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Design March 29, 2015

The living room of Gerald and Betty Ford’s Rancho Mirage, Calif., house in 2007. The house’s new owners have hung the portrait of Betty in the front hall and used the curtains to upholster a headboard in a guest bedroom.

Page 174

Features 166 True West The vintage-clothing guru Mark Haddawy has brought the purity of Big Sur into his period-perfect home. By Amanda Fortini Photographs by Stefan Ruiz

180 Folk Revival A 90-year-old vaudeville house turned porn theater in Providence, R.I., gets a new lease on life, and some hip new inhabitants. By Jesse Barron Photographs by Jesse Burke

174 Restoration Politics By preserving many of its original charms and adding a few daring contemporary touches, the new owners of Gerald and Betty Ford’s California home have created a picture of elegance that is anything but conservative. By Rob Haskell Photographs by Anthony Cotsifas

182 A Moment in Time The photographer and fashion insider Mary Russell reminisces about — and shares intimate snapshots from — her life among some of the most stylish names of her generation. By Marian McEvoy Photographs by Mary Russell

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DAVID HUME KENNERLY

ON THE COVER A guest room in the former home of Gerald and Betty Ford, featuring a 1981 lamp by the Memphis design group member Michele De Lucchi, a 1983 armchair by the Los Angeles decorator Sally Sirkin Lewis and curtains adapted from the ones that hung in the Fords’ old dining room. Photograph by Anthony Cotsifas.

190 Cultivating Genius Nicola Del Roscio spent nearly half a century in service to the artist Cy Twombly. His seaside home and garden in Gaeta, Italy, stand as a testament to their close bond and to his own passions. By Stacey Stowe Photographs by Simon Watson

Copyright ©2015 The New York Times


800-457-TODS


38

Editor’s Letter

40

Behind the T

Lookout 43

Sign of the Times

A new take on the decade that taste forgot. 46

This and That

Russell Page’s gardens; Lee Radziwill’s coats; a fashion campaign with no clothes; gaga for grids; and more. 52

Market Report / Design

Ladders that stand apart. 54

Page 113

Market Report / Women’s

A bouquet of floral handbags. 56

Above: the reading room of the art director Sam Shahid’s New York City apartment, with a custom table, a Poul Kjaerholm chair and a drawing by Richard Prince. Bottom left: the artist Sarah Lucas with assistants in her temporary London workspace.

Watch Report

Minimal timepieces that dial it down.

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From sexy smudges to clean strokes, the symbolism of black eyeliner.

Quality

Arena

Craft

73

113 By Design In his near-empty home, the art director Sam Shahid’s most precious objects are behind closed doors.

On Beauty

Pottery that is charmingly peculiar, slightly disturbed and totally irresistible. 64

68

By the Numbers

19 reasons to the graphic-design icon Milton Glaser. 70

Clothing that takes fringe to the extreme. 84

Take Two

Ricky Gervais and Zaha Hadid curl up in a bird’s nest while considering a floor-scrubbing robot and a lamp made from a weed. Page 120

Profile in Style

A look at the art curator Neville Wakefield’s many muses.

Book Report

The art collection of a private philanthropist and the wide-ranging design portfolio of a former Bond girl are celebrated in two new volumes.

In Fashion

86

The Moment

A fresh crop of furniture, ceramics and fabrics as pretty as they are practical. 92

In the Air

A splashy collage of Latin-inspired fashion, art and design. 96

The Thing

A perfectly simple Hermès watch that’s simply perfect. 98

Another Thing

Le Corbusier’s classic LC2 chair is back in bold new colors. 100 On the Verge A new wave of young designers worthy of success. 108 Food Matters Elizabeth Alexander confronts the loss of her husband and finds solace in the recipes, rituals and aromas of the life they shared.

128 Legacy A look at the surprisingly varied career of the late French furniture designer Pierre Paulin. 134 By Design James Oakley’s dark, dramatic and mysterious West Village townhouse. 144 Arts and Letters Five authors on the spaces in which they write. 156 Family Affair A pair of respected artists, the poet Susan Howe and the painter R. H. Quaytman, discuss their relationship as mother and daughter and their work. 162 A Picture and a Poem The poet Craig Morgan Teicher and the artist Idris Khan tap into the anxiety of early parenthood. 198 Document Leanne Shapton’s paintings of flower arrangements.

Upcoming Issues:

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120 Art Market Decades after her emergence as one of the Young British Artists, an older, arguably wiser Sarah Lucas proves she’s still capable of ruffling a few feathers.

Culture April 12, 2015

Women’s Fashion Aug. 23, 2015

Travel May 17, 2015

Men’s Style Sept. 13, 2015

Beauty June 14, 2015

Design & Luxury Sept. 27, 2015

Entertaining July 19, 2015

Greats Oct. 25, 2015

Copyright ©2015 The New York Times

FROM TOP: FRANÇOIS HALARD; JUERGEN TELLER

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Page 73 Gareth Pugh top, price on request, barneys.com. Craig Green jeans, $590, matchesfashion.com.

Editor in Chief Deborah Needleman Creative Director Patrick Li Deputy Editor Whitney Vargas Fashion Director Joe McKenna Managing Editor Minju Pak Photography Director Nadia Vellam Entertainment Director Lauren Tabach-Bank

FASHION

FEATURES

ART AND PHOTO

Style Director/Men David Farber Market Director Malina Joseph Gilchrist

Design Editor Tom Delavan

Senior Art Director Aurélie Pellissier Roman

European Editor Rita Konig

Art Director Shawn Carney

Senior Fashion Editor Jason Rider

Senior Features Editors Nicholas Haramis, Emily Stokes Contributing Editors Amanda Fortini, Nancy Hass

Contributing Senior Designer Alex Goldstein

Copy Editors Lisa Ferber, Mona Mansour, Joey Meyer

Senior Photography Editor Gina Liberto

Production Manager Alison Colby

Online Features Editor Alexandria Symonds

Photography Editor Caroline L. Hirsch

Production Editors Leah Phillips, Julia Röhl

Contributing Photography Editor Carter Love

Research Manager John Cochran

Senior Photography & Video Editor Jamie Bradley Sims

Associate Fashion Editors Angela Koh, Alex Tudela Fashion Assistants Kelly Harris, Renata Mosci, Camille Vazquez-Reyes

Associate Features Editors Brooke Bobb, Jeff Oloizia Features Associates Jennifer Macksamie, Lauren Poggi

COPY, PRODUCTION AND RESEARCH Copy Chief Naomi Fry

Research Editors James Dobbins, Kristina Ensminger, Julia Yepes

Administrative Manager Linda Conte

ONLINE Online Managing Editor Alainna Lexie Beddie Senior Staff Editor Sylvia Rupani-Smith Contributing Staff Editor Hilary Moss

Contributing Photography & Video Editor Betsy Horan Photo Associate Brian Nichols

Critics at Large Andrew O’Hagan, Jody Rosen Contributing Editors Gay Gassmann (Art), Sara Ruffin Costello, Alice Gregory, Carolina Irving, Konstantin Kakanias, David Netto, Meghan O’Rourke, Dana Thomas

Advertising Directors Scott Kunz, International Fashion; Michael Carroll, Travel and Education; Sherry Maher, Beauty/Retail/American Fashion; Edward Celata, Fashion/Fine Jewelry and Watches/Home Furnishings; Laura Sonnenfeld, Packaged Goods and Alcohol/Media/Healthcare/Corporate; Doug Latino, Automotive and Technology; Kevin Thomas, Luxury Real Estate; Brendan Walsh, Financial Services; Stefanie Paletz, Entertainment; Shari Kaplan, Live Entertainment; Nancy Karpf, Fine Art; Karen Farina, Magazines For advertising inquiries: tmagazineadvertising@nytimes.com

36

Copyright ©2015 The New York Times

PAUL WETHERELL

ADVERTISING Vice President/T Publisher Brendan Coolidge Monaghan Associate Publisher Amanda Smith


Editor’s Letter

SECOND THOUGHTS

ONE OF THE GREAT PLEASURES of an interest in design is being

converted to ideas you hadn’t fully grasped or admired the first time around. The style I’ve always cringed at most — that of the international, postmodern Memphis group, which existed from 1981 to 1987 — now seems kind of appealing: cheerfully earnest and playfully rigorous. The current influence of Memphis, which is popping up everywhere all of a sudden, is to be found throughout these pages. So is the renewed taste for furniture and décor from the 1970s. We didn’t intend to focus in this issue on previously disdained periods of design, but we did just that, and we feel really good about it. Seventies furniture — deep sectional sofas, velvety conversation pits, polished chrome and glass tables, shaggy carpets — had always seemed to ooze a self-satisfied infatuation with the benefits of the sexual revolution. From an aesthetic standpoint, that felt a little crass, a little vulgar. Which is precisely why it is appealing right now. A bit of low-slung louche sexiness from furniture is a welcome break from the clean lines and stiff forms of Modernism that we’ve become so used to (Loving the Unlovable Decade, Page 43). Of course any decade in design encompasses many different strains, and doesn’t really begin or end according to the calendar year. There is the sleek, mod ’70s aesthetic from Europe, which followed the political upheavals of 1968; in the issue, we showcase

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the work of the brilliant designer Pierre Paulin (Beyond Pop, Page 128), lately heralded by Louis Vuitton’s artistic director Nicolas Ghesquière. (You can see how beautifully he incorporates Paulin’s seating into his 18th-century Paris apartment on Page 44.) There is also the free-form organic oeuvre that emerged from California. We feature a glorious house in Big Sur, crafted from the timber of an old bridge, as iconically 1970s as it is timelessly classic (True West, Page 166). As this style moved into the suburbs, things became a little glitzier, and in the Rancho Mirage house of Betty and Gerald Ford, California desert architecture got a dose of golf-course preppy chic (Restoration Politics, Page 174). Even that is its own kind of fabulous. But as we were putting this issue together, beginning to open our hearts to all this ’70s stuff, the ’80s kept rearing its manic head. Not the ‘‘Bonfire of the Vanities’’ brocaded ’80s, but the giddy, deconstructed, too-many-colorful-toppings-on-the-ice-cream-cone ’80s. If the ’70s were a response to the schoolmarmishness of midcentury design utopians eager to share their vision with the tasteless masses, the postmodern Memphis movement was a fat thumb in the eye of aristocratic good taste. At T, that’s the sort of renegade spirit we champion. (Ghesquière is exemplary at bringing this era, too, into his own home.) Most great interiors include bits of the past. We rarely wholly reinvent our homes, but instead carry on, taking what we like, dropping what we don’t and being introduced to new ideas — even ones from the past, seen again with a fresh eye. DEBORAH NEEDLEMAN

FROM LEFT: NICOLAS GHESQUIÈRE/THE WORLD OF INTERIORS; JACQUES SCHUMACHER

EARLY (’80) ADOPTERS From left: Nicolas Ghesquière, Louis Vuitton’s artistic director of women’s wear, has been at the forefront of reviving design from the past in a modern way. Here, his Paris apartment with a 1980s console by the Memphis design group founder Ettore Sottsass, a pair of Memphis chairs from 1985 by the Japanese designer Shiro Kuramata and a delicate gilded mirror from the 1940s; Karl Lagerfeld was among the first to embrace the emerging Memphis movement, and he did so wholeheartedly in his Monte Carlo penthouse in the early ’80s.


Shawn Carney stories for the magazine, T’s art director is busy dreaming them up. This month, he pointed us toward the suddenly resurgent Columbus Theatre, a former adult cinema turned folk-music lightning rod, which he became aware of as a student at Rhode Island School of Design. ‘‘It’s one of those magical places,’’ says Carney, who has performed at the venue several times as the bassist for the bands Tallahassee and P. Everett. ‘‘You can’t not let it affect you.’’

Amanda Fortini True West (Page 166) The Montana-based

Mary Russell A Moment in Time (Page 182) During the ’60s and ’70s, the

charismatic fashion reporter and photographer Mary Russell, who opened her archive of rarely seen pictures for T, took intimate black-and-white portraits of famous friends, including Helmut Newton, Jerry Hall and Yves Saint Laurent. But whether captured in Courrèges couture or on a motorcycle with her onetime beau Gunter Sachs, Russell, who describes herself as a doting grandmother and divides her time between Paris and Miami, was often as captivating as her illustrious subjects.

Simon Watson Cultivating Genius (Page 190)

The Irish photographer shot Nicola Del Roscio’s palazzo and garden in Gaeta, Italy, but it wasn’t the first time the two had crossed paths. Watson previously photographed the apartment of Del Roscio’s longtime companion, the artist Cy Twombly, on Rome’s famed Via di Monserrato, which Watson described as ‘‘a beautiful crumbling gem.’’ Still, he is quick to avoid comparisons. ‘‘There are reminders of Cy throughout,’’ he says of the paintings and sketches that dot the Gaeta property. ‘‘But it definitely feels like Nicola’s house and not Cy’s.’’

40

Sam Shahid Behind Closed Doors (Page 113)

The legendary art director, whose home can be seen in this issue, changed the landscape of fashion advertising in the ’80s and ’90s with his provocative ads for Calvin Klein and Abercrombie & Fitch. (He worked frequently with the photographer Bruce Weber and T’s fashion director, Joe McKenna.) Here, a small sample of his arresting images.

Clockwise from above: a 1991 Calvin Klein Jeans ad; Shahid; the 2001 ‘‘Back to School’’ issue of Abercrombie’s A&F Quarterly; Banana Republic’s 1992 ‘‘Free Souls’’ campaign; a 1996 Versus ad.

writer and T contributing editor, who writes about Mark Haddawy’s house in Big Sur, was surprised to learn that the restorer of Modernist homes was also the co-founder of the high-end retailer Resurrection Vintage. Fortini discovered the boutique’s original East Village location while working as an assistant at Mirabella magazine in 1999, and while her salary prohibited her from buying anything, she now has her eye on a luxurious green caftan by Yuki. ‘‘I don’t know what life I’d be wearing it in,’’ she says. ‘‘But when I find out, I’m going to buy it.’’

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP RIGHT: BETTINA SORG; DALE ROBINETTE; PHOTOGRAPH BY FRANÇOIS HALARD; BRUCE WEBER (4); TOM DELAVAN; PIERRE BOULAT/COSMOS/REDUX; COURTESY OF MARY RUSSELL

Behind the T

Folk Revival (Page 180) When he’s not designing


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PLEASURE PRINCIPAL The unabashed hedonism of the era — shown to great effect in this racy bedroom featured in Terence Conran’s 1974 ‘‘The House Book’’ — seems a welcome counterpoint to all the upright, angular Modernism which has dominated interiors for so long.

COURTESY OF ‘‘THE HOUSE BOOK’’ BY TERENCE CONRAN/THE CROWN PUBLISHING GROUP

Sign of the Times

THE 1970S ARE undergoing a radical

Loving the Unlovable Decade

fancy European counterparts, by Jean transformation in our collective Prouvé and Charlotte Perriand, have memories. Once the decade that taste become a little too familiar, and while no seemed to forget, they have been one questions their pedigree, there is elevated from punch line — think something about these Modernist staples conversation pits and water beds — to that leaves us longing for a little heat. signifier of high culture, one not entirely Perhaps the arc of a revival is 30 years. free of irony but not defined by it, either. It takes that length of time to look back on The era was a time of uncensored a moment with fondness and nostalgia. As BY DAVID NETTO AND TOM DELAVAN self-expression rather than self reflection. children of the ’70s, we were too young to In design, that led us away from restraint fully grasp inflation and war, but old and toward excess — too much shag carpet, too much color, too enough to be impressed by the decade’s sense of freedom — and many reflective surfaces. The decade proved ripe for riffing wowed by the groovy aesthetic that came with it. In contrast to the on, from the ‘‘Austin Powers’’ set to the infamous paneled basement pared-down discipline of midcentury style, the ’70s were sensual rec room in the 1995 Calvin Klein ads, with disaffected ’70s-style and decadent. People were unafraid to take risks. The furniture teens staring down the camera and flashing their underwear. was made for hanging out, lounging or sex — activities infinitely For the past two decades, midcentury modern has been more tempting than what was going on in the places where postwar the reigning aesthetic, but now the battered Eames chairs and design made its mark: schools, offices and hospitals. Imagine trying threadbare Florence Knoll sofas that seemed fresh and to make out on a Barcelona Chair. sophisticated in the ’90s — when that style was first revived We should have seen it coming. Fashion, often two steps ahead of — are commonplace, and knockoffs are ubiquitous. Even their design, has been embracing the 1970s for a while. There was Steven

Long derided as tacky and vulgar, the design of the ’70s is now a source of great inspiration.


Sign of the Times

Meisel’s memorable Versace campaign, featuring Amber Valletta and Georgina Grenville as big-haired trophy wives in 2000; Tom Ford began channeling 1970s glamour with his velvet suits for Gucci over two decades ago. And so it began with a few pieces that trickled into our homes almost undetected, or at least under our taste radar. The sectional sofa crept back in with the flat-screen TV, and shaggy rugs (not wall-to-wall carpeting, mind you) slipped underfoot. Anna Castelli Ferrieri’s Componibili stackable plastic cylinders found their way into our bathrooms, and Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni’s floor lamp (designed in the ’60s, but more comfortably at home the following decade) stood in the corner, reaching to light the middle of the room. Now we are facing the ’70s head on, creating entire environments that embrace or at least are inspired by its vibes. One of the first projects to salvage something nobody thought would ever come back was Wilt Chamberlain’s Bel Air house, featured in Life magazine in 1972. Chamberlain’s pad, with its mod redwood-and-stone walls with flying buttresses, seemed

LOOKING GOOD Clockwise from top right: in François and Betty Catroux’s apartment, shot for Vogue in 1970, a Gabonese sculpture and an Eero Saarinen table complement contemporary furniture; in Nicolas Ghesquière’s Paris apartment, a pair of Pierre Paulin sofas from 1971 and a Gae Aulenti coffee table; a 1975 Gabriella Crespi desk that sold for $194,500 at auction in 2014.

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T: The New York Times Style Magazine

for years like the ultimate pair of architectural bell bottoms. Most would have advised the new owners to tear it down, but the Los Angeles interior designer Paul Fortune found a way to gracefully update the 7,200square-foot house, toning down the palette from acidpurple and orange to subtler shades. The 8-foot furcovered water bed was banished and the shag-rug quotient reduced. The changes imbued the formerly brash home with an organic-modern sensibility that was both sophisticated and desirable. Or take the 2009 cocktail bar on top of the Standard hotel in New York City. The aptly named Boom Boom Room, designed by Roman and Williams with starburst chandeliers and white leather banquettes, is less a reinterpretation than a 1970s revival: homage as stage design. But the hotel’s creator André Balazs didn’t configure the entire hotel along these lines; that would have felt cartoonish. The room — almost always experienced after dark, with a drink in hand, against the backdrop of Manhattan’s glittering skyline — is a discrete but potent shot of ’70s glamour. For most of us, though, the 1970s are best invoked in pieces rather than as whole environments. Consider the way Nicolas Ghesquière, the artistic director of Louis Vuitton, has offset his Paris flat’s 18th-century architectural detailing with Pierre Paulin’s marshmallowy sofas from 1971 (left). Or how, in her otherwise traditional New York dressing room, Aerin Lauder has placed a shiny, angular Gabriella Crespi desk from 1975 (top left). One avoids getting too theme-y by mixing in things from other periods. In fact, this is how it was done by the most discriminating designers — François Catroux in France, Billy Baldwin in the States and David Hicks in Britain — the first time around. After years of hotel-room beige and gray, the reappearance of risk in interior design — of elements that might shock — is heartening; there is something cathartic about returning to the decade that brought us so much shame for so long. But before you get too comfortable, the ’80s are waiting impatiently in the wings. The postmodern furniture of Ettore Sottsass and Shiro Kuramata is reaching six-figure prices, and the Victoria & Albert Museum has already staged a major exhibition on the controversial era. Sometimes we know what we have while we have it, and sometimes we only begin to value it as we look back, long after it’s gone.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: GABRIELLA CRESPI, Z DESK WITH DRAWER UNIT, 1975/IMAGE COURTESY OF PHILLIPS; HORST/VOGUE/CONDÉ NAST; NICOLAS GHESQUIÈRE/THE WORLD OF INTERIORS

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This and That A Cultural Compendium ILLUSTRATIONS BY KONSTANTIN KAKANIAS

DESIGN MEMO

A Natural Artist

HEDGE OF GLORY RY A garden by Russell ell Page at Villa Silvio Pellico, in Turin, Italy.

