Blum and Poe here

La Valise, Mexico City: a new project designed by Chic by Accident

"The design emphasizes avant garde Mexican modernism pioneers from the twentieth century, and the hotel maintains a strong tie to the arts through an ongoing artist residency program."

While I was in Mexico City a few years back, I reached out to Emmanuel Piccault of Chic By Accident, a designer responsible for some exceptionally creative interiors pushing Mexican Modernism into the international spotlight. The morning we met him in the Roma Norte, he took us on a walking tour of the  two locations where he had opened the concept driven Chic by Accident and Dead by Accident (images here).  In the midst of touring Dead by Accident, a quite strong earthquake began the shake the walls and ceramics, and then abruptly stopped.  Emmanuel Piccault's Chic by Accident is responsible for the new townhouse for rent, La Valise in the Colonia Roma Norte. "The design emphasizes avant garde Mexican modernism pioneers from the twentieth century, and the hotel maintains a strong tie to the arts through an ongoing artist residency program."   Looking forward to staying here on our next trip to Mexico City! - David John

La Valise is your home away from home, a luxurious townhouse with three unique luxury suites.   The design emphasizes avant garde Mexican modernism pioneers from the twentieth century, and the hotel maintains a strong tie to the arts through an ongoing artist residency program.  The hotel is located in the Colonia Roma Norte, a cultural center of Mexico City. Built in the early twentieth century, La Roma is a quiet neighborhood with an eclectic collection of colonial, art deco and neoclassical houses on tree-lined streets filled with contemporary art galleries, independent clothing stores, restaurants, and many trendy nightlife venues. 

"On the first floor of a building of the Porfirian era, the candor of the twentieth century architecture contrasts with simplicity and contemporary elegance.  A symbiosis between Mexican and European sensibilities informs the perspective of Chic by Accident. A black velvet Marcel sofa and a center table covered with crocodile skin are contrasted by terracotta pups from Colima by French-Mexican artist Carlos Ranc— which, reinterpreted, turns them into the guardians of the space.  Style does not come at the expense of comfort. The bedroom features a luxurious king size bed covered with Vivenda cotton textiles and cushions by Maggie Galton, as light filters in from an adjacent courtyard where an artisanal Yucatecan hammock and a swing float as if time stood still.  A separate room next to the terrace contains a kitchen with refrigerator, electric grill, coffee and tea with delicious baked goods by Panadería Rosetta, bottled water by Casa del Agua, and a variety of fresh fruits and nuts.  The shower room, separate from the bathroom, features a white bathtub, which contrasts with colorful handmade geometric tiles that again solidifies the fusion between European and Mexican styles."

"The bedroom features a luxurious king size bed covered with Vivenda cotton textiles and cushions by Maggie Galton, as light filters in from an adjacent courtyard where an artisanal Yucatecan hammock and a swing float as if time stood still...."

"La Valise breaks the myth that sequels are never good. Chic by Accident’s curated interiors highlight the contrast between the light finish of the wood floors with an eclectic red carpet and iron chairs. A velvet armchair sits below circular lamps from the 1970s, which illuminate black leather-covered shelves emerging from the walls.  The interventions by interior designer Emmanuel Picault do not go unnoticed. Between the bedroom and the living room, a fiberglass ‘moon’ crosses the space unexpectedly. In an alcove, the queen size bed, featuring textiles by Vivenda and a hand-embroidered bedspread from the artisanal workshops of Maggie Dalton, is flanked by two bedside tables covered with dark green leather. Chromed handblown glass lamps illuminate the space.  

As elsewhere in the hotel, Mexican style permeates again the atmosphere. A copper, sisal and green leather armoire holds wool blankets handmade in the nearby state of Mexico and extra goose-down pillows, inviting you to take a nap or enjoy a good book.  The bathroom, painted Mexican Pink, pays tribute to the architect Luis Barragán—this vibrate tone was one of his favorite colors.  A corridor leads to the shower room, equipped with a bench to rest and a white bathtub. A large window in a marble and mosaic frame allows plenty of natural light to stream into the space."  

"The interventions by interior designer Emmanuel Picault do not go unnoticed. Between the bedroom and the living room, a fiberglass ‘moon’ crosses the space unexpectedly. "

The bathroom, painted Mexican Pink, pays tribute to the architect Luis Barragán—this vibrate tone was one of his favorite colors.  A corridor leads to the shower room, equipped with a bench to rest and a white bathtub. A large window in a marble and mosaic frame allows plenty of natural light to stream into the space.

"The best kept secret Hotel La Valise is the surreal third and final suite. On the top floor, the desire to sleep under the stars becomes a reality.  The king size bed can easily move from inside the bedroom to the rooftop terrace.  The living room combines the key elements of Chic by Accident: wood, velvet and metal. A fireplace with blown glass spheres and a pair of framed paintings allude to a syncretism of influence from both France and Mexico.  "

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