The 18th Annual Los Angeles Antiques Art + Design Show opens this week in a new venue in Culver City. Kicking off with an opening night gala on October 9th, the fair is open through Sunday, October 13th. DnA’s Mallery Roberts Morgan reports.
After changing its name and scope last year to include art and design, and teaming up for its opening gala with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), this year the Los Angeles Antiques, Art + Design Show leaves the Barker Hangar at Santa Monica Airport for 3 Labs Studio, a newly renovated space in Culver City’s Hayden Tract area.
“It’s an amazing venue that’s been renovated to a very high standard,” says Gerard O’Brien of Reform Gallery, a show regular and a leading expert in California modern design. “The soaring, arched-wood beam ceilings are simply stunning,” he says of the 30,000 square foot former umbrella factory where the French luxury house Hermès held their much-talked-about Los Angeles party this past September (see our DnA coverage).
The Hayden Tract is a formerly industrial neighborhood that has seen considerable gentrification over the past decade thanks to the presence of design and media related companies. Neighbors include Smashbox Studios and award-winning architect Eric Owen Moss, who played a key role in the tract’s development. Some of the city’s most exciting contemporary art galleries are to be found nearby in the burgeoning Culver City arts district.
“We are changing with the times,” says Bianca Chen of JF Chen, one of the fair’s four co-chairs this year. “The Los Angeles art scene is booming, people’s tastes in design are changing and so are we.”
Ms. Chen, also a leading member of the Decorative Arts and Design Council of LACMA, says the new location has already created fresh energy and interest including participation with neighboring Willows Community School. An exhibition of student’s photography will be displayed at the fair and a program for families visiting the show includes activities led by Willows art teachers.
“This year’s show offers more variety to spice up the eclectic interiors that reflect modern tastes today,” says Bianca Chen of the forty three exhibitors attending this year. Exciting new presenters include, from South Korea, Gallery Seomi bringing contemporary Korean art and design, Vojitech Blau from New York with its unique collection of tapestries from the 16th to 20th century, Antonio’s Bella Casa from Newport Beach exhibiting a mix of 17th and 18th century European furniture, and Gray Gallery, located on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood, with their unique collection of contemporary ceramics and rare 20th century vintage.
“Of course there are antiques but there’s also a lot of mid-century modern – it’s a chic mix,” says Pam Shamshiri of the design group Commune, and a loyal fair attendee. “And don’t forget the extremely tempting jewelry!”
The fair’s opening night gala is a fund-raiser benefiting LACMA’s Decorative Arts & Design Council. As part of the celebration the prestigious 2013 Design Leadership Award will be presented to this year’s honorees Tim Street-Porter and Annie Kelly.
Tim Street-Porter is a legendary interiors and architectural photographer, perhaps best known for his iconic book on mid-century Los Angeles ‘L.A. Modern.’ His wife Annie Kelly, is a celebrated design writer, author and decorator. Along with their individual oeuvre they have also collaborated on numerous publications together including their acclaimed ‘Rooms to Inspire’ series for Rizzoli.
“They aren’t just a photographer and writer who happen to be a couple,” explains LA-based interior designer Peter Dunham of Hollywood at Home. “Tim’s books are like love stories about the great architecture of Los Angeles. Annie’s writing has played an immense role in making people aware of our architectural heritage. They have both played a very important role in putting Los Angeles on the international design map.”
“Not many people realise how fabulous the permanent decorative arts and design collection is at LACMA,” says Annie Kelly. “This year’s gala will help purchase an Eames chair. It’s especially appropriate as Tim photographed the Eames House for a monograph published by Phaidon. Every time you see an image of the house it’s probably Tim’s.”
The fair’s opening night attracts an effervescent mix of Los Angeles’ art, design and Hollywood communities. This year’s gala host committee includes Liv Ballard, Nate Berkus, Michael Boodro, Margaret and Joel Chen, Hunter Drohojowska-Philp, Viveca Paulin-Ferrell and Will Ferrell, Diane Keaton, Kay Saatchi, Clinton Smith, Suzanne Tucker, Trina Turk and Jonathan Skow, Newell Turner, and Kelly Wearstler.
Another fair highlight is a discussion to be held on Friday, October 11th hosted by the fair’s premier sponsor 1st Dibs with a panel of top designers including Cliff Fong, Eric Cohler, Mary McDonald, Charlotte Moss and Kelly Wearstler – ‘My Big Break: Design Stars Discuss Game-Changing Moments in Their Careers’, moderated by Newell Turner, editor-in-chief of The Hearst Design Group.
*A version of this story first appeared in 1st Dibs Introspective Magazine
October 9th – 13th 3 Labs / 8461 Warner Drive / Culver City CA 90232