This spring, London’s Garden Museum is exhibiting the work of the landscape designer Russell Page, perhaps the leading horticultural talent of the 20th century, who was, by his own account, ‘‘the most famous garden designer no one has ever heard of.’’ A master of structuring nature with an architect’s eye, Page, whose clients included Marella Agnelli, Oscar de la Renta and Lady Bird Johnson, created mesmerizing green spaces with clipped shrubs, gleaming ponds and sweeping vistas. For the first time, his personal photographs, notes and unrealized designs have been brought together, shedding light on the passion and process of the late luminary. ‘‘The Education of a Gardener’’ runs through June 21, gardenmuseum.org.uk ROCKY CASALE

Get on the Grid The clean, Th l geometric look has been popping up everywhere, giving interiors an updated ’80s feel.

ENTER THE MATRIX Clockwise from top: wallpaper by Eley Kishimoto at the Southerden cafe in London; RO/LU’s ‘‘Uncertain Surface’’ table, $5,300, patrickparrish.com; Pete Oyler’s 00 Clock, $75, sightunseen.com.

The Campaign With No Clothes The men’s wear designer Patrik Ervell’s latest ads will feature only the work of the late photographer Peter Hujar. The earliest of the never-before-seen photos — a mix of black-and-white portraits and still lifes — were shot in 1981, the year after Ervell was born. ‘‘His images are timeless,’’ says Ervell of Hujar, who, like his controversy-courting peer Robert Mapplethorpe, captured iconic pictures of downtown fixtures such as Susan Sontag and Candy Darling. ‘‘They could have been taken for me last week.’’ patrikervell.com — JEFF OLOIZIA

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T: The New York Times Style Magazine

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP RIGHT: CHRIS TUBBS; MIKE GARTEN; CLEMENS KOIS; COURTESY OF PATRIK ERVELL (2)

Lookout


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Lookout

This and That

A Splash of Flash THE RING MASTER Clockwise from below left: Lee Broom; Crescent Lights and a Hoop Chair from the designer’s new collection, price upon request.

In a season of underdone hair, a little adornment can make all the difference.

Design With a Bit of Drama Clockwise from top left: Dolce & Gabbana (showpiece only); Valentino Garavani, $795, (212) 772-6969; Céline, $425, bergdorfgoodman.com; Bottega Veneta, $1,200, (800) 845-6790.

IN HER WORDS

T style icon Lee Radziwill The rrecalls discovering tthe coats of Martin Grant. ‘‘Years ago, while looking around Barneys with my friend André Leon Talley, I came w across a black leather jacket that I was mad a about. I hadn’t heard of the designer, but a André knew immediately that it was Martin A Grant, an Australian who now lives and works G iin Paris. I live there too, for part of the year at lleast, and upon my return I was determined to ttrack him down. It wasn’t easy finding his tiny shop in tthe Marais, and when I did, it was closed for lunch. So I walked around — and then around some more — until it was open, and a tthere he was, skinny, boyish and super low-key. For me, his talent llies in making coats and jackets that never feel trendy because he understands and respects line, proportion and simplicity. Even h now that his Paris quarters are large and lovely, how lucky we n are that he doesn’t need or want to show off. And how lucky I am a tthat we remain the closest friends.’’ martingrantparis.com

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T: The T Th New N York Y k Times Ti Style St l Magazine M

THE EASE OF ELEGANCE From far left: looks from Martin Grant’s spring 2015 collection. Inset: the designer and Lee Radziwill in Corsica in 2008.

CLOCKWISE FROM BOTTOM RIGHT: FRÉDÉRIQUE DUMOULIN; COURTESY OF MARTIN GRANT; FRÉDÉRIQUE DUMOULIN (2); LUKE HAYES; ARTHUR WOODCROFT (2). ILLUSTRATIONS BY KONSTANTIN KAKANIAS

The British furniture and lighting designer Lee Broom is known both for his clever, often nostalgic creations and the elaborate ways he displays them: In 2012, during the Milan Furniture Fair, he showed inside an old pub that he bought in London, disassembled and rebuilt in Milan. This year, he’ll return to the prestigious event with a unique take on the department store — Memphis-style chairs and fragmented mirrors in the ‘‘gents’ fitting room,’’ fluted tables that furnish the ‘‘bookstore’’ and tubular fluorescent lamps with cut crystal that illuminate the ‘‘perfumery.’’ ‘‘I always try to do something theatrical,’’ he says. ‘‘And once I learned that the department store was an English invention, I knew I had the right idea.’’ leebroom.com — TOM DELAVAN


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This and That

THE SCENE

A quietly quirky restaurant opens off of Miami Beach’s most boisterous strip. The team behind the bohemian Freehand hostel and its tree-lined Broken Shaker courtyard bar have taken over a neighboring property, converting a Miami Beach house into 27 restaurant. Decorated by Roman and Williams with 1960s surf-shack ephemera and tiki-style trinkets, it offers a laid-back alternative to most Miami hot spots, serving up family-style dishes with Haitian, Colombian mbian and Korean origins, such ch as homemade arepas, pas, Napa cabbage kimchi and latkes like the kind your bubbie makes. thefreehand.com — DAVID PRIOR

The Anti-Bully Backpack It used to be that the only way to make a backpack look remotely cool was to wear it off of one shoulder, projecting the vibe of someone only halfway committed to going to school. But this is no longer the case, thanks to MadPax’s eccentric, cartoonish bags, which are alternately spiked, bubble-covered or block-shaped, and occasionally appear to be dipped in a rainbow of sprinkles. In 2010, the company’s co-founder Tina Huber tested a prototype by putting it on her son, a second grader, and sending him to school. ‘‘At the end of the day he got back in the car, and I was like, ‘Tell me everything,’’’ Huber says. ‘‘And he goes, ‘I seriously felt like Jesus. Everybody wanted to touch me.’’’ Before long, Willow Smith started wearing one, as did the children of Ben Affleck, Hugh Jackman and Heidi Klum. While the backpacks come in many different styles, all of them look instantly iconic, combining elements of sci-fi, exotic wildlife and Memphis design — and all of them can be worn comfortably, and with confidence, on both shoulders. From $32, madpax.com — LEON NEYFAKH

FEELING FOR

Topographic Tops From Rick to Raf, designers take in the view. From left: J. W. Anderson top, $983, j-w-anderson.com. om. Raf Simons top, about $1,770, rafsimons.com. Rick Owens top, price on request, (212) 627-7222. 2. Marc by Marc Jacobs top, $98, (212) 929-0304..

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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP RIGHT: JUSTIN NAMON/RA-HAUS FOTOGRAFIE (3); COURTESY OF MARC BY MARC JACOBS; VALERIO MEZZANOTTI; RAF SIMONS; COURTESY OF J. W. ANDERSON. ILLUSTRATION BY KONSTANTIN KAKANIAS

A TASTY ALTERNATIVE Clockwise from top: a tequila cocktail with turmeric, sage and citrus; kale salad with fennel and crispy chickpeas; the upstairs lounge at 27. 2


Market Report

Ladders The latest incarnations of one of the oldest designs in the world continue to marry usefulness with beauty of form. PHOTOGRAPHS BY JOANNA M C CLURE

Clockwise from top left: Ben Jones, from $6,000. Shin Okuda/Waka Waka, $800. Autoban for De La Espada, $3,275. Lostine, $450. Charlie Styrbjorn Nilsson for Wiener GTV Design, $1,300. Crate & Barrel, $200. Norm Architects for Menu, $450. Matt Carr for Umbra, $100.

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MARKET EDITOR: MONICA KHEMSUROV. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: BEN JONES LADDER, ACEGALLERY.NET. SHIN OKUDA/WAKA WAKA RACK LADDER, IKOIKOSPACE.COM. AUTOBAN FOR DE LA ESPADA LADDER BOOKCASE, DDCNYC.COM. LOSTINE MEDIUM BLOAK LADDER, MINAM.COM. CHARLIE STYRBJORN NILSSON FOR WIENER GTV DESIGN LADDER, DZINEELEMENTS.COM. CRATE & BARREL TEAK LADDER, CRATEANDBARREL.COM. NORM ARCHITECTS FOR MENU TOWEL LADDER, DWR.COM. MATT CARR FOR UMBRA HUB LADDER, UMBRA.COM

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Market Report

Floral Bags Cheerful blossoms to brighten the day. PHOTOGRAPHS BY JOANNA M C CLURE

Clockwise from top left: Etro, $1,225. Agnona, price on request. Fendi, $6,850. Tod’s, $2,265. Chanel, $4,200. Mark Cross, $2,395. Valentino Garavani, $3,645. Simone Rocha, $2,140.

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PROP STYLIST: PAUL MORENO. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: ETRO BAG, (212) 317-9096. AGNONA BAG, (212) 471-4542. FENDI BAG, (212) 897-2244. TOD’S BAG, (212) 644-5945. CHANEL BAG, (800) 550-0005. MARK CROSS BAG, MARKCROSS1845.COM. VALENTINO GARAVANI BAG, (212) 772-6969. SIMONE ROCHA BAG, SECRETLOCATION.CA

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Watch Report

Without Much Ado Timepieces so perfectly minimal they leave you wanting for nothing.

Clockwise from top left: Coach Bleecker, $348, coach.com. Uniform Wares M37, $390, uniformwares .com. Boccia 3538-01, $75, boccia.com. Mondaine Simply Elegant, $350, nordstrom.com.

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MODEL: SHANE DUFFY AT PARTS MODELS. MAKEUP BY ANNE KOHLHAGEN USING DIORSKIN AT SUSAN PRICE NYC. MANICURE BY YUKO TSUCHIHASHI FOR DIOR VERNIS AT SUSAN PRICE NYC. SET STYLING BY SAMUEL FARRIER. SWEATER: J. CREW, $225, JCREW.COM

PHOTOGRAPHS BY MATIN ZAD


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On Beauty

Whether smudgy and disaffected or strong and defined, black eyeliner transforms the entire face, making a warrior of any woman.

BY EMILY COOKE

IN COLLEGE, I BLEACHED MY HAIR and began

rubbing a lot of dark makeup around my eyes, trying to look bruised and exhausted as only an unblemished 20-year-old would want to. I used an eyeliner pencil with a sticky point that was always going dull. I blended everything with the tips of my fingers. I was sketching the experience I was after on the more or less blank slate that I had. If lipstick forces people to consider what the mouth does — kissing, smiling, sex — then eyeliner forces people to consider your soul, but framed in a certain way. Smoky, carelessly smudged, it implies disenchantment and sexy fatigue. Did she never go to bed, or was she in bed all day? Think of Courtney Love or Kate Moss, grunge and heroin-chic, of girls who want to grow up

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LINER NOTES Clockwise from bottom left: at Marchesa’s show for spring 2015, eyes outlined with a thicker winged shape at the top; at Louis Vuitton, black swipes at different angles; a 1970s cat eye at Saint Laurent; black and gray liners blended to a point at the corners by the makeup artist Pat McGrath for Prada; a more graphic, bottom-heavy look at Céline.

early and look like they’ll die young. A few years ago, the beauty writer Cat Marnell adopted laissez-faire maquillage with professional intensity. You can’t go out into the world like this, not giving a damn, without some pride. When Nan Goldin’s downtown kids examine themselves in the mirror, it isn’t to fix their faces; it’s to admire what’s written there. Winged black eyeliner, by contrast, communicates mainly via shape, and demands precision: Whether you look inviting or imperious depends on the angle of the point, the breadth of the line, how etched or blurred the borders. In the 1950s, the model Jean Patchett wore it with a little upward flick at the corners. She looked elegant, fun, privately amused. Audrey Hepburn offers the classic example of a pristine, ladylike swoop. The

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: CATWALKPICTURES; INDIGITAL IMAGES (2); CATWALKPICTURES; FIRSTVIEW

Battle Ready


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On Beauty

DRAWN IN Clockwise from left: the eye makeup at Prada, only slightly smeared; Lancôme Artliner, for a precise liquid line, $31, lancome-usa.com; Dolce & Gabbana Glam Liner, to create a perfect wing, $35, sephora.com; Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel eyeliner, for a thick smudge, $25, bobbibrown cosmetics.com.

Winged eyeliner communicates via shape: h Whether you look inviting or imperious depends on the angle of the point, the breadth of the line, how etched or blurred the borders.

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se sense ense e off sca scale vanishes. Your skin folds unevenly under the pressure th press of the pencil or brush. This lid is more hooded, h ho oded that one less. The outer corner of one eye is slightly slight ht higher than the other. Is one whole eye higher? hi ig Should you respect the asymmetries or try to counteract them? tr The truth is it doesn’t matter much. No one else looks at your face in a magnifying mirror, clinically or otherwise. You’re at a distan distance or in motion or already beloved. War paint, however applied, has a cerem ceremonial purpose: to render the distinction between be the everyday person on n and the th warrior. Its application marks a transformation. tra These days I have the affect I wanted at 20: It takes zero ze effort to look tired. But I still like l to draw a line between be before and after, day and night. nigh ht. With a pencil and a simple black stroke stroke, you can step out of youth and a d int an into experience, or out of hiding and into battle.

A FINE LINE From Fro top: L’Oréal Paris the Blackbuster by Infallible eyeliner, for a heavier stroke across the eye, $9, lorealparisusa.com; MAC Cosmetics Fluidline in Blacktrack, to play with shape and density, $16, maccosmetics.com; Yves Saint Laurent Dessin du Regard eyeliner, best used for lining the inner eyelid, $30, yslbeautyus.com. Right: at Marchesa, lifting the brow to create an even plane for drawing on the lid.

SCHOHAJA (2); PRODUCTS: MARKO METZINGER (8)

heavy black stroke that weighed down Brigitte Bardot’s upper lids made her seem sleepy, abstracted. For the actresses of the French New Wave — Jean Seberg, Anna Karina — exactness, s, perversely, meant sex. On the runway this season, Louis ouis Vuitton’s models resembled dolls without b being eing cutesy: Their eyes were starlike, heavily ringed d in n black, blac ack, ac k the k, e lashes lashe es like rays. More than a few designers let eyeliner migrate from its usual location; the contours have gone interestingly awry. Miu Miu played down the bottom lid id and painted a clean stripe above the brow as if with a Sharpie. Prada did something similar but softer. Some of Céline’s pale girls wore smudgy liner mainly on the bottom lid, for an effect that was otherworldly, even ugly. ly. More than almost any other kind of makeup, eyeliner er redraws the face. Because the result is so dramatic, mistakes are a rite of passage. More than once, laboriously correcting one eye and then the other, the line getting progressively stubbier as I went over it, I colored my eyes so completely I could have been the twin of Pris, the replicant in ‘‘Blade Runner’’ who, preparing for battle, sprays a streak of black over her heavily powdered eyelids and the pale bridge of her nose. ‘‘How do I look?’’ she asks coquettishly. ‘‘You look beautiful,’’ says her nervous friend. The charcoal band makes the whites of her eyes gleam madly. I’d meant to recall Egyptian royalty and came out looking like a savage toy. We’re taught that symmetry is the source of beauty, that the facing pages of the face must be identical. But the hand is unsteady and the skin is an imperfect palette, especially the fragile plane of the eyelid. YouTube videos can be helpful. Drag the point of the pencil or brush as close as possible to the edge of the lashes, explain a host of patient girls; extend a mark from the eye’s outer corner; connect the two lines to make a triangle; now fill the triangle in. But the tutorials can’t tell you what’s wrong with your face. Two inches from the mirror, all


LIZZY JAGGER

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WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE Clockwise from left: Rankin in her sitting room with her pug, Lilah, below a painting of flowers by her daughter (bottom) and one of a dog by her husband, done when he was 14; whimsical fabric collages and ceramics in her studio; her Running Horse plate, two tea caddies and a Yellow Terrier plate, made in 2014.

Craft

Heavenly Creatures The artist Claudia Rankin harnesses the inner world of off-kilter animals in her quirky ceramics. BY HUGO GUINNESS PHOTOGRAPHS BY BENJAMIN M C MAHON

THE LONELY CAMEL and bad-tempered

bear plates called out to me as I crossed the threshold of the rather strict and discerning London gallery that sells Claudia Rankin’s ceramics (and my pictures). How could it have been otherwise? Only the heartless would be able to resist Rankin’s pottery. Brightly colored and a bit wonky, her creations remind me of the best efforts of a gifted yet slightly disturbed child, adorned as they are with a menagerie of animal characters simultaneously innocent and knowing. One can see traces of the spirits of Picasso

and Miró, whom Rankin cites as inspirations. She also admires the rather cheeky, conventionupending South African potter Hylton Nel, whose work, like her own, owes much to the very traditional Staffordshire pottery figurines made in England beginning in the 18th century. She loves how the faces of those clay animals were painted on at the end of the process, allowing for a certain spontaneity — quirk, really — and variability of features: ‘‘The key is to get a lot of expressiveness.’’ It is her talent for animating figures with emotion that has helped hook collectors. ‘‘She plays enough with shadows to stop things from being cute,’’ says Sophie Dahl, the writer and former model. She has given a sulky Rankin cat figurine a place of honor on a high shelf in her sitting room. ‘‘If Edward Gorey and Picasso had made a ceramic baby,’’ she says. ‘‘It would be him.’’ RANKIN, it turns out, lives precisely as

one might imagine: in a house in the North of England, near Scotland, that Dahl’s grandfather, the author Roald Dahl, could easily have conjured up. A drafty yet completely cozy 1780s Georgian, the place was divided in half

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— the original owner is said to have lodged his family on one side and his mistress on the other. The artist and her brood — a husband, three teenagers, three dogs and a tortoise called Rex — live in one half and have often tried to figure out where secret passageways between the two sides might have been. The space is filled with lusciously tattered furniture and art books. And everywhere is her own work, not only ceramics, but haunting watercolors and embroidered pillows, collages and painted fabric lampshades. Her studio, in an outbuilding in the garden, is close enough that she can hear her children come and go, but far enough for her to escape into the world of her creatures, great and small. Rankin’s love of color and her naïve yet refined sense of nature came early. Raised in London near the Victoria and Albert Museum, she lost afternoons wandering the textile and ceramic floors. And as a child, she puttered about her mother’s Oriental porcelain shop on Portobello Road. Her father, in advertising and film, collected stuffed owls. Rankin was trained as a sculptor, and her first love was casting in bronze, but once the children came, the length of the process (and the expense) made it impractical. Her husband, also an artist, had signed up for a teacher-training course that had pottery instruction, but midway through got a job and could no longer make it to class. Rankin went in his stead. She fell instantly in love with the medium, which so suited her smart yet homey aesthetic. ‘‘I found that I yearned to make things that people wanted to live with.’’ wilsonstephensandjones.com.


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Book Report

About Face From baroque homage to monochrome minimalism, the interior designer Anouska Hempel displays a remarkable ability to change course.

GRAND AMBITIONS Left: the sweeping double staircase of a house Hempel designed in the 18th-century style in Lichtenstein. Below: the entrance to Cole Park, her English country house.

