tag archives: london

 

in memory of a modern master, french interior designer, christian liaigre (1943-2020).

a designer of products and projects.  furniture and furnishings.  residential, hospitality, and yacht interiors.

 

he had ‘style without being stylish’.

-liaigre website

penthouse | new york, ny | interior design by christian liaigre | architecture by john pawson

liaigre | written by christian liaigre and thomas luntz | pages 115, 100-101

photo credits (c) mark seelen

 

‘a maven of modern minimalism’,

-interior design magazine

 

who could be thought of as ‘our generation’s jean-michel frank’.

-brad ford, interior designer

-elle decor magazine

residence of jean-michel frank | paris, france

jean-michel frank, adolphe chanaux | written by leopold diego sanchez | page 70

 

jean-michel frank (1895-1941) collaborated regularly with the giacometti brothers, alberto (1901-1966) and diego (1902-1985), whose sculptures and furnishings also inspired liaigre.

residence | het zoute, belgium | interior design by christian liaigre

christian liaigre | trepied side table | 53121

christian liaigre | st. germaine lounge chair | 13607

liaigre | written by christian liaigre and thomas luntz | pages 123-125

photo credits (c) mark seelen

 

alberto giacometti (1901-1966) | la place II | bronze | 1948 | museum berggruen | berlin, germany

photo credit fondation giacometti

 

the endless columns of constantin brancusi (1876-1957) were another artistic inspiration.

residence | galicia, spain | interior design by christian liaigre

christian liaigre | nagato side table | 60521

maison christian liaigre | written and photographed by herbert ypma | pages 30

photo credit herbert ypma

 

atelier brancusi | reconstructed by renzo piano | centre pompidou | paris, france

photo credit centre pompidou | 1997 (c) agap, paris

 

as well as, the minimalist art, architecture, and furniture of donald judd (1928-1994).  like judd, liaigre reduced objects and space to their essential forms.

donald judd (1928-1994) | untitled | six units | douglas fir plywood | 1975 | judd foundation | new york, ny and marfa, tx

photo credit judd foundation

 

residence | mougins, france | interior design by christian liaigre

christian liaigre | marais console tables | 57023

christian liaigre | toja coffee table | no longer in production

liaigre | written by christian liaigre and thomas luntz | pages 276-277, 280-281, and 282

photo credits jean-philippe piter

 

liaigre was a minimalist and a modernist, yet a traditionalist.

which, may be why his work continually inspires me.

townhouse | london, united kingdom | interior design by christian liaigre

liaigre 12 projects | written by christian liaigre | pages 38-39

photo credit (c) mark seelen

 

one word could describe many of the award winning show gardens at the 2019 chelsea flower show:

naturalistic

 

rhs chelsea flower show

21-25 may 2019

royal hospital chelsea | london | united kingdom

the m&g garden

best show garden | gold medal winner | rhs chelsea flower show | 2019

designed by andy sturgeon | built by crocus | sponsored by m&g investments

photo credit rhs

 

the layers of naturalistic gardens could be compared to the levels of natural habitats.

family monsters garden

best artisan garden | gold medal winner | rhs chelsea flower show | 2019

designed by alistair bayford | built by idverde | sponsored by idverde family action

photo credit via rhs

 

naturalistic gardens, like the new perennial movement gardens and meadows of dutch landscape designer, piet oudolf, could also be considered eco-friendly.  and, could also be described as wild.  or, painterly.  or, dreamscapes.

country living magazine described the 2019 morgan stanley garden as:  paint[ed] with plants’.

chris beardshaw, the designer of the garden, ‘paints’ by building up layers of plants.  and, by repeating plants in three or more places.  the repetition of colors and textures creates visual connections within the garden as well as continuous circulation through out the garden.

the morgan stanley garden

gold medal winner | rhs chelsea flower show | 2019

designed by chris beardshaw | built by chris beardshaw ltd | sponsored by morgan stanley

photo credit paula mcwaters via country living

 

i am now reading ‘joan mitchell: lady painter’ after seeing joan mitchell:  i carry my landscapes around with me at david zwirner gallery in new york.

mitchell’s method was also additive.  her technique was physical.  and, she painted spontaneously.  yet, she would stop to contemplate the structure of the composition, and the relationship between the colors, before adding another layer of paint.