BY TOM DELAVAN

up surrounded by it or in its complete absence. Those in the first group carry on with what is familiar, while those in the second teach themselves the elements of style so they can conjure something they long for. Anouska Hempel, the daughter of a New Zealand sheep farmer who once told her she ‘‘had some fancy ideas,’’ falls squarely in the latter camp. She is almost as known for her unconventional career path — from Bond girl to B-movie actress to hotelier to designer — as she is for her interiors. A new monograph on her work attempts to decode her complex style. A chapter on Hempel’s inspirations cites everything from ‘‘Water’’ and ‘‘Masculinity’’ to ‘‘Thailand and Color.’’ What makes this approach difficult is also what makes the book visually interesting — Hempel’s astonishing range, from the dark and moody neo-Classicism of Blakes, considered by many to be the first boutique hotel when it opened in 1978, to the stark whiteness of the Hempel, a row of townhouses near Hyde Park transformed into a shrine to minimalism in 1997. The variety of her work is equally apparent in her own homes. Cole Park, the country house she has shared with her husband of 34 years, the financier Sir Mark Weinberg, is dominated by shades of red and is layered with collections of Elizabethan paintings, Chinese pots and vintage chests, while her London townhouse features black interiors that contrast smartly with the lush green gardens of boxwoods, yews and camellias. Hempel has a recognizable style, an elusive mixture of discipline and romance, yet every project seems fresh. ‘‘I have a grasshopper mind,’’ she says, of her propensity to jump from one thing to the next, a quality that has served her well . . . and makes for inspiring imagery. ‘‘Anouska Hempel,’’ rizzoliusa.com.

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THE GOOD LIFE Clockwise from above: the black and gray Swan Suite at Blakes hotel in South Kensington; Hempel in 1970; the all-white Beluga Suite at the Hempel hotel near Hyde Park.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: ANDREAS VON EINSIEDEL/COURTESY OF RIZZOLI; CAMERON MAYNARD/COURTESY OF RIZZOLI; BRIAN ARIS/MIRRORPIX; KIM SWARTZ/COURTESY OF RIZZOLI; NICHOLAS D’ARCHIMBAUD/COURTESY OF RIZZOLI

IT SEEMS THAT PEOPLE with great taste either grow


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Book Report

Objects of Discretion The exceedingly private philanthropist Maja Hoffmann shares fragments of her exquisite personal collection of art and design. BY TOM DELAVAN

SKILLED EYE Clockwise from top left: her home in Arles; the art patron Maja Hoffmann; her home in Gstaad with Jean Royère armchairs, a George Nakashima coffee table and Glenn Brown’s photographs ‘‘The Dead (parts 1 to 3),’’ 1999; Hoffmann’s London flat with an untitled work by Cy Twombly and a Pierre Paulin lamp.

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after a nursery rhyme, a cumulative tale of a string of events in which, despite the repetitive mentions of his home, we never learn who Jack is. The subject of the book is the world-class collection of contemporary art assembled by the Hoffmann-La Roche heiress Maja Hoffmann, who would prefer, like Jack, to remain behind the scenes. It is refreshing to see someone in the ego-driven art world understate her role, but it is increasingly difficult for Hoffmann to maintain a low profile, as she has become one of the most important art patrons in the world, with projects that include a Frank Gehry-designed cultural center in Arles for the Luma Foundation, which she created to produce and show work that would otherwise not be realized. The book reflects her conflicting desires to share her art and convey the experience of living with it while still remaining private. Another kind of collector would be pictured proudly among her acquisitions in opulent settings, but Hoffmann is deliberately absent in the book, preferring to, as she says, ‘‘portray a very human environment without ever showing people in it.’’ Her homes seem incidental, appearing mostly in tightly cropped images, never identified and only mentioned in passing in the book’s afterword. With lush photography by François Halard and art direction by Beda Achermann, Hoffmann has created a poetic record of her collection that feels more like an art object than a conventional book. The text of the nursery rhyme is woven throughout in a font designed by the artist Rirkrit Tiravanija, injecting a note of humor and, according to Hoffmann, ‘‘removing all traces of vanity that a book showcasing one’s collection could entail.’’ ‘‘This Is the House That Jack Built’’ plays down Hoffmann’s actual houses while (like the nursery rhyme) conveying the centrality of the idea of home, yet one is struck by the breathtakingly original interiors furnished with the best examples of 20th-century design. Hoffmann’s eye for architecture and furniture is as discerning as it is for paintings, and she manages to create spaces where the art, despite its importance, doesn’t overshadow the life of a room. ‘‘This Is the House That Jack Built,’’ steidl.de.

PORTRAIT: WOLFGANG TILLMANS. INTERIOR IMAGES: FRANÇOIS HALARD (3)

‘‘THIS IS THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT’’ is a book named


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Brooklyn Eagle

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NUMBER OF YEARS HIS BROOKLYN BREWERY LOGO HAS BEEN IN USE

Number of years he’s been practicing design (He’s used a computer for 17 of them.)

By the Numbers

50

Years he’s worked in the same office

Milton Glaser

Milton Glaser, one of the world’s most celebrated graphic designers, may also be its most iconic. The illustrator, 85, established a cult following in the ’60s and ’70s with his now-ubiquitous ‘‘I NY’’ logo and as the co-founder of both New York magazine and the influential design firm Push Pin Studios, though his reach extends far beyond the Empire State. A classically trained artist who studied under the painter Giorgio Morandi, Glaser creates instantly recognizable images — like the psychedelic silhouette he made of Bob Dylan in 1966 — that blur the line between fine art and graphic design. He has conceived book jackets for Philip Roth, album covers for Nina Simone and branding for the Winter Olympics, and in 2009, he became the first graphic designer to receive the National Medal of the Arts. Here, a look at the indelible mark of Manhattan’s most colorful campaigner. — JEFF OLOIZIA

2

1968

Number of times he failed the entrance exam at Pratt Institute

Year he founded New York magazine with Clay Felker

0:20

FEMALE TO MALE RATIO OF GLASER’S STAFF IN 2015

LARGEST WORK: ‘‘Color Fuses,’’ a 627-foot-long mural that wraps around the Minton-Capehart Federal Building in Indianapolis

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NUMBER OF ALPHABETS HE’S CREATED

15

Free

Original price of his famous Bob Dylan poster, which was folded inside the singer’s $5.98 ‘‘Greatest Hits’’ record

$600 GOING RATE FOR THE DYLAN POSTER TODAY

GREATEST FEAR:

FEMALE TO MALE RATIO OF PUSH PIN’S STAFF IN 1970

AMOUNT HE CHARGED CLASSMATES FOR DRAWINGS OF NAKED WOMEN AT AGE 6

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP RIGHT: ROBERT WRIGHT; COURTESY OF MILTON GLASER INC. (2); DIGITAL IMAGE © THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART/LICENSED BY SCALA/ART RESOURCE, NY; COURTESY OF MILTON GLASER INC. (4)

Tiniest commission: A postage stamp

Name of the beer before Glaser convinced the company to change it to Brooklyn Brewery (‘‘I said, you can own the borough. You don’t have to own the bird.’’)

3:2

$2,000

Retirement

His fee for the ‘‘I NY’’ logo

$29 Million Est. amount the logo generates in merchandise sales each year (Glaser gets none, as he doesn’t own the trademark.) Original sketch

104,300 POSTERS OF HIS OWN DESIGN STORED IN HIS BASEMENT

CHICKEN FEET The first thing he learned to draw (They were his mother’s favorite food.)


Purism. Sensuality. Intelligence.

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Take Two

Zaha Hadid

Ricky Gervais

Pritzker Prize-winning starchitect whose mind-bending designs have earned her the nickname ‘‘Queen of the Curve.’’ Her first New York building, a condo overlooking ing the High Line, is currently under construction. uction.

Golden Globe-winning actor (and three-time host of the awards show), animal-rights activist and bathtub-selfie addict whose Netflix series ‘‘Derek’’ will air its final, feature-length episode on April 3.

It’s too literal. Get rid of the nest part and make the pieces inside, even n if they’re egg-y, less obvious. The concept ncept is nice, but it’s a bit corny.

It’s too jokey, like that ironic poster with the skeleton on the toilet. I’ve always imagined two people arguing, going through a divorce, with that skeleton in the background. How funny can something be every single day of your life?

These people did a similar chandelier at one of the design shows, but maybe it was a one-trick pony. This doesn’t travel well. The seeds had worked loose before I took it out of the box.

It was running around in circles in my flat. I think as an object it’s genius — a ‘‘smart’’ object. I saw something advertised as smart coffee the other day. I have no idea what that is. Maybe the beans were special.

Giant Bird’s B Nest A wooden frame f filled with egg-shaped poufs po for lounging on (about $4,200, g giantbirdsnest.com).

Dandelion Light Ligh An LED lamp by Studio Drift D made with the actual plant ($140, momastore.org). momastore.

Floor-Cleaning Robot The Scooba 450, which sweeps, scrubs and squeegees ($600, irobot.com).

It’s a nice idea to do plates like planets, though it would have been nicer if the surface glowed or something. I mean, I like the cosmos, but I’m not into it like some people I know.

It’s very spicy. It would be perfect for some friends of mine who love to eat spice with everything — Tabasco everywhere. But you can’t give it to a child; they’ll choke.

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Galactic Plates Diesel Living with Seletti’s Cosmic Diner collection (from $36, abchome.com).

Hot Sauce Ketchup with a sriracha kick ($8, sosusauces.com).

I was stressed by how precarious it is. Lights are already fragile, and now they’ve made one out of the most fragile thing on the planet. Why don’t they just make it out of breath?

I’m all for a labor-saving robot, but I’d like it to have a bit of attitude: ‘‘What is that? I am not cleaning that up. That’s the third time this week. You disgust me, you pig.’’

I’m in awe of the solar system, but I need a white plate so I know it’s clean when I put food on it. I do, however, applaud whoever came up with the idea to combine the cosmos with tea.

I’m really into spicy food. I’ve got a bit of machismo in me, like, I want to be able to say I finished a vindaloo, even if it means I had to lie down, thinking I was going to die. I love a challenging meal.

HADID: DAVID M. BENETT/GETTY IMAGES. GERVAIS: © FAYE SADOU/UPA./RETNA LTD./CORBIS. FROM TOP: OGE CREATIVE GROUP; MOMA DESIGN STORE; IROBOT CORPORATION; DIESEL; SOSU SAUCES

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In Fashion

Fringe Gone Wild Not the wispy embellishment of days past, but a full-on takeover of a garment by its trim. At last, the ornamental becomes essential. PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL WETHERELL STYLED BY JASON RIDER

Proenza Schouler top, $2,250, and skirt, $2,350, (212) 420-7300. Georg Jensen bracelet, $1,100, georgjensen.com. Vintage shoes (worn throughout), contemporarywardrobe.com.


Quality

In Fashion

Giorgio Armani dress, $4,595, (212) 988-9191. Vex Clothing jacket, price on request, voyeurorvex.com.

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The making of a new classic. Almost overnight, our midcentury-inspired Petrie sofa became a classic and is now one of the most sought-out designs in our collection. Benchmade exclusively for us at a family-owned workshop in North Carolina, its certified sustainable hardwood frame hosts comfortable cushions —each tufted, buttoned and tailored by hand in iconic ’60s style.


Quality

In Fashion

Meadham Kirchhoff dress, $3,860, Dover Street Market, (646) 837-7750. Craig Green jeans, $590, matchesfashion.com.

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| AGO Carlo Colombo 2014 | photo Alberto Tagliabue |

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Quality

In Fashion

Givenchy jacket, $4,650, and bodysuit, $875, givenchy.com.

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Squarely comfortable. Introducing the Bilsby Armchair by Matthew Hilton.

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Quality

In Fashion

Milly coat, $825, (212) 3959100. Matthew Adams Dolan jeans, $495, matthewadamsdolan.com.

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1945


Céline top, $950, and skirt, $5,200, bergdorfgoodman .com. Georg Jensen bracelet, $1,100.

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MODEL: LOTTIE HAYES AT SELECT MODEL MANAGEMENT. HAIR BY KEI TERADA AT JULIAN WATSON AGENCY. MAKEUP BY HIROMI UEDA USING DIORSKIN AT JULIAN WATSON AGENCY. MANICURE BY JENNI DRAPER AT PREMIER HAIR AND MAKEUP. SET DESIGN BY THEO POLITOWICZ AT THE MAGNET AGENCY. ON-SET PRODUCTION BY SYLVIA FARAGO LTD. CASTING BY ARIANNA PRADARELLI. PHOTOGRAPHER’S ASSISTANTS: CHRIS MILLER, SAM WILSON. DIGITAL: VICTORIA ZSCHOMMLER. STYLIST’S ASSISTANTS: LYDIA SIMPSON, ELLE BRITT. MAKEUP ASSISTANT: KAMILA FORINI. HAIR ASSISTANT: TAKUYA UCHIYAMA

Quality In Fashion


Quality Me and my two boys, Atticus (right) and Jackson, at home in Harlem with the artist-designed skateboard decks I worked on with Supreme. They’ll ride them to pieces even knowing that they’ve become highly collectible. More art should be like this. The artist Not Vital’s Sunset House in Niger. It’s neither sculpture nor architecture but simply a place to view the setting sun.

A photo of my sisters and me taken by my grandmother in 1966. Our pet tortoise made an appearance, one of the rare occasions it wasn’t hibernating.

Profile in Style

Neville Wakefield From the toy sailboats he made as a boy to the large-scale installations he’s overseen in his career, the art world curator credits his rural childhood and his own children for sharpening his keen aesthetic. BY STEPHEN SQUIBB

WHAT EXACTLY is Neville Wakefield’s actual job? It’s a question that the

52-year-old self-taught jack-of-all-creative-trades has been asked countless times. He’s interviewed artists for Vogue, organized shows for Mary Boone Gallery and PS1 and made pornos fetishizing contemporary art. And through it all, party photographers clock him for his offhandedly cool style. While he may have trouble concisely conveying what he does for a living, he can easily explain where it started: in an imposing stone house on the Isles of Scilly, just off the southwest coast of England, where his mother, a painter, and his father, an archaeologistturned-potter, taught Wakefield how to spot the difference between art and utilitarian craft. After university in London, while working toward a Ph.D. in philosophy and doing a bit of freelance set design, he met his future wife Camilla Nickerson, who was soon to become a trend-setting fashion stylist, on a musicvideo set for the ’80s British R&B group Soul II Soul in 1989. After helping to coordinate projects for London’s Frieze art fair for three years, he recently put together a weeklong exhibition in Gstaad called ‘‘Elevation 1049: Between Heaven and Hell’’ with installations by 28 artists, including Urs Fischer and Ugo Rondinone. Despite an affinity for masculine, industrial sculpture and his Porsche 964 Turbo, he insists that his most original creative impulses these days flow from his teenage sons with Nickerson (they separated in 2004). ‘‘They provide a boundless vitality,’’ he says, ‘‘and a perspective that sees possibility in anything and everything.’’

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‘‘The White Album’’ by Joan Didion. I interpret her writing as a seismograph, recording the faults and tremors of the cultural tectonic.

The house I grew up in, an 18th-century granite storehouse my grandmother bought and renovated in the ’30s.

My father in his pottery studio in 1985. He made everything on the wheel, from the plates we ate on to the vessels we drank from.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: NOT VITAL, ‘‘HOUSE TO WATCH THE SUNSET,’’ 2005, ALADAB, NIGER/PHOTOGRAPH: NOT VITAL; MAVI STAIANO; MATTHEW BARNEY, ‘‘DE LAMA LÂMINA,’’ 2004/2009, INSTALLATION VIEW: CENTRO DE ARTE CONTEMPORÂNEA INHOTIM, BRUMADINHO, BRAZIL/PHOTO: DAVID REGEN/COPYRIGHT MATTHEW BARNEY/COURTESY GLADSTONE GALLERY, NEW YORK AND BRUSSELS; COURTESY OF NEVILLE WAKEFIELD (3); VIOLET WAKEFIELD

Matthew Barney’s repurposed deforestation truck, caged in a geodesic dome in the Brazilian jungle. It speaks to me of our constant battle with nature.


FIRST ROW: COURTESY OF NEVILLE WAKEFIELD; JIMMIE DURHAM, ‘‘STILL LIFE WITH SPIRIT AND XITLE,’’ 2007/COLLECTION CESAR CERVANTES, MEXICO DF/COURTESY OF THE ARTIST AND CHRISTINE KÖNIG GALERIE, VIENNA; COURTESY OF NEVILLE WAKEFIELD. SECOND ROW: HUGO FRANÇA, ‘‘AÇUÃ’’ SETTEE, 2008/PHOTOGRAPH BY SHERRY GRIFFIN/R & COMPANY; ANDREA MUCELLI; ARI MARCOPOULOS. THIRD ROW: COURTESY OF NEVILLE WAKEFIELD; JOHN MCCRACKEN, ‘‘MAGIC,’’ 2008, NAPA VALLEY, CALIFORNIA/© THE ESTATE OF JOHN MCCRACKEN/COURTESY OF DAVID ZWIRNER, NEW YORK/LONDON. FOURTH ROW: COURTESY OF NEVILLE WAKEFIELD (2); ADRIAN GAUT

Jimmie Durham’s ‘‘Still Life with Spirit and Xitle,’’ 2007. One of the unsung heroes of American art showing how the auto industry is caught between a rock and a hard place. Me at age 6. When we weren’t sailing boats as kids, we were making models of them, like this Dutch barge I built.

My mom taking us to school in our donkey cart — we didn’t have a car. For everyone else it was cute, but for us it offered strength through humiliation.

Lingotto Torino, Italy. Part building, part racetrack. I love the perfect industrial architectural mirage of production as recreation.

Hugo França’s ‘‘Açuã’’ settee. I’ve always been drawn to works that sit somewhere between art and design.

My favorite photo of my youngest son Jackson, taken at a time when we all had the same haircut, but he’d lost his two front teeth.

Part of my father’s collection of sperm whale bones that washed up on the islands. This was our version of outdoor sculpture.

Olivier Mosset’s ‘‘Toblerone’’ ice sculpture at ‘‘Elevation 1049’’ in Gstaad, 2014. I’ve always been drawn to simple monolithic forms exposed to the elements.

‘‘Magic,’’ John McCracken, 2008. For me, he put the mystery back in Minimalism. It’s like meeting a stranger g who you can never know or forget.

‘‘Playboy Marfa,’’ 2013, a collaboration between myself and Richard Phillips. Letting the bunny loose on these hallowed grounds revealed much about the enduring power of an icon and the sanctimony it still provokes.

Richard Prince’s 1995 ‘‘Adult ult Action Comedy Drama’’ was as the inspiration for the fashion book I did with Camilla in the ’90s. 0s.

March 29, 2015

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Quality

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Handmade Ceramics Glazed pottery in soft colors, crafted by a person, not a machine, makes everyday acts special occasions.

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Clockwise from top: Astier de Villatte vase, $385, abchome.com. Brickett Davda bowl, $130, brickettdavda .com. Christiane Perrochon porcelain shell bowl, $88, christianeperrochon .com. Crate & Barrel Marin blue salad plate, $8, crateandbarrel.com. Design Within Reach Granit teacup and saucer (not pictured), $34, dwr.com.


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Sculptural Storage Spirals and towers with a mix of closed and open spaces turn shelves into objects, appealing even when empty.

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From left: Cassina Plurima, $11,475, cassina.com. ABC Carpet & Home Buro, $495, abchome.com. Poltrona Frau Albero, $16,530, poltronafrau.com.


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From top: Larsen Whisper in ecru, price upon request, cowtan.com. Maharam Salon in Island, $83 per yard, maharam.com. Schumacher Prestwick in charcoal, price upon request, fschumacher.com.


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Quality 2

In the Air

Latin Glamour Modern architects, artists and designers find inspiration in the colorful, sensuous landscapes and indigenous genous flora of the region south of the border. 3

BY CAROLINA IRVING, MIGUEL FLORES-VIANNA S-VIANNA AND CHARLOTTE DI CARCACI

1

7

8

4 10 THERE ARE MORE than 20 countries in Latin

6 11

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America, each with its own unique culture, but they are united by their Romance languages, 5 their geography — and the designs of the region. Michael Eastman’s photograph of a Havana townhouse, ‘‘Green Interior’’ 1999-2002 (1), captures res the hallucinatory green and acid pink of the prickly ckly pear, also the inspiration for the 2009 Louis XV chair air by Mexican-born designer Valentina Gonzalez Wohlers ohlers (2). A relative of that fruit, the nopal cactus is a symbol ymbol of the founding of Tenochtitlán, capital of the ancient Aztec tec empire, where the quetzal bird’s feathers formed the crown of Moctezuma tezuma II (3). The bird’s trippy green runs through Delpozo’s crocodilian-scale dilian-scale pattern (4) and the vinelike 18-karat gold, emerald and bamboo boo earrings of the Brazilian designer Silvia Furmanovich (5). Precious cious objects like this gold pre-Columbian shell (6) were abundant before the arrival of the Spanish Conquistadors in the 15th century — but just as the 1960s Tropicália movement reimagined Carmen Miranda, the Brazilian samba singer, as a beloved cultural icon (7), so have various Latin American artists made gold their own: See Argentine-born artist Lucio Fontana’s gold, egg-shaped canvas, from his 1963-4 ‘‘The End of God’’ series (8). A red Incan tapestry (9) — and a jumpsuit by Ulyana Sergeenko (10) — would be right at home at the Palácio Quitandinha in Petrópolis, Brazil (11), decorated by Dorothy Draper in a mix of Art Deco and Norman styles.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP RIGHT: ©ALEXANDRE MENEGHINI/AP/CORBIS; DELPOZO; ©MICHAEL EASTMAN/COURTESY EDWYNN HOUK GALLERY, NEW YORK; COURTESY OF SILVIA FURMANOVICH; ULYANA SERGEENOKO COUTURE; ROMULO FIALDINI; BARAKAT GALLERY; PRIVATE COLLECTION/SOTHEBY’S LONDON; MUSEUM OF RED RIVER, IDABEL, OK, GIFT OF RONALD MOORE; NAXOS RIGHTS INTERNATIONAL LIMITED; VALENTINA GONZALEZ WOHLERS ©2015

9


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Quality

In The Air 14

12 AULA MAGNA AUDITORIUM, designed in 1952-3 by Carlos Raúl Villanueva in the University City of Caracas, is characterized by swooping shapes that mimic the curves of Venezuela’s topography. Alexander Calder’s acoustic panels float from the ceiling like flying saucers (12); the model in Schiaparelli’s space-age spring 2015 dress might have emerged from one of them (13). The Brazilian Modernist Oscar Niemeyer intended his 164-foot-wide UFO-shaped Museum of Contemporary Art in Niterói to emerge ‘‘from the ground,’’ like a flower (14). The table of the artist Carol Gay, also from Brazil, is made from gemlike agates (15); repeating circles occur as well in the bottle-top pointillism of Molly B. Right’s ‘‘Virgin Mary’’ (16). This ‘‘Les Pêcheurs’’ tapestry from 13 the French Gobelins Manufactory, suppliers to Louis XIV, was based on drawings by Albert Eckhout and Frans Post after a mid-17th-century expedition to Brazil. A window onto another world for curious Europeans, it embroidered the truth in earthy colors (17). Altuzarra’s robe for spring 2015 delicately bared the skin under what looked like vintage silk and lace (18). The model resembled a goddess — or a less ethereal version of the Mexican film star Dolores del Río (19). During Peru’s colonial period, the Spanish sent a group of artists to Cusco to convert the Incas to Catholicism; their painted martial angels were dressed like Spanish aristocrats (20). For spring, Delpozo sent their own warrior angel down the runway. Bold and sculptural, she looked like the future (21).

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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: ALESSANDRO BALTEO YAZBECK/COURTESY GALERIE MARTIN JANDA, WIEN; COURTESY OF SCHIAPARELLI; MARCELA GRASSI; CAROL GAY; MOLLY B. RIGHT; EVERETT COLLECTION; DELPOZO; PRIVATE COLLECTION COURTESY OF ROBERT SIMON FINE ART, NEW YORK; ALTUZARRA; FISHERMAN, MANUFACTURE ROYALE DES GOBELINS, ALBERT ECKHOUT, FRANS JANSZ POST, C.1692-C.1723

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Quality

The Thing The new Slim d’Hermès is an expression of luxurious minimalism. Unlike timepieces designed to measure your steps while tracking your pace, the French house has created a line of watches for both men and women — its first series in over 20 years — that marks the passing of time in the most spare and elegant way. Enclosed in a slender rose gold case, the luminescent dial of the watch shown here features numerals custom-created by Philippe Apeloig, a well-regarded French graphic designer. (Apeloig is also behind the signage for Jean Nouvel’s upcoming Louvre Abu Dhabi.) A sapphire crystal case back reveals the ultrathin automatic movement, manufactured at the prestigious Swiss watchmaker Vaucher, now owned in part by Hermès. As befits a company that started out making leather harnesses for European noblemen in 1837, the hand-stitched Havana alligator strap receives the same attention to detail as does a Kelly bag. Valuing creativity and craftsmanship above all, Hermès shows how perfect simple can be. Slim d’Hermès watch, $18,500, hermes.com. — RACHEL GARRAHAN

PHOTOGRAPH BY JOANNA M C CLURE

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Quality

Another Thing Le Corbusier designed the LC2 chair in 1928, but its defining moment didn’t come until 51 years later, in a famous 1979 commercial by Maxell audio in which a slouching young man in aviator shades is nearly blown out of the seat by a gust of high fidelity. Little wonder he stayed put: The LC2 brings a distinctly modern profile to down-cushioned comfort. Now Cassina, which has licensed Le Corbusier’s furniture since 1964, has reached into the archives for five new frame colors, including arresting shades of blue and green, developed with the help of the two people who inspired the architect to start making his own furniture in the first place: his cousin and business partner, Pierre Jeanneret, and their collaborator, the incomparable Charlotte Perriand. Eighty-seven years after its creation, it’s still a chair you don’t want to get out of. LC2 chair, cassina.com; Richmond fabric (on floor), Cowtan &Tout, cowtan.com.

PROP STYLIST: AMY HENRY AT CLM

PHOTOGRAPH BY JOANNA M C CLURE

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Quality

On the Verge

New Talent, New Work The next generation of American designers is experimenting with form — inspired by everything from organic shapes in nature to the funky geometries of postmodernism. BY MONICA KHEMSUROV PHOTOGRAPHS BY DANIEL SHEA

CLASSICAL DISORDER Matthew Sullivan in a warehouse space at his Los Angeles studio, surrounded by his work, including tables with fluted columns, a zigguratinspired bench, slabs of marble and playful objects that reference the Italian design movement Memphis from the 1980s.

I

N HIS HOME BASE of L.A.,

where midcentury modern still reigns supreme, Matthew Sullivan, 38, admits he hasn’t had an easy time finding an audience for his eccentric furniture line, Al Que Quiere. He had his first show at the well-regarded JF Chen gallery, but ‘‘art-furniture is a very hard thing to sell, especially here,’’ he says. Yet in certain circles, especially those that are hip to the ’80s Memphis group revival, he enjoys the kind of cult status other designers would envy — the creative directors at the art magazine Toiletpaper, for example, recently used his pieces in an ad campaign for Kenzo. They’re drawn to the way he marries references to Greek columns and ziggurats with simple materials like wood and marble, creating ‘‘a more palatable version of Memphis that can harmonize with any interior style.’’ aqqdesign.com

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Quality

On the Verge

RIGHT ANGLES Clockwise from right: Syrette Lew among her designs in her Williamsburg studio; a paper palm-frond study for a lamp; a plywood and marble step bookshelf; her A-Framed Mirror.

A

FTER EIGHT YEARS of

designing furniture for West Elm, Syrette Lew, 35, opened her own design studio, Moving Mountains. For her first pieces, she looked to the past, playing with color and proportion to come up with her own version of the Windsor chair, and pairing natural materials with zigzag lines and confettipatterned marquetry for a warmer, more functional take on the historical riffing of postmodernism.

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This spring, she tackles neoClassical forms and Hollywood Regency. ‘‘I envision the pieces whisking you away to some contemporary parallel of ancient Rome,’’ she muses. The common denominator: Lew’s strong use of pattern, which has also helped her break free from anonymity. ‘‘In this day and age, everyone’s a furniture designer,’’ she says. ‘‘Your work has to be graphic to stand out.’’ mvngmtns.com


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Quality

On the Verge

BRONZE AGE Clockwise from right: Steven Haulenbeek in his Chicago studio with pieces from his Ice-Cast Bronze series; an unfinished basket hangs on a brick wall; his Double Candle Holder and other ice-cast objects.

W

HILE HE WAS a

sculpture undergrad outside Grand Rapids, Mich., Steven Haulenbeek, 35, also got an informal education in design — Steelcase, Herman Miller and Haworth are all based in the area. Haulenbeek had designed with mass production in mind until he discovered the process of casting metal inside molds carved from ice — and began a transition into design-art. His Ice-Cast Bronze series is now a singular focus; during New York Design Week in May, he plans to show the results of various experimental techniques he’s used to create the curiously wrinkled vases and tables, including pouring hot casting wax into frozen pockets of Lake Michigan. The project seems to be a case of art imitating life: ‘‘The best parts of the work are the parts that I don’t plan, they just happen naturally,’’ he says. stevenhaulenbeek.com

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Quality

On the Verge

D

YLAN DAVIS AND JEAN LEE, both 32, like to joke that

they’ve invented their own design movement: ‘‘It’s called ‘Shapeism,’ ’’ laughs Lee. When the Seattle-based couple founded Ladies & Gentlemen Studio in 2011, some of their early works arose from compositions they’d created with vintage geometric children’s blocks, and they’ve since become known for applying the motif to everything from wind chimes to sleek aluminum desk lamps. Working with elementary forms, explains Davis, has enabled the pair to keep their process playful, even as their designs grow in sophistication and complexity — they recently debuted a large-scale brass, copper and aluminum mobile, and their new Shape Up chandelier incorporates a pulley and counterweight to adjust the height. The risk of having such a recognizable aesthetic, of course, is the tendency to be pigeonholed, but Davis and Lee aren’t deterred: ‘‘Some designers have one specific material that speaks to them,’’ says Lee. ‘‘For us, it’s shapes.’’ ladiesandgentlemenstudio.com.

BUILDING BLOCKS Clockwise from top: Jean Lee and Dylan Davis in their Seattle studio; shelves with ‘‘balance studies’’ and their Forward/ Slash lamp (top left); a mobile prototype.

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Quality

Food Matters

Eat, Memory The poet Elizabeth Alexander’s memoir recounts her romance with her late husband, but it also tells the story of their romance with food. In her Manhattan home, the tastes and scents of their shared life linger. BY JEFF GORDINIER PHOTOGRAPHS BY ALPHA SMOOT

CURATED KEEPSAKES Among the mementos on an altar Elizabeth Alexander set up in honor of her late husband, the artist Ficre Ghebreyesus, who died in 2012, are wood block paintings, a pill tin with marbles from her father, a Mexican milagros cross and a pair of papier-mâché masks.

ELIZABETH ALEXANDER PLACES a black

puck of charcoal on top of the blue flame of her kitchen stove. Within seconds, sparks blaze and scurry across the surface of the charcoal like the electrical grid of a city lurching back to life after a blackout. When the ink-dark ember is sufficiently hot, she removes it from the flame with a pair of tongs, slides it into a small bowl and covers it with a miniature cairn of frankincense tears. The ‘‘tears,’’ which are pebbles of compressed fragrance, sizzle away into upward-swerving ribbons of smoke. As she basks in the scent — a scent that has deep roots in East Africa, a scent said to be so calming and healing that it was among the gifts the Magi brought to the cradle of the infant Jesus — she carries the plate around her high-rise apartment on Manhattan’s West Side and lets the incense permeate every room.

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‘‘It’s like blessing a space,’’ says Alexander, an acclaimed poet and a professor at Yale (she chaired the African-American Studies Department for four years), who is perhaps best known for reciting her poem ‘‘Praise Song for the Day’’ at President Barack Obama’s first inauguration. ‘‘Meanwhile, the coffee’s ready.’’ In Eritrea, the African coastal nation where Alexander’s late husband, Ficre Ghebreyesus, had grown up, this incense ritual often goes hand in hand with a communal coffee ritual, and you’re supposed to sit patiently through both for the amount of time that it takes to prepare and sip three small cups of coffee — to do otherwise would be rude. Ghebreyesus eventually fled Eritrea, and he found solace in returning to such peaceful reminders of his strife-torn homeland. ‘‘Even if you’ve lost everything, you can still do coffee and incense,’’ Alexander says. For her, the ache of loss comes

T: The New York Times Style Magazine

from a different source, but the solace is the same. She drifts from room to room, savoring the scent. ‘‘The smoke clings a little bit,’’ she says. ‘‘I just think it’s the most beautiful thing.’’ Alexander’s latest book, ‘‘The Light of the World,’’ is an elegy that records, in hypnotic waves of love and grief, how her life was transformed when she met Ghebreyesus in the spring of 1996 — and how it passed through yet another metamorphosis, in the spring of 2012, when he collapsed from a heart attack on an exercise treadmill at their home in New Haven, Conn. If there is a romantic subplot in the book, it’s the story of their mutual love for food over their 15-year marriage, of how recipes and rituals of eating animated their time together. Food makes an appearance on seemingly every other page: Italian pastries and espresso in the East Village, figs in a backyard garden, Easter bread baked with hard-boiled eggs. ‘‘It was a house where Ficre made red lentils, and spicy beef stew, and Bolognese, and the curried vegetable stew alitcha, and I made eggplant parmigiana and chicken cotoletta Milanese in the manner he taught me, and pesto from basil in the garden, and blueberry kuchen and chocolate Pavlova and chocolate chip cookies with sea salt sprinkled on top,’’ she writes. Although Alexander and Ghebreyesus hailed from different streams of the African diaspora (he was an Eritrean judge’s son who became a refugee from war and suffering in East Africa; she was the daughter of a White House civil rights advisor to President Johnson), they quickly achieved that most enviable of bonds, a happy marriage. She relished his steadying presence, and Ghebreyesus, a chef and painter, ‘‘loved having company in the studio — my company,’’ she says. To hear others describe it, their home in New Haven was part sanctuary, part salon, part atelier. ‘‘It seemed to be a space where they created beautiful things — food and babies and art,’’ says Farah Jasmine Griffin,


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Quality

Food Matters SACRED MEMORIES Clockwise from far left: a photograph of Ghebreyesus circa 1970; an Eritrean incense burner; an untitled painting by Ghebreyesus; the couple on their wedding day in 1997; with baby Solomon Solo in 1998; at their ffinal Christmas together toge in 2011.

a professor fessor at Columbia lumbia University, ersity, and one ne of Alexander’s ander’s close friends. ds. (The couple had two wo sons together, Solomon mon and Simon, now 16 and 15.) In person, rson, Alexander comes across as sociall and gregarious, gregarious with a light-up-theroom, superwoman bearing, but she can also be wary and tightly wound. She seems to have found her ideal counterpart in Ghebreyesus. Friends of theirs remember him as almost egoless — patient, quiet, a lover of gardening and reading and cooking, comfortable in his own skin, content with letting Alexander own the spotlight. In 1992, with two of his brothers, Ghebreyesus opened Caffé Adulis in New Haven, a city then largely dominated by red-sauce Italian joints. Almost overnight, Adulis turned into a buzzy gathering spot for both locals and Yale faculty members, and the food drew the attention of the New York Times reporter and gadabout R. W. Apple. Alexander includes in the memoir a recipe for shrimp barka, an unlikely mélange of shrimp, basmati rice, sliced dates, shredded coconut, chopped tomatoes and grated Parmesan that wound up becoming the cafe’s mythical house specialty. ‘‘People said they literally dreamed of it,’’ Alexander writes. Such was the local obsession with shrimp barka that new mothers would call Caffé Adulis from the maternity wards of New Haven and ask to have the dish delivered to their hospital beds. Early in their relationship, Ghebreyesus brought a dish of shrimp barka home to Alexander: ‘‘I thought, ‘I have never tasted anything like this in my life. This is the most delicious thing I have eaten in all my days.’ ’’

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A similar state of delight appe appears to have endured long after her opening flush of courtship cour with Ghebreyesus (‘‘When we first became lovers, we enter entered a three-day, three-night vortex’’), and it’s the three-nigh bliss of the their domestic Eden that gives the tra tragedy at the center of ‘‘The Light o of the World’’ its centrifugal force: Elizabeth Alexander found the right man, but lost him in an instant. ‘‘His big heart burst,’’ as she describes his death in the book. She was devastated. ‘‘I cried so hard I woke myself,’’ she writes, remembering a dream in which Ghebreyesus returned and held her hand. ‘‘My bed, the bedroom, the house, was suffused with sorrow. Sorrow like vapor, sorrow like smoke, sorrow like quicksand, sorrow like an ocean, sorrow louder and fuller than the church songs, sorrow everywhere with nowhere to go.’’ Although the memoir was wrenching to write, eventually she pushed through and finished it. ‘‘Part of what was beautiful about writing the book was that I was with him,’’ she says. The result feels classic and universal, as it ebbs and flows unpredictably between memory and mourning. Alexander’s poetry, in books like ‘‘The Venus Hottentot’’ and ‘‘American Sublime,’’ is known for being big-hearted and accessible; her bracing, clarifying essays in ‘‘The Black Interior’’ force us to see black artistry, such as the films of Denzel Washington or the paintings of Jean-Michel Basquiat, from fresh perspectives. But ‘‘The Light of the World’’ is almost guaranteed to find a larger audience than have her verse or her scholarly endeavors. ‘‘That really makes me happy,’’ she says, as she sits on the couch at home, beneath clusters of family photographs and shelves of books. ‘‘I

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want my work to reach people. What is human is that we suffer — that’s the damn truth. But what’s also human is the way that we survive.’’ It would be easy to say that completing the memoir led Alexander to that state of mind so sanctified by talk-show hosts — closure — but that would also be glib and incorrect. Her late husband’s habits and creations continue to surround her. His presence clings, like the frankincense, and you get the feeling that she’s not ready to let the smoke dissipate. Later tonight, she’ll head downtown to Bond Street for a rib-eye steak and truffled pasta and a good bottle of red wine at Il Buco, their favorite date spot, but for now, in her West Side apartment, she moves from room to room like a museum docent, telling the stories behind each of his paintings. ‘‘With the canvasses, sometimes I touch them because it’s like, ‘This was his hand, his DNA’s in there.’ ’’ In the cupboards of her kitchen, she has the implements for that Eritrean coffee ceremony: the long-handled bean-roasting pot known as a menkeshkesh, the long-spouted clay brewing kettle called a jebena. And she could go through the stations of the coffee ritual, yes, but there would be something weird about demonstrating it for a solitary visitor, something staged and artificial — ‘‘it would be like putting on a dashiki,’’ she says. When she honors the memory of her partner, she continues to insist that every gesture be authentic.

CAFFÉ ADULIS’S SHRIMP BARKA 4 tablespoons olive oil 3 medium red onions, thinly sliced 4 to 6 cloves garlic, minced 5 very ripe and juicy tomatoes, chopped coarsely Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil (1 bunch) 15 pitted dates (1/2 cup), cut crosswise in thirds 3 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut 1/2 cup half-and-half 1 pound medium shrimp (16 to 20), shelled and deveined 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese 2 1/2 cups cooked basmati rice 1. In a large, heavy pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, and sauté until wilted, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, and continue sautéing, stirring frequently to prevent sticking, for 2 minutes longer. wStir in the tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cover, and cook for about 5 minutes. 2. Add basil, dates and coconut, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 5 more minutes. Add the half-and-half, cover, and cook for 3 minutes. 3. Add shrimp to sauce. Cook, covered, until shrimp turn pink, about 5 minutes. Stir in cheese and then the rice, and serve immediately. Serves 4


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SOUND OF SILENCE Sam Shahid in the living room of his three-story home in Greenwich Village.