 

“the painting has to work,’ joan believed,

‘but it has to say something more than that the painting works.”

-from mitchell paints a picture‘, an article from artnews by irving sandler, originally published in october 1957

joan mitchell (1925-1992) | posted | 1977 | collection walker art center | minneapolis, MN

photo credit (c) estate of joan mitchell via david zwirner

 

what do you think makes a design ‘work’?

 

my husband, bob, and i arrived in milan on the final day of the osvaldo borsani retrospective at la triennale di milano design museum.

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

 

the retrospective was designed and curated by the norman foster foundation and l’archivio osvaldo borsani (the osvaldo borsani archive), in partnership with the museum.

the design of the exhibition was exceptional.  over 300 objects were organized chronologically from 1925-1985, and installed along opposite walls of the U-shaped gallery.  archival materials, including drawings, documents, and photographs, hung opposite furniture and objects displayed on a cubic grid system inspired by american artist, sol lewitt.

the exhibition was also exceptionally well curated.  the documents corresponded with the objects.  so, it was easy to understand the creative context.

osvaldo borsani | 16 may-15 september | la triennale di milano | milan, italy

photo credit (c) agostino osio via tomoarchitects

 

osvaldo borsani (1911-1985) was not only a visionary twentieth century architect, designer, and industrial designer, but also the co-founder of the contract furniture brand, tecno.  however, as a residential interior designer, i was most interested in the furniture that he designed during the 1930’s, 1940’s, and 1950’s for arredamenti borsani varedo (borsani varedo furnishings) (abv), his family’s furniture business.

osvaldo borsani (1911-1985)

bar | travertine, walnut wood, parchment, glass, brass | abv | 1940’s | dimore gallery collection

sofa | wood, mahogany wood, velvet fabric | abv | 1935 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / interni / casa m | photographs 4 and 8, rendering 9

table | maple wood, glass | abv | 1939 | private collection

table | black lacquered wood, gilding, glass | abv | 1939 | nicolas kilner gallery collection

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

osvaldo borsani (1911-1985)

bar | maple wood, mirror, lighting | abv | 1939 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / anni ’40 | rendering 2

desk | walnut wood | abv | 1947 | atelier automobili amos collection

armchairs | wood, fabric | abv | 1948 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / collaborazioni | photograph 31

table | walnut wood, glass | abv | 1939 | jochum rodgers collection, berlin

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

osvaldo borsani (1911-1985)

wardrobe | maple wood | abv | 1940 | private collection

dresser | maple wood, mirror, brass | abv | private collection

table | walnut wood, silvered glass, lighting | abv | 1940 ) galleria michela cattai collection

l’archivio di varedo / prodotti atelier | photograph 79

side chairs | walnut wood, fabric | abv | 1940 | galleria michela cattai collection

l’archivio di varedo / anni ’40 | drawing 15

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

osvaldo borsani (1911-1985)

bed | wood | abv | 1938 | private collection

cabinet | wood, glass, lighting | abv | 1941 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / prodotti atelier | photograph 99

armchairs | wood, velvet fabric | 1944 | private collection

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

osvaldo borsani (1911-1985)

bar | white lacquered wood | abv | 1939 | jochum rodgers collection, berlin

mirror with shelf | wood, glass, lighting | abv | 1948 | fragile collection

card table | wood, inlay | abv | 1942 | private collection

desk | wood, | abv, later tecno | 1953 | private collection

side chairs | wood, fabric | abv | 1938 | britt moran and emiliano salci collection

l’archivio di varedo / anni ’30 | renderings 23 and 27

l’archivio di varedo / interni / casa m | photograph 3

bar | wood, leather, velvet, murano glass | abv | 1940 | private collection

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

osvaldo borsani (1911-1985)

mirror and shelf | gilded wood, marble, optional lighting | abv | 1950 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / prodotti atelier | photograph 118

console | white lacquered wood, brass | abv | 1940’s | private collection, turin

armchair | wood, fabric | abv | 1941 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / prodotti atelier | photographs 73 and 82

table | brass, wood or glass top | abv | 1948 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / prodotti atelier | photographs 124 and 125