By Design AS AN ART DIRECTOR, Sam Shahid composes

pictures that make you stop and look: a young couple, nude, on the back of an elephant; a tangle of men engaged in a game of sexual Twister. His provocative advertisements for Calvin Klein, Banana Republic and Abercrombie & Fitch stirred controversy throughout the ’80s and ’90s, paving the way for a more open-minded approach to branding and inspiring countless imitators drawn to his spare aesthetic. Shahid, in his uniform of

Behind Closed Doors Bombarded by imagery all day at work, the renowned advertising provocateur Sam Shahid comes home to, well, very little. BY CATHY HORYN PHOTOGRAPHS BY FRANÇOIS HALARD

khakis and a crisp white shirt, describes his style as American Pure. ‘‘I always use the words ‘simplicity’ and ‘direct,’ ’’ he says. To enter Shadid’s three-story prewar apartment in Greenwich Village is to understand those words, and to get the sense that success has bought him something else: silence. In a way, it is a reaction to the demanding whirl of fashion. He has created a nearly empty setting in which even his most soul-satisfying possessions — books, art — are

March 29, 2015

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By Design ROOM WITH A VIEW Left: Shahid’s dining room table with an Apple glass vase by Ingeborg Lundin and Lynn Davis’s ‘‘Tomb, Palmyra, Syria’’ photograph on the floor. Below: in his bedroom closet (from left), a Joe Brainard gouache painting, Mats Gustafson’s ‘‘A. J.’’ watercolor, a painting titled “White Roses” by Jack Ceglic, Shahid’s ‘‘Beau’’ photograph and a German porcelain figurine designed by Karl Tutter.

banished from sight behind doors that blend seamlessly with the walls. It’s as though he has chosen to contain his passions in order to clear his head and, at the same time, draw out the openness of the space. Pausing in the entrance hall, he opens a closet door, saying, innocently, ‘‘As you know, storage is a real problem in New York . . .’’ There, resting on a ledge above his mud boots, is a sublime Chinese terra-cotta horse illuminated from above. The pleasure of looking at the horse seems both temporal and private. Shahid closes the door. Grinning, he says, ‘‘Friends come by and say, ‘Art in the closet?’ Yes, because I don’t always want to see it. I want it to be a surprise.’’ A similar experience occurs in Shahid’s bedroom, on the second floor. Groups of dazzling photographs — by Walker Evans, George Platt Lynes, Bruce Weber and Larry Clark, among others — are arranged above his shirts and trousers, dozens of nearly identical styles. (The shirts, by the way, are all hung on purple wire hangers from Meurice Garment Care. Leave it to an art director to turn a throwaway into a virtue.) The few art pieces that he keeps out, including a Warhol drawing in the guest bedroom, are left on the floor. ‘‘At

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‘Friends come by and say, ‘‘Art in the closet?’’ Yes, because I don’t always want to see it. I want it to be a surprise.’


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OUT OF SIGHT Clockwise from left: the closet inside Shahid’s third-floor reading room; among the works stored inside the flat-file cabinet are Todd Hido’s ‘‘A Road Divided’’ and a limited-edition portfolio of photographs from Bob Colacello’s ‘‘Out’’; Shahid’s reading room includes a custom table, a pair of Paul Kjaerholm chairs and a Richard Prince drawing.

It’s as though he contains his passions in order to clear his head and, at the same time, draw out the openness of the space.

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work, I have so much stuff around me,’’ Shahid explains. ‘‘And then you come here and it’s serene, calm.’’ This strict aesthetic applies throughout the apartment, from the streamlined kitchen to the shower taps in the master bath. A Southerner from Birmingham, Ala., Shahid is warm, quick and a little outrageous. ‘‘The day I was born, I think I knew I was coming to New York,’’ he says. That determination to craft a singular style, and a life, is powerfully evident in the stillness of his home. Except for a select few, like a Lee Friedlander monograph, opened on a woodand-steel dining table by the Danish designer Poul Kjaerholm, his books are behind doors, arranged on shelves. He got the idea to leave open a picture book on a table or a bed, he says, from his friend Calvin Klein. The picture-perfect effect is very similar to the magic of framing, which photographers and set designers understand. Seen from the dining area, the living room, with its arrangement of Kjaerholm chairs and a wash of sunlight, is more than minimalist; it is like a well-edited photo. ‘‘What’s amazing to me on a shoot is all the garbage around — stuff here, stuff over there — and then you frame it,’’ he says. ‘‘And all of a sudden you look at just that moment.’’ I suppose a visitor could get carried away exploring the apartment’s Japanese puzzle-box surprises and lose sight of its real quality, which is that behind many of the lacquered paneled walls, there is actually a fully functional room. Press one wall, and it opens into a guest room. Press another to reveal a beautiful marble bathroom. Whereas the two lower floors act as a typical apartment, the third floor is something of a folly. Shahid told his architect David Piscuskas


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By Design WHITE BOX Clockwise from left: Some of Shahid’s art, including a Jack Pierson photograph, in a front hall closet; a bathroom with Spanish limestone floor and travertine sink; the master bedroom, with a Calvin Klein cashmere blanket, Italian white marble bowls and a drawing by Mats Gustafson (right) opposite another Jack Pierson photograph.

Shahid didn’t want a place that felt like a home. ‘I wanted a hotel,’ he says with a laugh, ‘without the feeling of transience.’ that he wanted a kind of work space on top. ‘‘Then David said, ‘I think you want to be able to climb up into a cloud in the sky,’ ’’ Shahid recalls. That’s how it feels: airy, light, apart. ‘‘This is where I like to be private and read.’’ The most inspiring thing about Shahid’s trilevel dream is that it’s a testament to the power of collaboration. Shahid gave Piscuskas, one of the founding principals of 1100 Architect, with whom he’d already worked on his downtown offices, free reign to interpret a handful of references. One was Tadao Ando; another, of course, was Kjaerholm. Shahid also specified that he didn’t want to see a single lamp — ‘‘I’m not big on lamps,’’ he says — hence the indirect lighting throughout the apartment. He also insisted, rather obliquely, that he didn’t want a place that felt like a home. ‘‘I wanted a hotel,’’ he says with a laugh, ‘‘without the feeling of transience.’’ But a home is precisely what he ended up with. As the art director and I walk around the top floor, poking into cabinets, I casually wonder if he might one day undertake a new place, since this project was so satisfying. Then, too, judging by the ever-shifting contents of his closets, his moods do seem to change a lot. ‘‘No,’’ he says, shaking his head vigorously. But then his eyes begin to twinkle. ‘‘Unless I find a Cy Twombly.’’ He couldn’t display that alongside the galoshes.

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Arena NO FILTER Lucas, who prefers to work ‘‘on the fly’’ rather than in a permanent studio, at her temporary workspace in London, where she is preparing for the British Council’s commission at the Venice Biennale in May of this year.

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How to Be Both Vulgar and restrained, loud and retiring, straight-up and mysterious. On the undiminished charisma of Sarah Lucas, the former rude girl of British art. BY OLIVIA LAING PORTRAIT BY JUERGEN TELLER

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D

RIVING TO Sarah Lucas’s

house in Hackney, East London, it struck me that the core elements of her sculpture could be gleaned right here, from the notably ungentrified scattering of greengrocers and kebab shops that line the nearby Essex Road. Lucas has made artwork from Marlboro Lights cigarettes, painstakingly gluing them over toilets, garden gnomes and wrecked cars. She has stuffed pairs of women’s tights to create limp and leggy figures she calls ‘‘Bunnies.’’ But she is best known for the bleakly humorous assemblages she made in the 1990s, partly inspired by her reading of the work of the American feminist Andrea Dworkin, and constructed from furniture, fruit and vegetables or bits of dried and rotting meat. For ‘‘Bitch,’’ in 1995, she stretched a white T-shirt over a table in a simulacrum of a bending body, two melons sagging from where its chest would be. At the business end, a vacuum-packed kipper dangles from a nail. Melons and fish: a crude synecdoche of a woman reduced to her sexual organs, yes, but also an exercise in minimalism, an experiment in how little you need to ignite the whole grim psychodrama of gender and sexuality. Like many of Lucas’s works, ‘‘Bitch’’ possesses a visceral intelligence vastly greater than the sum of its parts. It is difficult to say why one artist and not another should be able to imbue a form or collection of objects with his or her own singular energy. Lucas herself is not sure how it happens — knowing only that some combinations have a simplicity and elegance about them. Daring

Damien Hirst has called Lucas the greatest artist he knows, comparing her talent for putting everyday things together with Picasso’s. ‘She’s the opposite to me in the way she makes art, and I envy that.’

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SIMPLE INGREDIENTS Clockwise from left: Lucas’s self-portrait, ‘‘Eating a Banana,’’ made in 1990, when the artist was a member of the group later known as the YBAs; ‘‘Bitch,’’ 1995, a physical pun on the female form; ‘‘Au Naturel,’’ 1994, made from near-at-hand components, including an old bucket salvaged from the street.

must come into it too, as must a kind of transference of power from artist to material and an ability to snap the familiar out of context. In Lucas’s famous self-portraits of the 1990s, she is accompanied by quotidian objects and looks androgynous, uncompromising, hard: biting into a banana; sprawled unsmiling in a chair with two fried eggs slapped casually over her breasts; crouching on a toilet seat with no knickers on, a cigarette in her right hand. It is impossible to look at those images and not wonder who she is; how she learned to charge such base materials, and herself, with power. At the time of those portraits, Lucas was arguably the linchpin of the Young British Artists, or YBAs — a tight-knit group of predominantly working-class friends that included Gary Hume, the late Angus Fairhurst, Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin. The group had a reputation for provocation and wildness, but Lucas, according to her friend the writer Gordon Burn, was ‘‘the most unabashedly all-balls-out, rock ’n’ roll of the YBAs,’’ outdrinking everyone at the Groucho Club in her tatty jacket and trainers. She was thrilling to watch, with her disregard for social convention; loved for her infectious freedom. She dated Hume and Fairhurst, and her friendship with Emin was famously intense. Twenty-five years on, at 52, Lucas is warmer than her swaggering self-portraits suggest, dressed in an oatmeal sweater and grapefruit-colored Pumas, her socks tugged up over her jeans. There is nothing mannish about her look, but neither are there any of the customary adornments of femininity. She’s wearing no makeup, there’s a cut on her nose, her hair is unbrushed; and yet she is attractive in the most fundamental sense of the word. ‘‘There’s no pretension; there’s no masking,’’ the gallerist Sadie Coles, who has represented Lucas since 1997, had warned me. ‘‘And that actually is extremely refreshing and sometimes quite shocking. You are confronted with her straight on.’’ Charisma is hard to articulate, to parse into its constituent parts, but hours later, when I finally left Lucas’s house, I had the insistent thought that this must be what it’s like to meet a cult leader. This is not to

IMAGES COPYRIGHT THE ARTIST, COURTESY SADIE COLES HQ, LONDON (3)

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say that there’s anything manipulative about Lucas, but rather that the force of her personality is so intense as to be almost frightening.

E

IGHT YEARS AGO, Lucas moved to Suffolk in East

Anglia to live in the former home of the composer Benjamin Britten. She is now in London only temporarily, to begin her work, in a borrowed studio, on the prestigious commission for the British pavilion at the 2015 Venice Biennale, which opens in May. (Lucas has never had a formal studio, preferring to work ‘‘on the fly.’’) The renovation on her London home had gone over schedule, and so, when we met, it too was radiating the raw glamour of the unadorned — the carpets covered in plastic, the air full of dust. We settled upstairs, in a book-lined room, for a conversation punctuated by the pouring of wine, the click of her cigarette lighter and the sound of passing traffic in the soupy London dark. Moving to Suffolk in 2007 was a risk, in that it took Lucas away not only from the urban materials from which her minimalist work has been composed, but also from the scene that has buoyed her fame. The move underlines how little she feels a need to perform for an audience. Despite the potency of her own presence, Lucas doesn’t use her work to reinforce her ego or mythologize her life story, as both Hirst and Emin seem to do, but rather treats it as a place she can periodically vanish into. In the spring of 2008, Lucas and her partner, the artist and composer Julian Simmons, ‘‘decided to give up the outside world’’ for Lent, swearing off computers and telephones. It was during this ‘‘magical time’’ that Lucas began to make ‘‘Penetralia’’: plaster casts of phalluses of varying sizes, sometimes emerging from, morphing into or coexisting with natural forms, like wands or trunks or flints. Other recent pieces are similarly ambiguous. A chair made of hundreds of breasts, each one formed from stuffed tights in shades of pink and brown; snaking and skinlike tubes and coils she calls ‘‘nuds,’’ which look like sausage meat, like mottled legs — you want to fondle them, but also to give them a wide berth. There are comparisons to be made, of course, with Louise Bourgeois or Yayoi Kusama, but Lucas doesn’t seem to be pursuing historical art currents. While her early works around sexual organs were assumed to be motivated by a desire to shock, these new pieces, which feel like ritual objects disinterred from a deeper, stranger England, suggest that her interest all along has been to create containers for energy. It’s characteristic of Lucas’s approach that she both needs and has the confidence to take periodic retreats from the main stage in order to preserve her own enjoyment in art making, rather than feeling hobbled by obligation. Sitting in the darkening room, she

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PERSONAL MAGNETISM Near left: ‘‘Nahuiolin,’’ 2013, Lucas’s cast bronze sculpture of the phallic forms she has also made from stuffed women’s tights. Bottom left: Lucas, at left, with the artist Tracey Emin at ‘‘The Shop’’ in East London, the shortlived gallery-happening where the two friends sold items, including printed T-shirts and rabbits made out of cigarette packs.

tells me that this is something she learned soon after graduating Goldsmiths in 1987, when she found that, of all her art school contemporaries, it was the men, Hume and Hirst especially, who were ushered into success, while she felt herself stuck on the sidelines, irritated and resentful. ‘‘It was like all the blokes seemed to be the darling boys of London,’’ she remembers. In response, she gave up art altogether, a decision that quickly restored her sense of freedom. Within a few months, she started making things again, this time for her own pleasure and amusement. At the beginning of 1993, Lucas set up ‘‘The Shop’’ with Emin, a deliberately short-lived and anarchic studio-gallery-happening in a former doctor’s office in East London’s Bethnal Green. They sold their work at bargain-basement prices — homemade T-shirts saying ‘‘SHE’S KEBAB’’; ashtrays with Damien Hirst’s face at the bottom — and pursued intoxication with such commitment that she remembers once waking up on top of a mountain of empty bottles. Lucas and Emin, whose friendship had an ‘‘almost violent,

Melons and fish: a crude synecdoche of a woman reduced to her sexual organs, yes, but also an exercise in minimalism, an experiment in how little you need to ignite the whole grim psychodrama of gender and sexuality. mad energy,’’ have since drifted apart. But, at the time, the project ‘‘brought so many people to us that it sort of expanded our world. ... We felt the tremendous power of it.’’ Power. The word keeps coming up. Lucas is aware that she possesses it herself, both as an artist and a person; she has a knack for making connections with strangers, even ‘‘just standing at a bus stop.’’ Certain objects have it too — like the self-portrait with the banana. Hirst has called Lucas the greatest artist he knows, comparing her talent for putting everyday things together with Picasso’s. ‘‘She’s the opposite to me in the way she makes art, and I envy that,’’ he has said. ‘‘She does it so seemingly effortlessly, and I always put big, expensive boxes around things.’’ Making the most of the materials you are given is a principle that Lucas has consciously applied not just to her work, but also to her life. Her story has an almost alchemical quality — not the striving narrative with which the YBAs are normally associated, but a fairy

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tale of psychological transformation. She grew up in subsidized housing off Holloway Road in North London. Her parents were poor but creative, in a make-do-and-mend kind of way, and, she thinks now, haunted by their pasts. Her father, Donald, a milkman, had been a P.O.W. in Korea; she remembers him singing the Chinese national anthem in his sleep. Lucas’s mother, Irene Violet Gale, came from an impoverished family, who all lived in one room above a chip shop in London’s Chapel Market. Irene’s father drank and beat her mother, who had a history of mental illness. During the war, Irene was sent as an evacuee to a Cornish family who wanted to adopt her; her decision to return home caused what Lucas describes as ‘‘the great schism’’ of her mother’s psyche. Lucas herself didn’t speak until she was three, and remained very quiet as a child. She now thinks that the turning point in her childhood came during her final year at primary school, when at the age of 10 she got into a fight with a bullying boy who tried to steal her pen. She knew that she didn’t want to give in, so she grabbed him by the hair and refused to let go, forcing him to his knees. After that, she remembers, her tongue was somehow miraculously unlocked. A social, sardonic self emerged, bent on freedom. It’s hard to think of a more immediate shorthand for the right to self-expression than this childish struggle for a pen. Lucas has never undergone therapy, but asks me at length about mine. For years, she says, she was worried that she would be doomed to re-enact her parents’ unhappiness. It took a conversation with her friend and mentor, the curator Clarissa Dalrymple, to really shake her out of it. Dalrymple told her forcefully that she needn’t repeat her mother’s life. And she hasn’t.

T

HROUGHOUT OUR conversation,

Lucas kept returning to the question of how exactly she should use what she repeatedly and frankly calls her power, by which she means her personal magnetism as well as her ability to make art. She doesn’t know exactly what it is or what

POWER PLAY Clockwise from above: a work of the bulbous forms Lucas calls “nuds” from 2011; in the same year, Lucas, her partner Julian Simmons (wearing a pair of ‘‘nud’’ sculptures) and the Vienna-based art collective Gelatin, with whom she collaborated on a show in Austria; the artist’s provocative ‘‘SelfPortrait With Fried Eggs,’’ 1996; ‘‘Nud Cycladic 6,’’ 2010, made in Suffolk, East Anglia, where she now lives.

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it’s for. Making objects is not a compulsion for Lucas, though she does like the way her sculptures externalize ideas. What she’s looking for, she thinks, are fertile environments, situations with potential. ‘‘Really,’’ she says, ‘‘the point of art for me was that I wanted to carry on talking and thinking with other people.’’ Over the years, she’s tried various experiments with collaboration, from making a gigantic masturbating arm as a prop for her friend Michael Clark’s 2001 ballet ‘‘Before and After: The Fall’’ to working with the Vienna-based collective Gelatin, with whom she had a joint exhibition inspired by Hieronymus Bosch, ‘‘In the Woods,’’ at Kunsthalle Krems in Austria in 2011. Instead of shipping old works over, they spent the entire budget on making the show from scratch in the museum, a high-wire way of working that she’s always loved. A group photograph suggests joyous chaos: four people in horse suits, a bare-chested Simmons with a pair of Lucas’s nuds draped around his neck, Lucas buoyant in a creased sundress and shades, her arms aloft. It only occurs to me after our meeting that Lucas is always looking for something, without ever knowing quite what it is, and that this lies at the core of her art, in which objects are always on the brink of transformation, neither crude nor mystical, ordinary or powerful, but somehow and impossibly both. Her focus seems to be forever searching for an outlet, which makes conversation with her oddly electrifying. Most people, she thinks, settle for such boring things: financial security, fame, material possessions. Happiness, I suggested, and she batted the thought away. ‘‘Happiness just comes and goes. . . . Whereas I wanted to go somewhere quite mystical, I think, but I’m not sure, but I haven’t been able to entirely invent this magical land for myself.’’ She paused, her legs curled under her, fiddling with her roll-up cigarette. ‘‘So maybe they saw reality for what it was,’’ she said, ‘‘whereas I thought it was elsewhere.’’