l’archivio di varedo / collaborazioni | photograph 26

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

osvaldo borsani (1911-1985)

sideboard | rosewood, bronze | abv | 1945 | private collection

table | brass, wood | abv | 1949 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / anni ’50 | rendering 21

console | gilded wood, marble | abv | 1947 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / prodotti atelier | photograph 143

table | brass, marble | abv | 1941 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / anni ’50 | rendering 16

table | brass, wood or glass top | 1950 | abv | private collection

armchair | wood, velvet fabric | 1945 | private collection

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

osvaldo borsani (1911-1985)

sideboard | walnut wood, inlay | abv | 1943 | private collection

console | maple wood | abv | 1945 | private collection

table | wood, marble or glass top | abv | 1947 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / prodotti atelier | photograph 121

floor lamp | coated metal | abv | 1945 | private collection

table | wood, glass | abv | 1947 | private collection

armchair | walnut wood, fabric | abv | 1946 | private collection

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

osvaldo borsani (1911-1985)

console | mahogany wood, glass | abv | 1949 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / prodotti atelier | photograph 138

l’archivio di varedo / collaborazioni | photograph 39

sideboard | rosewood, bronze | abv | 1945 | private collection

armchairs | wood, wood or bakelite armrests, fabric | abv, later tecno | 1946-1953 | private collection, and prada collection

l’archivio di varedo / anni ’40 | rendering 36

l’archivio di varedo / prodotti atelier | photographs 115, 116, 135, and 142

table | rosewood, glass  | abv | 1947 | private collection

table | maple wood, engraved glass | abv | 1946 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / prodotti atelier | photograph 119

l’archivio di varedo / collaborazioni | photograph 5

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

osvaldo borsani (1911-1985)

console | mahogany wood, white granite | abv | presented at the IX trienniale | 1951 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / prodotti atelier | photograph 137

sofa | abv, later tecno | 1952 | private collection

armchairs | wood, wood or bakelite armrests, fabric | abv, later tecno | 1953 | private collection

l’archivio di varedo / anni ’50 | drawing 24

l’archivio di varedo / prodotti atelier | photograph 144

l’archivio di varedo / collaborazioni | photographs 25 and 38

l’archivio di varedo | interni | casa n | photograph 3

table | wood, onyx | abv, later tecno | 1953 | private collection

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

osvaldo borsani (1911-1985)

bar | mahogany wood, bronze | handles designed by lucio fontana | abv | 1949 | dimore gallery collection

console | wood, marble | abv | 1944 | private collection

triennale side chairs | wood, fabric | abv | presented at the IX triennale | 1951 | dimore gallery collection

l’archivio di varedo / prodotti atelier | photograph 136

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

are you inspired to begin collecting borsani furniture from the 1930’s, 1940’s, or 1950’s?

if so, you could consider bidding on the triennale table and chairs offered in the italian design auction at christie’s in london on 17 october 2018.

osvaldo borsani (1911-1985) | a ‘triennale’ dining suite, designed 1951 | estimate GBP 12,000.00-18,000.00

thinking italian design | sale 16017 | lot 17 | christie’s london | 17 october 2018

photo credit christies

 

or, maybe on the tables offered in the important design auction at phillips in london on 18 october 2018.

osvaldo borsani (1911-1985) | pair of side tables | circa 1948 | estimate GBP 5000.00-7000.00

important design | sale uk050318 | lot 30 | phillips london | 18 october 2018

photo credit phillips

one city (london).

four art exhibitions (cézanne | modigliani | soutine | basquiat).

during our december weekend in london, my husband, bob, and i made it to three out of four.

 

modigliani @ the tate modern

amadeo modgliani (1884-1920) | self portrait as pierrot | 1915 | statens museum fur kunst | copenhagen, denmark

modigliani | tate modern | london, united kingdom | 23 november 2017-2 april 2018

photo credit smk

 

modigliani

portraits and nudes.

elongated faces.

swan-like necks.

almond shaped eyes.

portraits of his patron (paul alexandre).

portraits of his art dealers (paul guillaume and leopold zbrowski).

portraits of his contemporaries.  (picasso, gris, brancusi, soutine…).

self portraits.

portraits of the working class.

multiple portraits of the same subject.

 

‘it [my portrait] does not look like me, but it does look like modigliani, which is better.’

-jean cocteau (1889-1963)

amadeo modgliani (1884-1920) | jean cocteau, 1916 | the henry and rose pearlman foundation (on long-term loan to the princeton university art museum)

modigliani | tate modern | london, united kingdom | 23 november 2017-2 april 2018

photo credit bruce m. white | via the princeton university art museum

 

 soutine @ the courtauld gallery

chaïm soutine (1893-1943) | self portrait | circa 1918 | the henry and rose pearlman foundation (on long-term loan to the princeton university art museum)

photo credit © 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris | photo: bruce m. white | via the princeton university art museum

 

soutine

landscapes, still lives, and portraits.

painted in series.

turbulent (after van gogh).

gestural (before pollack).

distorted (before bacon).

 

his patron:  albert barnes (the barnes foundation | merion, PA USA)

his art dealers:  paul guillaume and leopold zbrowski (the same as modigliani)

his portraits:  self portraits and portraits of the working class

 

chaïm soutine (1893-1943) | the valet | circa 1927 | the lewis collection

soutine’s portraits: cooks, waiters & bellboys | the courtauld gallery | london, united kingdom | 19 october 2017-21 january 2018

photo credit the courtauld gallery | via the telegraph

 

basquiat @ the barbican art gallery

jean-michel basquiat (1960-1988) | dos cabezas | 1982 | private collection

basquiat: boom for real | barbican art gallery | london, united kingdom | 21 september 2017-28 january 2018

photo credit (c) the estate of jean-michel basquiat | licensed by artestar, new york | via christie’s

 

basquiat

graffiti.

neo expressionist.

image + text + social commentary.

stream of consciousness.

repetition.

crown icon.

self portraits (in different guises).

 

inspiration:  art history | history | literature | media (film/television) | music (jazz/hip hop/rap) | sports

influences:  da vinci | picasso | cy twombly | charlie parker

collaborators:  keith haring | francesco clemente | andy warhol

 

jean-michel basquiat (1960-1988) | self-portrait | 1984 | private collection

basquiat: boom for real | barbican art gallery | london, united kingdom | 21 september 2017-28 january 2018

photo credit (c) the estate of jean-michel basquiat | licensed by artstar, new york | via the standard

 

surprisingly (or not), more similarities than differences.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

cézanne portraits | national portrait gallery | london, united kingdom | 26 october 2017-11 february 2018

modigliani | tate modern | london, united kingdom | 23 november 2017-2 april 2018

soutine’s portraits: cooks, waiters & bellboys | the courtauld gallery | london, united kingcom | 19 october 2017-21 january 2018

basquiat: boom for real | barbican art gallery | london, united kingdom | 21 september 2017-28 january 2018

the san francisco design district is changing.  the san francisco design center (sfdc) is consolidating.  jackson square is diversifying.  contemporary design showrooms and clothing retailers are opening.  while, some antiques dealers or art galleries are consolidating, relocating, or closing.  sacramento street is evolving as a leading design destination.

on 1 march 2017, de gournay opened their gorgeous new showroom on sacramento street.  when i lived in london, i loved visiting the de gournay showroom in old church street en route to my favorite fulham road antiques dealers.  so, i am delighted to welcome de gournay to san francisco.

de gournay is best known for their hand-painted chinoiserie wallpaper.  their artisans are artists.  so, de gournay wallpaper could be considered a work of art.

de gournay | amazonia wallpaper | on blue painted xuan paper

de gournay showroom | 3691A sacramento street | san francisco, CA

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace and brad knipstein via de gournay

de gournay | wisteria wallpaper | on mica metallic xuan paper

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace and georgetti spa via de gournay

de gournay | plum blossom wallpaper | on tarnished silver gilded paper

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace and marie-caroline lucat via de gournay

de gournay | a thousand li of rivers and mountains wallpaper | on bleached white dyed silk

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace and de gournay

one of my prospective interior design clients hopes to create a ‘more elegant’ home.  so, as part of the initial consultation process, we’re beginning to define what ‘elegant’ means to them.

would you describe de gournay wallpaper as elegant?