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP RIGHT: COPYRIGHT FLORIAN SCHULTE; COPYRIGHT THE ARTIST, COURTESY SADIE COLES HQ, LONDON; NUD CYCLADIC 6, 2010, SARAH LUCAS (BORN 1962). PURCHASED 2012. ©SARAH LUCAS, PHOTO CREDIT: ©TATE, LONDON 2015; COPYRIGHT THE ARTIST, COURTESY SADIE COLES HQ, LONDON

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designer who died in 2009, outfitted apartments for presidents, designed steam irons for housewives and created perfume bottles for Courrèges, but history’s memory is short. Lodged in the unconscious of a generation are Paulin’s Mushroom (a jersey-covered foam armchair that looks, appropriately enough, like a forest-floor fungus), the Oyster (a padded chair in the shape of a mollusk shell) and the Tongue (take a guess). Nicolas Ghesquière, the artistic director of Louis Vuitton, spent his childhood in the ’70s surrounded by the stuff. ‘‘When you see those things,’’ says Ghesquière, now a Paulin collector and one of

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Beyond Pop A revival of interest in the iconic 1960s and ’70s work of the French designer Pierre Paulin has revealed an artist whose career was more varied and extensive than most realize. BY MATTHEW SCHNEIER

the designer’s contemporary champions, ‘‘you don’t forget them.’’ These pieces — even that indelible Tongue, a wavy low-slung chaise that looks like the seating equivalent of a French kiss — have been in regular production ever since they were introduced in candy colors by Artifort in the 1960s. They have fed the reigning notion of Paulin as a Pop designer, a ’60s-era saboteur of the orderly restraint of midcentury design. Paulin’s signal innovation was to wrap his pieces in colorful stretch jersey, softening them and concealing their inner steel and wood. In their casual, kinetic sprawl, his chairs not only offered an invitation to relax and lounge; they also took

PIERRE BERDOY/ARCHIVES MAIA PAULIN/FROM THE BOOK ‘‘PIERRE PAULIN’’/ALBIN MICHEL PUBLISHING

GRAND VISION The smoking lounge Pierre Paulin created for Georges Pompidou’s Palais de l’Élysée in 1971, featuring his lighting, table, upholstered walls and, in the foreground, his Élysée chairs.


Legacy

In the wake of the vogue for upright midcentury chic, Paulin’s bright, cheerful squishiness feels fresh.

the temperature of the times. In Paris in the late 1960s, social unrest was in the air; by May 1968, students had taken to the streets to demonstrate against the establishment and its hidebound pieties. ‘‘Young people wanted to have a new life,’’ says Cloé Pitiot, curator of the Paulin retrospective that opens at the Centre Pompidou in Paris this October. ‘‘They wanted to lie on the floor.’’ Paulin’s free, fluid designs catered to a new sensibility, both Pop and populist. His comfortable exuberance, revolutionary in its own time, seems, after an interval of midcentury mania, revolutionary once again. In the wake of years during which the vogue in rediscovered design was for the upright chic of Prouvé and Perriand, Paulin’s bright, cheerful squishiness feels fresh. A generation raised on a diet of ‘‘Mushrooms’’ and ‘‘Oysters’’ (not to mention the 1965 ‘‘Tulip’’ and the 1960 ‘‘Orange Slice,’’ a grocery list’s worth of décor) is now nostalgic for his accessible charm. Thanks to the efforts of the late designer’s designer s family, and the attention-grabbing rabbing fandom of high-profile collectors ectors like Ghesquière, a Paulin revival evival is afoot. Ghesquière, working ing with Paulin’s widow, Maia Wodzislawska Paulin, and son, Benjamin, commissioned La Cividina to produce more than 30 serpentine Osaka sofas for Louis Vuitton’s Cruise collection show in

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Monaco in May. In his high regard for Paulin he follows his friend, the couturier Azzedine Alaïa. Though Alaïa’s new store on Rue de Marignan, which is filled with Paulin furniture — including Osaka sofas and stacking, U-shaped modular shelving — shed new light on his own Paulin ardor when it opened in the fall of 2013, he’s long been a collector. ‘‘Azzedine was very competitive,’’ tive,’’ Ghesquière laughs. ‘‘He was like, ‘Come me on, I got Paulin many, many years before you. Don’t try to make me think you were e there!’ ’’

LIVING ART Clockwise from top: the 1966 Déclive sofa and 1954 leather Butterfly chairs in Paulin’s Paris home; the custom-fit chair, lacquered desk and side-table Paulin designed for President François Mitterrand’s office in 1983; the 1966 Ribbon chair and ottoman; one of the Élysée chairs Paulin made for Pompidou’s smoking room, currently in production by Ligne Roset; the 1960 Mushroom chair that made Paulin famous; the designer in the 1950s.

Working on the Cruise show led the Paulins to a subsequent collaboration with Vuitton to produce, at least in prototype, a series of modular pieces Paulin designed in 1972 as part of a never-executed proposal for Herman Miller. These were exhibited at Design Miami in December, where, in a nearby booth, the New York gallery Demisch Danant was displaying a trio of Paulin pieces resembling squashed pumpkins: a leather sofa and a pair of cream-colored wool chairs, all created in 1971 for Paulin’s most famous commission, the Palais de l’Élysée

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: ARTIFORT ARCHIVES; COURTESY OF ARCHIVES PAULIN; DIDIER BOY DE LA TOUR/ARCHIVES PAULIN/FROM THE BOOK ‘‘PIERRE PAULIN’’/ALBIN MICHEL PUBLISHING; CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2015 (2); COURTESY OF LIGNE ROSET; COURTESY OF DEMISCH DANANT (2)

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Legacy

apartment of Georges Pompidou, idou, and produced for sale only briefly riefly thereafter. (The original furniture niture is in the collection of the Mobilier National, which commissioned it.) The e Pompidou items are the rarest and costliest tliest of Paulin’s designs, with a waiting ing list of collectors clamoring for each ach new piece that is exhumed. ‘‘I am always watching,’’ says Ghesquière, who once bought an entire exhibition’s worth of Élysée sofas in one fell swoop. p. As demand has climbed, so have e prices. According to the gallerist Suzanne zanne Demisch, they have increased ed tenfold in the past decade. Paulin’s new devotees are e encountering a designer more re nuanced and varied than popular perception ception suggests. His early collections ons in the 1950s leaned toward Scandinavian avian Modernism; in the ’60s and ’70s he was playful; and by the end of his career nearly 60 years later, he explored a more architectural, al, structured style of furniture,, like the pieces commissioned forr French Frencch president François Mitterrand. nd. (On (On the subject of Paulin, at least, the left and right could agree.) ‘‘My father never defined himself as Pop,’’ says Benjamin Paulin. ‘‘I’m trying to de-Pop my father’s image. That’s kind of my job. His oeuvre was larger than an that.’’ With that in mind, in 2008

Pierre, Maia and Benjamin Paulin established Paulin, Paulin, Paulin, a family business dedicated to bringing the lesser-known pieces to light and into production. ‘‘To me they are like family members, almost,’’ Benjamin says. He is currently at work on a production run of a rarely seen prototype from the archive, the undulating Déclive sofa from 1966, which he glimpsed in the protective custody of a museum show and was frustrated not to be able to clamber aboard.

THE SHAPE OF THINGS Clockwise from top: Paulin’s ABCD sofa and chairs in one of three apartments decorated and rented out by Azzedine Alaïa at 5 Rue du Moussy, next to his Paris atelier; Louis Vuitton’s reproduction of Paulin’s 1972 Tapis-siège, shown at Design Miami last year; the designer’s 1953 daybed reissued by Ligne Roset this year; the Osaka sofa, versions of which Nicolas Ghesquière used as seating for the Louis Vuitton Cruise 2015 show in Monaco; Paulin’s 1971 Élysée floor lamp p and neon lamp pp post.

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Several upcoming Paulin exhibitions will introduce the world to Paulin in all his versatility and breadth. Following its Miami success, Demisch Danant will mount a survey of Paulin’s work in New York in May. The exhibition will trace Paulin’s development from the 1960s through the early ’80s, setting his famous work alongside his largely unknown pieces, with the aim of debunking the prevailing view of his designs. ‘‘He was much more than we think,’’ says Demisch. ‘‘The way he approached seating and furniture was singular. I think he’s more important than anyone has realized and acknowledged.’’ Beginning this summer, Ligne Roset will release new editions of Paulin’s early Nordic-inspired wooden furniture, including a daybed and secretary from his first collection, in 1953. And in October, the retrospective opens at the Centre Pompidou. The show, which covers the entirety of Paulin’s career, from his early education at the studio of Marcel Gascoin in the ’50s to his death at the age of 81 (he worked until the end; ‘‘My father was never an old man,’’ Benjamin says) should help to erode the perception that Paulin was merely a savant of Pop. To furnish the show, the museum is drawing upon its own archives, new acquisitions and loans. There will be a 30-strong chronology of chairs alone. Maia Wodzislawska Paulin volunteered her late husband’s drawings and sketches, his prototypes and even the contents of her home, Maison des Cévennes, which Paulin designed for their retirement at Pau the base of the Cévennes mountains in the south of France. ‘‘I took the carpet and the chairs and the table,’’ says Pitiot, the curator. ‘‘We took everything.’’ Even so, the archive at Maison des Cévennes remains amply stocked with designs unseen and unproduced. They could fuel a Paulin revival for years to come.

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: COURTESY OF DEMISCH DANANT (2); CHRISTOPH KICHERER/COURTESY OF ALAÏA; LOUIS VUITTON/ J. OPPENHEIM; COURTESY OF LIGNE ROSET; ARCHIVES PIERRE PAULIN/FROM THE BOOK ‘‘PIERRE PAULIN’’/ALBIN MICHEL PUBLISHING

In their casual, kinetic sprawl, Paulin’s chairs not only offered an invitation to relax and lounge; they also took the temperature of the times.


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By Design

Dark Knight Fleeing the sunny Southern gentility of his childhood, a budding film director turns a New York house into a louche fantasy. BY SARA RUFFIN COSTELLO PHOTOGRAPHS BY CHRISTOPHER STURMAN

THE MOMENT THAT JAMES OAKLEY knew he wasn’t

cut out for the life he was born into came in high school, in Tennessee, when he watched David Lynch’s ‘‘Blue Velvet.’’ A contrarian even as a teenager, growing up in a tasteful, well-to-do household (his stepfather, brother to the governor, owns the Cleveland Browns), he felt the film’s smoky, dangerous vibe awaken something inside him. He realized he would never be content in the sparkling white interiors of his genteel childhood.

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‘‘I knew then that I wanted to make movies, and I fell in love with those sort of noirish environments,’’ says Oakley, now 42. Moviemaking has proven arduous — he completed his first film nearly 10 years ago, a thriller called ‘‘Devil You Know’’ with Rosamund Pike and an appearance by a then-unknown Jennifer Lawrence, which was never released in theaters — but there is little question that he has created the shadowy lair of his dreams, a 19th-

MAN OF MYSTERY James Oakley in the living room of his townhouse in the West Village.


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‘A space, like a script, has to build mystery that makes you feel something.’

century West Village townhouse fit for a cultured, dissolute 1930s bon vivant. ‘‘It’s sort of dark in here . . . might take a minute to adjust your eyes,’’ he says softly, opening the front door in stocking feet, rubbing his cropped beard. Indeed. Walking into his home, on one of Manhattan’s most atmospheric streets, is a bit like getting waved onto a closed movie set, perhaps for an update of Dracula. It’s not far-fetched to imagine Oakley himself — languid, contemplative, mysterious — in the lead. And that seems precisely the feeling that he and the Uruguayan designer Fernando Santangelo — known for helping the hotelier André

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Balazs redo the public spaces of the Chateau Marmont as well as a couple of Balazs’s homes — had in mind. Cinematic references are explicit: The elegant yet dessicated drawing rooms and sweeping hallways of Bertolucci’s ‘‘The Conformist,’’ the imposing neo-Classical and modern mix of the Villa Necchi Campiglio, nestled in the center of Milan, which was the setting for ‘‘I Am Love,’’ the 2010 film starring Tilda Swinton. His isn’t the ‘‘sort of place that has pictures of my nieces and nephews on the mantle, though I love them dearly,’’ he says. Instead, he’s tried to invoke a men’s club or a grand hotel gone ever-so-artfully to ruin. ‘‘I like the transitory, anonymous luxury of hotels,’’ he says. The previous owners had stripped the townhouse of its original details and made it a white-on-white Japanese Zen oasis, creating a double-height living room and

DAY TO NIGHT Clockwise from above: in the living room, a 19th-century landscape hangs over a nine-footlong Santangelodesigned mohair sofa and a marble coffee table; in the atelier on the top floor, where Oakley works, is an Empire chandelier, Napoleon III-style chairs and an Italian marquetry desk; the wood-veneerpaneled vestibule with terrazzo floors and an 18th-century Mexican oil painting.


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By Design

The townhouse evokes a set for a modern-day Dracula character: masculine and otherworldly.

opening the entire back of the building with a wall of glass. Oakley acknowledges the purity of such an approach, but barely hides a shudder. He seems to regard the surfeit of light — a rarity in rowhouses — as a bit of a hindrance. And as for the white decor, well, the less said the better: ‘‘I hate white, I despise it.’’ To that end, he and Santangelo have banished the shade in favor of a palette of garnet, olive, charcoal and midnight blue, ‘‘those muddy colors found in old master paintings,’’ says Santangelo. And those deep hues are more than just accents. Every single flat surface is covered: in velvety double-padded carpet, terrazzo, Venetian plaster, cork or

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felt. The kitchen has windows at street level, but they are now inset with a plaster frame and a piece of onyx in place of glass, the better to block out any beam of additional light. Oakley cares nothing about provenance, either his own (‘‘I think it’s so pointless when people are obsessed with their family tree. They’re dead, move on.’’) or that of his possessions, so he directed Santangelo to choose furnishings based entirely on their beauty and whether they contribute to the aesthetic. We pass by a set of Josef Hoffmann armchairs in front of a gaslit fireplace in the entry foyer without comment; asked the era of the huge armoire that has been refurbished as an elaborately stocked bar, he draws a blank. ‘‘I really just don’t care where things come from.’’ Whatever its origins, however, the bar gets quite a workout. Oakley doesn’t generally venture beyond the five-block radius around his apartment (except on the weekends, when he escapes to an almost all-black house Santangelo has done up for him in the Berkshires) and doesn’t take the subway or cabs, he says, so people come to him. ‘‘I throw a lot of parties and there is quite a bit of alcohol involved,’’ he says. The mornings after, he repairs to his atelier on the top floor, the place where he spends most of his time (there’s even a velvet sectional where he often falls asleep, covered by a cashmere throw, a crumpled pack of Marlboros on the Chinoiserie-style lacquered coffee table). He’s working on a new film, scheduled to shoot in April. Surprisingly, it’s a heist comedy, ‘‘The Palm Beach Story’’ meets ‘‘A Fish Called Wanda,’’ he says. ‘‘I may seem a little dark, but actually this is more authentic me than my first movie. It’s got a lot of layers. I’ve got a lot of layers.’’

COLOR BLOCKING From left: in the central staircase, the house’s rich hues converge with red and olive felt-clad walls, an Yves Kleinblue carpet and a wood and brass banister; in the entrance hall that overlooks the living room, a steel and polished brass coffee table and Josef Hoffmann chairs in front of the fireplace.


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Arena Arts and Letters

The Writer’s Room Surrounded by photographs, family mementos and the clamor of everyday life, five authors offer a glimpse into the spaces where they create. PHOTOGRAPHS BY SEAN DONNOLA

The novelist in his cluttered South London studio surrounded by framed works by his wife, the artist Eva Stenram.

I

WRITE IN THE STUDIO I share with my wife, Eva Stenram,

keep prolapsing and crashing down onto its lower roof. In the a visual artist. It’s on the seventh floor of Erlang House, a car park below, the addicts from the recovery hospice a block dilapidated 1960s office block in London. An erlang is away turn tricks for drug money. a unit of telephonic pulse; this building used to gauge Eva’s working images are pinned to the studio’s walls; she the telephone-pulse rate of London, which seems appropriate, digitally manipulates found pornographic photographs, given that my writing’s so concerned with technology and breaking down bodies pixel by pixel until only single arms or media and mediation generally. legs remain. Interspersed with these are my own diagrams, It’s tempting to stare out of the large full of arrows and interlocking triangles window most of the day. Who am I kidding? with words like ‘‘crypt’’ and ‘‘fragment’’ That’s what I do. The whole city is scrawled across them. Occasionally, one of constantly under construction; cranethese words, or the lines conjoining them, arms perpetually carving arcs and will sharpen and glow as light, reflected ‘‘Satin Island’’ follows an anthropologist, U., who tangents through the sky, drawing palaces from a turning crane, moves across its face. is commissioned to write up from the ground. The building next The palaces, all made of glass, glint too. an all-encompassing ethnographic report of to us seems to be demolishing itself: huge Three sets of works in progress; it’s a humankind (out now, Knopf). ventilation panels, satellite dishes and race to see who’ll finish first, or ever. I don’t other nondescript chunks of edifice-guttery hold out much hope for me and Eva.

Tom McCarthy

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Arts and Letters

I

KNOW THAT things bear mystical emanations.

Perhaps the way I stage my office provides clues to my private and unsanctioned mysticism, but the staging is entirely for me. I’m particular about what things are allowed in. Only those that glow with some kind of special meaning. Like the model ship, the little thermostat from Lourdes, the G. Gordon Liddy business card that fell out of a book. I work in the day, but there is night work in my office. Done by tiny lamps, harbor lights for lost ideas, and by a radio, which I turn on at random intervals during Art Laboe’s dedication show. There is a high chance, maybe one in five, that ‘‘Angel Baby’’ by Rosie and the Originals will begin to play. My workroom is large but cozy and somewhat old-fashioned in a way that suits me. It has no Internet (the only emojis are ceramic ones a friend made). It carries a faint scent of redwood, of which this house was framed when it was built 111 years ago. Out my window is an older house, a big Victorian that was moved there in 1901 when they found oil where it sat originally, a few blocks southeast. A retired police captain used to live inside and it was

stuffed, you could see, with furniture and boxes. An attendant wheeled him onto a balcony once a week. Now he’s dead and the house has been made spare and fancy with big chandeliers. On Friday nights during baseball season, fireworks from Dodger Stadium fill my big windows. My other view is of high-rise skyline. Helicopters, the L.A.P.D.’s crazy hobby, thunder overhead, chasing some guy who stole a Honda Element. The whoop-whoop of sirens comes next. I sit at my desk, less than a mile from the criminal courts and the jail, structures of human sacrifice, where people’s lives get wrecked. Lately, this room has become porous to certain brutalities. The discontinuity — that it is pretty and calm in here — is not entirely lost on me. And anyhow, ‘‘The Strange Case of Rachel K’’ comprises three previously unpublished whether reading one offbeat stories about myth, power or trying to compose and sex, set against the mysterious backdrop of Cuba, written in the early one, novels are terrain 2000s (out now, New Directions). for discontinuities, sometimes violent ones.

Rachel Kushner

The two-time National Book Award finalist’s home office in Los Angeles, which includes a drawing by her son, Rémy, and, on the bookshelves, ‘‘no volumes I’m not planning to read, or to read again.’’

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Arts and Letters

The Pulitzer Prizewinning poet at his dining room table in New York City, with painted 19thcentury Hitchcock chairs and an antique dry sink filled with American yellow ware.

T

HE UPPER WEST SIDE apartment house into which we recently

moved was built in 1910 during the turn-of-the-century property boom that took advantage of comparatively cheap land, the latest advances in structural engineering and the greater availability of inexpensive elevator systems. An elevator is something I’m quite glad of, since the apartment is on the fourth floor. It boasts the 12-foot ceilings so beloved of acrobatic troupes and, in the case of the room in which I work, the original oak paneling. It’s a little bit like hanging out in a high-end coffin. Which suits me down to the ground. I’ve given up on the idea of replicating George Bernard Shaw’s heliotropic garden shed, or Yeats’s highfalutin’ Thoor Ballylee, or even Hemingway’s homely stand-up desk. I’ve now made a virtue of necessity and The 35 poems in ‘‘One Thousand Things Worth Knowing,’’ the poet’s 12th am committed to the idea of the workspace as pop-up. collection, span topics from the Strictly speaking, this is the apartment’s dining American Civil War to Northumbrian monasteries to chicken farms room, which I now reconfigure each day in the hope of (out now, Farrar, Straus and Giroux). doing a little divining. I’m lucky enough to have two rather more conventional office spaces, at Princeton University and at The New Yorker. Most mornings, I unpack my laptop computer and a book rest that almost matches the oak paneling and get to work. At the end of the workday, I clear it all away into a conveniently situated 19th-century sideboard and set the table for dinner.

Paul Muldoon

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Arena

Arts and Letters

T

HE ROOM IS THE SMALLEST and

highest in a Georgian-era house — the reason why it has an elegant, unusable fireplace. The view is of London roofs and a tree and some sky: a basic mixture of greens and grays. It provides a restful space for curative daydreaming; because, no doubt, I think of this room as a place of anxiety. I’m always envious of fashion ateliers or artists’ studios. They seem the true aesthetic workplaces. A writer’s room feels so empty. So I try to have as many work implements as possible, to somehow make the act of writing more real. In this room, there’s an Apple desktop and a chalkboard, an iPad and various notebooks and felt-tip pens. I write on an outsize table, not a neat escritoire — as if I might be cutting film or pasting up collages. I arrange around me mini totems and talismans to somehow make me believe that what I’m doing has a history, and therefore a rationale. Facing me, propped against the computer screen, is a postcard of Proust’s

bedroom. On the wall behind the computer are Modernist posters by Braque and Saul In ‘‘Lurid & Cute,’’ a disaffected Steinberg. On the wall suburbanite has an extramarital affair that sets him on a path to my left is a miniature of increasingly severe transgressions photo of the 20th(April, Farrar, Straus and Giroux). century Argentine noir novelist Roberto Arlt, which I bought from a rare books dealer: partly because I love the writer, but mainly because I loved the tiny photo itself, this small survivor from a different era. I vowed that the typewriter — an original Olivetti Valentine designed by Ettore Sottsass, which was a present from my wife — wouldn’t be only ornamental. But I’m such a bad typist that I can only use it for rudimentary documents — maybe the barest outline of a novel or notes that are meant to be tender and moving, but which have the all-caps stare and the million misspellings of a crazy person.

Adam Thirlwell

The author in the study of his London home with his whippet, Misha, and an Olivetti Valentine typewriter given to him by his wife.

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Arts and Letters

The debut novelist in the living room of her Upper Manhattan apartment, where she also works.

M

Y WRITING SPACE and

living space are mutually inclusive. My desk is tucked in the corner of my living room, and when I write, I simply take turns moving between it and the sofa. Perhaps the option of having a dual-purpose space is one of the perks of single living. Sometimes I visit the kitchen, pour myself a glass of water, return to work. Writing, they say, is a sedentary affair, but for me it is itinerant too, even where the roaming space is small. Sometimes when I hit a snag in my writing, I head ‘‘Under the Udala Trees’’ to my balcony. The explores the joys and dangers of same-sex relationships in the schoolyard where author’s native Nigeria (September, my eyes land is Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). enclosed by a bright blue gate whose

Chinelo Okparanta

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metal railings form quaint designs so that the gate itself could be a story. If it is daytime and the children are out for recess, the ringing of their voices and of their laughter are a sort of reminder of all the stories that exist, yet untold. It is very convenient living so close to Columbia University Medical Center; the few times that I’ve found myself nodding off in the middle of work, I have sometimes been awoken by an ambulance siren. When I work at night, and the children are gone, and the sirens have died down, it is the Upper Manhattan skyline that I turn to for inspiration. From my windows, I regard the darkened silhouettes of the buildings, and the bright lights that attempt to illuminate them, and sometimes I think I can see the Harlem River below, a snaking sliver of it. Something about all of this causes my thoughts to begin to flow.


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EXPO MILANO 2015 A Once-in-a-Lifetime Global Event ore than 20 million men, women and children from across the globe are expected to converge on beautiful Milan, Italy, for Expo Milano 2015. Running from May 1 through Oct. 30, the expo will feature exhibitions from more than 140 countries, including 53 national pavilions, and will address the theme of “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.” Expo Milano 2015 will be a laboratory of innovation, research and discussion among international organizers and leaders of the scientific and economic communities, providing the world with guidelines for sustainable development, food security and quality in the production chain. Visitors will take a multisensory journey into the world of food — delving into its history, variety, production processes and future. They will also have a one-of-a-kind opportunity to sample fabulous flavors from across the planet.

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DESIGN MARVELS Amazing spectacles will await throughout the nearly 250-acre site, which was designed by renowned architects Stefano Boeri, Ricky Burdett and Jacques Herzog. Traveling through Expo Milano 2015 will be like discovering a new city — one shaped like a Roman town — with squares and public roads representing the entire world. Visitors will stroll down Decumanus to experience eco-friendly pavilions from each of the

participating countries, designed by noted architects including James Biber, Michele De Lucchi, Norman Foster and Daniel Libeskind. On Cardo, the other main road, Italy will showcase Italian excellence in everything from art to the amazing diversity of its regional cuisines.

THE EXPERIENCE Expo Milano 2015 will be animated by thousands of performances, concerts, workshops and exhibitions — many focused on families, children, young people and women. “Allavita!,” created exclusively for the expo by Cirque du Soleil, will explore the relationship between mankind and food. This dynamic show will run nightly from May 6 to Aug. 23 in the Open Air Theatre, which can accommodate 11,000 people on its lawn and steps. The site will be enlivened by thematic areas and clusters, each focusing on diferent topics. Arts & Foods, a thematic area that will open in the Triennale Design Museum in April, will examine the interaction between art, design, food and the rituals of eating. Curated by renowned Italian art historian and critic Germano Celant, it will ofer a multisensory approach to the history of food and dining, from kitchen implements to laid tables and picnics, bars and restaurants. The clusters, one of the biggest innovations introduced by Expo Milano 2015, will allow many countries to gather around the same resources and common themes: rice, cofee, spices, cocoa, fruit and vegetables,

cereals and tubers, along with bio-Mediterranean, arid and island zones. Visitors will travel the world through amazing pictures that reflect the themes of each cluster, taken by some of the most famous photographers from the Magnum/Contrasto Agency: from Sebastião Salgado for the cofee cluster to Gianni Berengo Gardin for the rice cluster. The images will focus on food chains, traditions, faces and places. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit expo2015.org. Attendees who purchase tickets before the event will receive a 20 percent discount. •

FOOD, AMERICAN-STYLE With the theme “American Food 2.0: United to Feed the Planet,” the American pavilion will cover 35,000 square feet and feature a 7,200-square-foot working vertical farm, a boardwalk made from wood repurposed from the Coney Island boardwalk, a cocktail bar, and food trucks serving up lobster rolls and burgers.

LEFT: Rendering of the Lake Arena. RIGHT: Rendering of the U.A.E. pavilion. This special advertising feature is sponsored by participating advertisers. The material was written by WriteOn Editorial Inc. and did not involve the reporting or editing staff of The New York Times. ©2015 The New York Times


Arena Family Affair

SUSAN HOWE AND R. H. Quaytman

The MotherDaughter Thing

serendipity; she has an eye for what are mother and daughter, a poet might be overlooked, and often scours and a painter, both widely admired special collections for out-of-print or and fiercely cerebral and quietly a lot fragile works — Jonathan Edwards’s of fun. They did not want to do an manuscripts written on the silk paper interview together, and it’s not hard his wife and daughter used to make to understand why. What daughter fans; William Carlos Williams lines wants a stranger to point out all the scrawled on a prescription pad. In ways that she is like her mother? writing her poems, she jots down her What mother wants to risk eclipse thoughts and dreams in a small black by her daughter’s fame? But their notebook, the inside covers of which reluctance was more subtle. Howe and contain quotations so that her own Quaytman objected to the idea that words are ‘‘embedded and surrounded the mother-daughter relationship is by ghosts and echoes.’’ BY CHRISTINE SMALLWOOD the most important one in their family. Quaytman, too, makes work that PORTRAIT BY ADAM FRIEDBERG They are only two in a web of artists: gets called “difficult.” Her paintings, Howe’s mother, Mary, was an actress which often layer silkscreens or color and playwright; Quaytman’s father, Harvey, a painter; Howe’s photographs, play with seducing and repelling the viewer’s eye. second husband, the sculptor David von Schlegell; their son, She uses Op-Art patterns to push away the gaze; sometimes she the science fiction writer Mark von Schlegell. Except for Mark, draws you in by covering her panels with diamond dust that who lives in Germany, all of those people are dead, but no sparkles. Like her mother, Quaytman begins with research; her matter; when you are dealing with Howe and Quaytman, hauntings most recent show involved investigations into Lygia Clark, Clarice are very much on the table. Lispector, João Vilanova Artigas, Elizabeth Bishop and Claude Howe is a lauded poet, about as recognized as an American Lévi-Strauss. Unlike her mother, she likes rules, which she deploys experimental writer can be. She trained as a visual artist, and in to help make sure that her paintings are always recognizably hers, the late 1960s began to cut words out of catalogs and typewritten even when they are exhibited in what she calls ‘‘aggressively pages and tape them on the wall; soon enough she was printing them present architectures,’’ such as corporate lobbies. One rule is that in books. In 1985 she published ‘‘My Emily Dickinson,’’ a dense and ‘‘each painting is made in one of seven consistent nesting sizes on intricate study in which she parses Dickinson’s manuscripts, which plywood panels which are gessoed with the same rabbit-skin glue were often written on scraps or envelopes. Whether writing poetry gesso.’’ Another is that ‘‘each exhibition is a chapter in an ongoing or her highly idiosyncratic criticism, Howe’s process embraces archive that I plan to continue without end.’’ That is, even as she

You could never tell from the intriguingly opaque work of the poet Susan Howe and the artist R. H. Quaytman that the two women are related. Then you sit down with them.

RHYME AND REASON The poet Susan Howe, 77, at right, and her daughter, the painter R. H. Quaytman, 53, in Quaytman’s house, designed by the American sculptor and architect Tony Smith, in Guilford, Conn., a five-minute drive from her mother’s more traditional New England home.

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Family Affair

makes her work, she is thinking about her entire oeuvre, how the pieces will relate to each other and how they will be remembered. Recently mother and daughter collaborated on ‘‘Tom Tit Tot,’’ a book produced by the Museum of Modern Art. Howe has always loved gruesome fairy tales, and her poems for the book were partly inspired by Paul Thek’s 1975-6 work ‘‘The Personal Effects of the Pied Piper,’’ a scattering of castbronze rodents and utensils, the imagined detritus of the campsite where the rat-catcher of Hamelin lured the little children of the town. Quaytman had recommended other artists for the job, but ended up co-designing the book herself. (One of her artworks is uncannily like something Howe would have picked out: a frontispiece called ‘‘Temple of Time,’’ based on an image by Emma Hart Willard, an American educator and activist who lived at the time of the Civil War). Quaytman and Howe are pleased with the book but generally wary of working together. ‘‘It’s a dangerous, cutesy idea,’’ Quaytman said, referring to the mother-daughter thing. ‘‘We’re worried about this, too.’’ She was talking about me, and this article. Quaytman is a private person who disowns biographical readings of her work. Her professional name — R. H. for Rebecca Howe — honors her mother, but secretly. She asks that gender pronouns not be used in any of her exhibitions’ wall texts. Her conceptualism is part of a feminist project to not reveal her self in her art. ‘‘It also began this

Growing up in a family like theirs means knowing how to bind a book or identify what country a painting is from by its sky — both things Quaytman’s father, Harvey, taught her.

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FROM THE ARCHIVES Clockwise from left: Howe and Quaytman, at age 5, in 1966 in front of a painting by Howe; Quaytman’s image of a baby’s sock from ‘‘Tom Tit Tot,’’ a collaboration between mother and daughter; a fragment of poetry on an envelope by Emily Dickinson, Howe’s greatest influence; a type collage by Howe from ‘‘That This,’’ 2010; a Dickinson poem from ‘‘The Gorgeous Nothings,’’ 2013.

interesting thing where they had to write press releases about the paintings instead of about me,’’ she said. Similarly, even when Howe’s work is at its most personal — as when she writes about the death of her third husband, the philosophy professor Peter H. Hare, in ‘‘That This’’ — she always holds something back; the meaning of her writing is never dependent on the facts of her biography. Quaytman and Howe were eventually persuaded by the idea that poetry could always use a little publicity. We met in Howe’s red-shingled, light-filled home in Guilford, Conn., a marshy town 20 minutes from New Haven. Her furniture is simple and made of curved wood and placed just-so in a manner that seems very New England: cozy, spare, impersonal. During the afternoon I spent with them, they happily talked over each other: about archives; about Mark von Schlegell, whom they both adore; about television; about Victorian novels; about vitrines. They are affectionate, even when in disagreement. For much of the day Quaytman stood back, shaking her head No, no, as Howe went on about this or that. Quaytman was wearing two necklaces: a paste necklace that belonged to Howe’s mother, with a large, shiny square surrounded by nearly two dozen costume jewels; and a collar of the kind you might find in an S&M shop. She is guarded, but playfully so, and has a habit of answering a question with a joke. Howe is tiny and elfin, with a drawn face and short gray hair and bright eyes. For a selfdescribed recluse, she has a remarkably big, theatrical voice. She talks openly of her anxieties, saying she could never travel like her daughter does, because she’s not ‘‘tough’’ enough — ‘‘Oh, this really drives me crazy,’’ Quaytman interrupted, rolling her eyes in the m manner of one long resigned to this difference of opinion. Growing up in a family like theirs means knowing how to bind a book or how to identify what country a h painting is from by its sky — both things that Quaytman’s pa father Harvey taught her. It also means knowing, from fath the earliest e age, that it is normal, even natural, to be an artist. ‘‘What was offered to me from childhood, from the artist cradle literally,’’ Howe said, is that ‘‘I was in it when I began it.’’ She means a special sensibility, a love of spoken and written la language; she means her mother reading Yeats aloud. ‘‘Becky be began in it,’’ said Howe of her daughter. ‘‘Becky was literally in utero when I was in art school.’’ Quaytman spent junior high in preppy Guilford, but she is a

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: DAVID VON SCHLEGELL; ‘‘TOM TIT TOT,’’ 2014 BY SUSAN HOWE AND R. H. QUAYTMAN/COURTESY THE LIBRARY COUNCIL OF THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART/PHOTO: LAURIE LAMBRECHT; COURTESY OF NEW DIRECTIONS (3)

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Family Affair

child of Manhattan; she was raised in a loft on 24th Street and then another on Christopher Street. In the late ’80s, after graduating from Bard, she lived in Williamsburg in an apartment that her mother insists was ‘‘near a toxic waste dump,’’ and heated by a woodburning stove. When we met, Quaytman had just made the same move that her mother made some 30 years ago, from the city up to Guilford, into her second home. The house, which Quaytman and her husband bought in 1998, was designed by the Minimalist sculptor and architect Tony Smith, and is spectacular. It is also a five-minute drive from her mother’s. Howe said that her daughter buying that grand house was the biggest surprise of her life. Unlike her mother, Quaytman waited until her child was in college to leave the city. Her son, Isaac, was born a girl, and began gender transitioning while still in junior high school. (Isaac has done interviews about this for New York magazine, Frontline and a public art project called ‘‘We Are the Youth.’’) When the issue of motherhood comes up, however, Quaytman mostly talks about how it hurt her career. ‘‘I definitely don’t recommend it to my fellow female artists unless they just really, really want to do it,’’ she said. Yet she insists she would have made the same kind of painting whether or not she had a child — an argument as compelling as it is strange. To imagine that a major life experience wouldn’t somehow show up in one’s creative life is to imagine a kind of core intelligence, unbreakable or impossible to alter, cordoned off from the world. Quaytman had recently returned from Rome, where she has been preparing for an upcoming show in Tel Aviv. She had noticed that Paul Klee’s ‘‘Angelus Novus’’ was mounted onto an engraving, and she wanted to know what the engraving was. She had scientists in Rome scan the mount, only to find the engraving obscured; Klee had rolled printer’s ink over the back of it. Howe, who loves the ‘‘Angelus,’’ was excited that mysticism was getting into Quaytman’s process. ‘‘It’s actually not getting there,’’ Quaytman laughed. ‘‘’Cause it didn’t work.’’ Failure is an everyday experience for an artist, but both Howe and Quaytman are obsessed with it. Howe calls herself a ‘‘late bloomer’’ because she only became a professor when she was 50; she considers the careers of her first two husbands, both of whom could not support themselves with their art alone, ‘‘a direct example of the brutality of the art world.’’ Quaytman credits Howe’s vivid stories of her

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INFLUENCE LINES Clockwise from top left: works by Quaytman, from the series ‘‘O Topico, Chapter 27,’’ 2014; ‘‘Distracting Distance, Chapter 16,’’ 2010 and ‘‘I Modi, Chapter 22,’’ 2011; the young Quaytman with her half-brother, Mark von Schlegell, in Central Park in 1969.

husbands’ failures as her motivation. ‘‘I think you get successful because this fear of oblivion is so fierce,’’ Quaytman said, ‘‘that it’s like a burning fire that you run from.’’ But one of the paradoxes of success in visual art is that it often entails a very particular kind of obscurity. In 2010, Quaytman made ‘‘Iamb: Chapter 12, Excerpts and Exceptions, With Painting Rack,’’ an installation of paintings in and around a storage rack. It was a reminder that while the best thing that can happen to a contemporary artist is to be collected, this means being taken away, and oftentimes being hidden. Quaytman has also said that she envies how ‘‘a book is both put away and still displayed’’ — an argument that may not win over those who like to open books. Her mother’s books, she acknowledged, aren’t just meant to be read; even Howe’s recent poems, collages made from photocopying and overlapping lines of text, are meant to be heard. They are very hard to parse word by word, but Howe reads them in a spell-casting, incantatory rhetorical style; she mutters and sings and nearly shouts; she aspirates and percusses, using her voice like a drum. When I asked her if anyone could read her poems as well as she can, she said, ‘‘Probably not,’’ and then, abruptly, ‘‘I’m going to die soon.’’ Howe has lately taken to reading last poems — the last poems of Yeats, the last poems of Wallace Stevens. ‘‘Things have to survive on their own,’’ she said. ‘‘If they don’t, they’re not worth surviving.’’ Still, one can’t help but notice that both she and her daughter have given their things a push on the path of survival. They’ve taken care that their work is archived — in books, in catalogs, in recordings that Howe has made with the musician David Grubbs. In the end, success for these two may mean not running from oblivion, but finding the right kind of oblivion — being squirreled away somewhere, on separate but adjacent shelves, for some later-date discovery, by some other searcher or reader, some other artist.

‘I think you get successful because this fear of oblivion is so fierce,’ Quaytman says, ‘that it’s like a burning fire that you run from.’

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: R. H. QUAYTMAN, ‘‘O TÓPICO, CHAPTER 27’’/INSTALLATION VIEW: GLADSTONE GALLERY, NEW YORK/PHOTO: DAVID REGEN; R. H. QUAYTMAN, ‘‘DISTRACTING DISTANCE, CHAPTER 16,’’ 2010/COURTESY THE ARTIST AND MIGUEL ABREU GALLERY, NEW YORK; R. H. QUAYTMAN, ‘‘I MODI, CHAPTER 22,’’ 2011/COURTESY THE ARTIST AND MIGUEL ABREU GALLERY, NEW YORK; DAVID VON SCHLEGELL

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A Picture and a Poem The poet Craig Morgan Teicher and the artist Idris Khan search for solace from the endless nights of early parenthood in a simple surveillance camera.

VIDEO BABY MONITOR

We can’t give up watching Cal through the night, through the glassy fog of a little

no baby, my baby, my son. Already, the camera on Simone broke, she’s three and we won’t replace it. But Cal is different, his health as tricky as wisdom, had only by not knowing. What we need is confidence! The monitor lies about that. I have been here before, wrote this before, am here now in these very words. A watched pot never boils, so perhaps a son on a screen never dies. Like the eyes of a painting this image follows us wherever we move. Vigilance is love, love is every moment the last. Barely moving picture, memory of now, I cover you with my eyes like a blanket. Sleep, be still, be safe. Night is long, life short. CRAIG MORGAN TEICHER

‘‘Park, August 2007’’ by Idris Khan, 2015.

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COURTESY OF IDRIS KHAN AND SEAN KELLY GALLERY, 2015. OIL-BASED RELIEF INK ON PAPER. POETRY EDITOR: MEGHAN O’ROURKE. ART EDITOR: GAY GASSMANN

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FROM TOP: SIMON WATSON; STEFAN RUIZ; ANTHONY COTSIFAS

March 29, 2015

bright and beautiful Vintage Architecture in Big Sur 166 Gerald and Betty Ford, Style Icons 174 A Folk Revival 180 Happy Times 182 Cy Twombly’s Legacy in Gaeta 190


TRUE WEST

As he did with fashion — making us see vintage clothing as valuable — so he does with architecture. The purist Mark Haddawy would no sooner tweak a Halston gown than alter a great ’70s house. Even one he lives in. BY AMANDA FORTINI PHOTOGRAPHS BY STEFAN RUIZ

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IN BIG SUR, that mythically gorgeous 90-mile

stretch of sparsely populated coastline on California’s Highway 1, it is not man’s egotism that assaults you, but nature’s. The redwood trees stand dignified and imposing, silent emissaries from another time. The jagged cliffs of the Santa Lucia Mountains drop hundreds of vertiginous feet into the foaming, crashing waves. Each night, the tarry blackness arrives thick and heavy, a blanket swaddling you with a completeness that can be disconcerting, while the ocean roars somewhere in the distance. In his 1962 autobiographical novel, ‘‘Big Sur,’’ Jack Kerouac wrote, ‘‘In my imagination dreaming about this big retreat, there’d been something larkish, bucolic, all homely woods and gladness instead of all this aerial roaring mystery in the dark.’’ (Kerouac had a breakdown in Big Sur as epic as the environment, and partly because of


ALL THE ELEMENTS The light-filled entry of the Shaw House, built in 1974 with redwood timbers salvaged from the local Dolan Creek Bridge in Big Sur, Calif., and now owned by Resurrection Vintage co-founder Mark Haddawy (inset); its view of the Pacific Ocean.

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it.) Then there are the seasonal mudslides and wildfires, the clingy dampness of the daily fog. Big Sur is a place of elemental extremes. Perhaps this is why, although it is home to several high-end, rusticated resorts for tourists in search of a temporary escape from urbanity’s blare, it has only about 2,000 full-time residents. Mark Haddawy — co-founder of the retailer Resurrection Vintage, restorer of architectural homes, collector of art, antiquities and furniture — has built a career on his uncompromising tastes, and Big Sur suits his sensibility. ‘‘People are like, ‘Oh, how can you stand the five-hour drive?’ ’’ Haddawy says, referring to the trip from Los Angeles, which he makes, without exception, one weekend a month, often to go fishing or kayaking with friends. ‘‘If this was any closer to L.A., it wouldn’t be what it is. It’s so incredible that this place is so preserved,’’ he adds, as he maneuvers his tanklike Mercedes G550 up, up, up and around a ridge, past a copse of stately redwoods and a 500foot passenger-side drop. The unspoiled terrain — there are long stretches on Highway 1 where you can’t see a house — is the result of some of the strictest local zoning laws in the nation. This means the past remains ever-present here. The welcome absence of gaudy mansions, strip malls,

OPEN ENDED Clockwise from above: the stone hot tub next to the house overlooking the Pacific Ocean; the dresser in the master bedroom with a Khmer torso and a Peruvian plate; in the entry, a 12-foot Bertoia sound sculpture. Opposite: the living room with a 2014 Mira Nakashima sofa, a pair of Philip Arctander chairs upholstered in sheepskin and a 1963 George Nakashima slab coffee table.

hectoring billboards or visible construction of any kind gives you the impression that you are experiencing the same place beloved of so many writers and artists, from Robinson Jeffers to Henry Miller to Edward Weston to Hunter S. Thompson, who, in 1961, wrote, ‘‘The steamroller of progress has made slow headway in Big Sur.’’ Haddawy, 47, who has bushy, expressive eyebrows, warm eyes and a mild, earnest,

intelligent manner — all of which combine in some ineffable way that calls Jake Gyllenhaal to mind — is a student of the past, a scholarconnoisseur. At Resurrection, the ‘‘collectible and historic clothing’’ venue that began in a defunct East Village mortuary in 1996, and now has boutiques in New York City and L.A., he (along with his business partner, Katy Rodriguez) helped transform the notion of ‘‘vintage’’ from Salvation Army thrift-store trifle

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to high-end collectible bought as an investment. Rodriguez, who ran the store in New York while Haddawy did the buying from the West Coast, remembers: ‘‘We had a unique take at that time. It was a high/low concept, and there weren’t really stores like that then. . . . It was a super-curated view from the beginning. Every single piece was selected. That’s what Mark’s always had a talent for: He can look at stuff and see what’s great.’’ Maroon 5’s lead singer, Adam Levine, for whom Haddawy acts as a kind of aesthetic guru — Haddawy restored his Hollywood Hills home and is designing a

Although the guiding principle in restoration these days is to recast the past by putting one’s own stamp on it, Haddawy’s projects are characterized by their fidelity to the original architect’s vision. ‘I’m just trying to do the right thing for the house,’ he says.

new one for him, as well as advising him on his collections of art and vintage Rolexes — calls him ‘‘a curator of all things amazing’’ whose discriminating taste is ‘‘really, really elegant OCD.’’ The day we meet, Haddawy is dressed with studied casualness in an orange surfer T-shirt printed with a cluster of mushrooms, green-and-white leather Nike high tops and a Rolex, all vintage. In recent years, Haddawy has gained a reputation as a restorer of midcentury modern houses in Los Angeles. Among the projects he has completed for clients that include the director Marc Forster, the photographer Mark Seliger, the designer Jeremy Scott and nearly every member of Maroon 5, are two John Lautner houses, four Richard Neutras and Pierre Koenig’s Case Study House No. 21. Although the guiding principle in restoration these days is to recast the past by putting one’s own stamp on it, this is not Haddawy’s approach. His restorations are characterized by their fidelity to the original architect’s vision. ‘‘You have to decide, what did the architect do, and what did somebody do 10 years later?’’ he tells me. He is unassuming, almost egoless, about his work. ‘‘I’m just trying to do the right thing for the house,’’ he says, ‘‘I’m not trying to make any bold moves.’’ On his website, where he lists his projects, the date of completion is always the original year the house was done. He brought his own

THE GREAT INDOORS From top: above the George Nakashima-designed dining table and chairs hangs a Peruvian textile, from between A.D. 100 and 500; the open shelving between the kitchen and the living room is dotted with Haddawy’s collection of pre-Columbian objects. Opposite: a guest bed, designed by Haddawy, made of salvaged redwood (inset) and the beach below the house.

Los Angeles home, John Lautner’s 1956 Harpel house, back to its former low-slung midcentury grandeur over the course of three years by removing a second-floor addition, as well as other design travesties like track lighting and stucco walls. ‘‘Mark’s a purist,’’ Rodriguez explains. ‘‘He wants to know historically what was done, and make sure that’s what’s done. He looks at it like: Why do I need to question this thing? Why would I buy a Halston dress and then, like, alter it and change the line?’’ In the realm of midcentury architecture, Haddawy is the equivalent of a restorer of old masters paintings. The Shaw House, as Haddawy’s Big Sur residence is called — it was designed by local architect Will Shaw for his second wife, Mary — is very much a part of Big Sur’s past, right down to the redwood trees it’s made of. Completed in 1974, the Shaw House can be grouped with what the architectural writer Richard Olsen has called the Big Sur ‘‘bridge timber’’ houses. These were built out of reclaimed redwood timber sourced from local bridges that were demolished and replaced with concrete and steel in the 1960s. (The lumber for the Shaw House came from the old Dolan Creek Bridge, located just south of the Esalen Institute, the storied human potential movement retreat center.) Among the more celebrated bridge timber structures are the 1969 Hill of the Hawk house and the 1971 Staude House, both built by the Carmel Valley architect George Brook-Kothlow, who also did a similar place for Clint Eastwood in nearby Pebble Beach. Redwood is not the only indigenous material Shaw used in the construction of his three-bedroom, two-bath, open-plan, vaguely

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hexagonal creation. The floors are cedar and Monterey pine, and the massive, forgelike stone fireplace is made of ‘‘rock from the side of the road,’’ Haddawy notes, as we tour the house, his ever-present pair of Chihuahuas snorting and skittering around the locally sourced floors like cartoon characters come to life. ‘‘As you drive down the road, you see these rocks, they’re part of the vocabulary,’’ he says. Shaw also sought to replicate the gestalt (to employ an Esalen-appropriate term) of Big Sur, with its towering cliffs and trees. ‘‘When you look at the proportions,’’ Haddawy says, of the 20-foot ceilings, ‘‘they work because you’re used to this kind of scale here.’’ The Shaw House was a conservationminded designer’s fantasy. Mary Shaw, from whose children Haddawy purchased the property in 2013, never altered her husband’s work. ‘‘It was just amazing how preserved it was,’’ Haddawy says. ‘‘All the appliances, every knob, every faucet, every tub, every toilet, every light switch.’’ Haddawy spent a year restoring the exterior (replacing the weathered siding and cantilevered deck, putting a new copper roof on the guest house, adding a hot tub made of local stone) but the interior is Shaw’s. The lighting is original. The bright red claw-foot tub in the master bathroom, a groovy, Hefneresque take on a staid classic, is Kohler’s 1973 centennial edition. Several pieces of redwood furniture Shaw designed (a side table, console and buffet that share DNA with the work of Donald Judd) remain. Even the kitchen appliances, save a recently expired refrigerator, are the ’70s-era originals. ‘‘Like I said, he’s a total purist,’’ Rodriguez, says, laughing. ‘‘Had the original refrigerator not been on the fritz, and unable to be fixed, he wouldn’t be getting a new one.’’ The furnishings and art are eclectic and spare. The art consists mostly of pre-Columbian artifacts. (Haddawy’s father, a college professor of English literature, collected antiquities; Haddawy, who left high school before graduating and did not attend college, began collecting seriously while working at a car stereo store in Berkeley.) The exceptions are a 12-foot Harry Bertoia bronze sound sculpture (its church-bell chime befits the house’s cathedral-like feeling), a framed letter illustrated by Yves Saint Laurent for model and muse Marina Schiano and a handmade toy rocking horse from the 1930s that seems straight out of ‘‘The Velveteen Rabbit.’’ Haddawy tells me he made a decision not to display much contemporary art ‘‘because it reminds me of a world I live in in L.A., and not here.’’ His world in Big Sur is neither contemporary nor dated but oddly eternal, a place where time seems to have mysteriously expanded, contracted and folded in on itself. With its stark, monumental rocks rising out of the Pacific like something from a sci-fi movie or an archaic Celtic myth, it feels ancient and futuristic at once.

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LIFE ON TOP Clockwise from right: a view of the house from the opposite hill; Haddawy perched above the kitchen; the exterior facing the back of the property. Opposite: floor-to-ceiling windows light the stairs in the entryway, leading to a loft.

The furniture, like the art, like Big Sur itself, treads this primitive-modern line. There are handmade redwood platforms for every bed, a Castiglioni lamp that resembles a jellyfish or a flying saucer and a plethora of Nakashima pieces: a dining set and a big, gnarled slab of a coffee table, both made of walnut, as well as a taupe chenille couch designed by Nakashima’s daughter, Mira, for which Haddawy waited a

year. Through the floor-to-ceiling windows, we watch the day slide into evening and the ocean darken to the purplish shade of a bruise. ‘‘If I take you to the beach tomorrow, we’re going to be the only people on the beach,’’ Haddawy says, as the surf crashes violently below. ‘‘You’re not going to see a boat; you’re not going to see a house. You could be walking down that beach a thousand years ago.’’


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RESTORA POLITIC DESERT SAND The limegreen dining room of Gerald and Betty Ford’s former home in Rancho Mirage, Calif., now owned by the entertainment executives Bill Damaschke and John McIlwee, who have only very slightly updated the room’s look. Opposite: the entry hall features a seven-foot portrait of Betty Ford that used to hang in the White House and a free-form blue and pink mirror created by the decorator Darren Brown for the house.

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ATION CS

The Continental chic of Camelot in the ’60s, the gilded splendor of the Reagan-era ’80s — but what about a new take on the unique charms of Gerald and Betty Ford’s ’70s Southern California dreaming? Here’s looking at the most truly American of styles.

BY ROB HASKELL PHOTOGRAPHS BY ANTHONY COTSIFAS PRODUCED BY MICHAEL REYNOLDS

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HE CITY OF RANCHO MIRAGE IN CALIFORNIA,

11 miles southeast of Palm Springs, is famous for two things. The first is Sunnylands, the vast, low-slung pleasure palace that belonged to Walter Annenberg and his wife Lee. From beneath the pink pagoda roof, the couple captained the westward surge of political power that peaked in the Reagan years. They played host to seven American presidents and threw a wedding for Frank Sinatra on a 100-degree July day. Queen Elizabeth once wandered the rooms that William Haines had decorated — and that a publishing fortune had bedecked in Monets, van Goghs and Gauguins — so that she could see, Walter told the press, ‘‘how ordinary Americans live.’’ Just down the road, providing both complement and counterpoint to the Annenbergs’ legacy, is Rancho Mirage’s second great

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landmark, the Betty Ford Center. Following Gerald’s defeat in the 1976 presidential election, the couple moved to the desert and built a 6,300-square-foot seven-bedroom house facing the 13th fairway of the famous Thunderbird Country Club, started in the ’50s by Hollywood stalwarts such as Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Lucille Ball. The former president, who died in 2006, spent his time on the green, in the pool or playing gin rummy. The former first lady, whose openness about her alcoholism marked the beginning of a sweeping shift in the public understanding of addiction, was a regular presence at the center until her death in 2011. Bill Damaschke and John McIlwee visited the house soon after the Ford family estate put it on the market in 2012. The couple, both entertainment executives, were considering a weekend house in the desert but had summarily ruled out Rancho Mirage. By reputation, the city was a few things that they were not: ‘‘stuffy, old, straight, Republican,’’ McIlwee says, a haven for retirees with set hair, quite unlike the mix of liberal-minded folks up-valley in the city of Palm Springs. ‘‘We didn’t like it at all. Honestly, it felt like the butt of a joke.’’ But the Fords’ house, its furnishings more or less intact, proved irresistible. ‘‘All the other people looking were snowbirds, the wife frowning and saying to the husband, ‘Honey, it’s all original.’ And we were like, ‘Honey, it’s all original!’’’

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OR THE FORDS, Rancho Mirage provided the perfect

setting for the sun-splashed California house they had dreamed about after years in the Midwest and then in Washington. Betty took the lead, hiring the firm of Welton Becket & Associates, best known for the galactic-looking

Capitol Records Building in Hollywood. But here they hewed to the Desert Modern style: broad expanses of glass, flat roof with sun-shielding overhangs and fluid indoor and outdoor spaces. For the interiors, Betty imagined a relaxed elegance, wicker and chintz brightened by vivid greens and blues, her favorite colors: Palm Springs via Palm Beach. She enlisted Laura Mako, a much-admired Beverly Hills decorator of the era whose clients included Jimmy Stewart, Danny Kaye and Gregory Peck. It wasn’t the first time Damaschke and McIlwee had been seduced by a storied residence. Since 2002, they have lived in John Lautner’s Garcia House, which was a languishing midcentury masterpiece at the crest of the Hollywood Hills when they bought it from the actor-director Vincent Gallo. The Fords’ furnishings, untouched in 35 years, were also showing their age by the time the new owners came in. Strappy, sagging vinyl chairs in beige and brown circled the pool, and Mrs. Ford’s bath had a pink toilet. The kitchen, with its tile counters and orangey oak cupboards, provided a reminder that luxury is nothing if not a moving target. But there were treasures, too, not least a seven-foot-tall portrait of Betty that had hung in the White House. Indeed, the Ford artifacts — right down to the red panic button in the president’s lavatory, part of an elaborate security network flowing into the Secret Service command post next door, in a house once owned by Ginger Rogers — offered an opportunity quite different from that of the Garcia House, whose origins had been all but obliterated by a succession of harum-scarum renovations. ‘‘In the Lautner house, our changing it was not going to ruin it because, frankly, it was already ruined,’’ explains McIlwee, who serves on the board of the John Lautner

GREEN ACRES Below: the Southern California midcentury-style house was designed in 1977 by Welton Becket & Associates. Opposite, clockwise from top: Damaschke, left, and McIlwee on the Fords’ original living room sofa with new grisaille fabric, near Karl Springer poufs from the 1970s and an upholstered 18th-century French chair; a seating area in the master bedroom with Betty Ford’s chair, Patrick Nagel’s original ‘‘Pink Polo’’ painting from 1982 and a 1970s cantilevered Italian coffee table.


The Fords’ house, its furnishings more or less intact, proved irresistible. ‘All the other people looking were snowbirds, the wife frowning and saying to the husband, ‘‘Honey, it’s all original.’’ And we were like, ‘‘Honey, it’s all original!’’ ’

Foundation. ‘‘This house was the antithesis of that. Everything was original, so it was a matter of deciding what to keep.’’ For the architectural remodeling, the couple enlisted the firm of Marmol Radziner, which oversaw the Garcia House’s update and reinvigorated what is perhaps the desert’s most famous Modernist landmark, Richard Neutra’s 1946 Kaufmann House. The local craftsmen, a number of whom were in recovery, brought particular

zeal to the project. ‘‘They had a tremendous personal commitment to us, to this house, because of who Betty was,’’ McIlwee recalls. The couple also called upon Darren Brown, the onetime director of Jonathan Adler’s interior design studio, and who had helped them turn the Garcia House into a cozily swank aerie touched with disco glamour. For the Ford house, Brown suggested a version of the 1980s for which he has a strong affinity: driftwood-

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‘Would I have picked those fabrics? Hell, no. But the question was, how can we repurpose this original stuff in a way that is honest, respectful and also fun?’

colored Malibu interiors, capacious furniture, an earthy palette. His idea book included a still from the opening scene of ‘‘American Gigolo’’ in which Richard Gere’s character drives his black Mercedes convertible along the coast, hinting at the possibility of seedier pleasures. ‘‘I like to revisit things that I may have been put off by in the past,’’ Brown explains, ‘‘to challenge not only

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my own sensibilities but the idea of what is tasteful. With all the interesting design out here, I don’t know why the desert is still stuck in midcentury.’’ The ’80s felt right to the couple too, but with the caveat that they wished to preserve whatever they could of the presidential castoffs. ‘‘I don’t like to throw anything away or to change it just to


TOP LEFT: LARA JO REGAN

GOOD TIMES Clockwise from left: the guest bedroom’s headboard and bedspread are made from the Fords’ old living room curtains, and the curtains used to hang in the Fords’ dining room, at far left; the media room with a custom coffee table by Darren Brown and a painting from a local consignment shop; the master bedroom with a shag carpet, vintage lamps and sconces and a ceiling light made of bulbs from Betty Ford’s original vanity; the Fords at home.

change it,’’ McIlwee explains. ‘‘Would I have picked those fabrics? Hell, no. But the question for me was, how can we repurpose this original stuff in a way that is honest, respectful and also fun?’’ Gradually Brown, too, discovered the possibilities of these sun-faded relics, redolent of a design interregnum somewhere between ’60s Modernism and ’80s flash — call it ’70s genteel, a sort of ladylike elegance as seen through a tinted golf visor. Brown had the bleached, water-stained fabrics dry-cleaned and recut. He took the wooden shelves in Gerald Ford’s trophy closet and turned them into a bed frame for one of the guest suites. In the master bedroom, a grid of ceiling bulbs lifted from Betty’s vanity now hovers grandly over the bed. In another guest room, the original living room drapes provided fabric for the upholstered headboard and coverlet, and hanging from the windows are the old dining room curtains, their backings removed to reveal a still-brilliant green surface. Susan Sontag wrote that to talk about camp is to betray it. Perhaps this explains why you will never hear Darren Brown utter the word, and why McIlwee says that the very notion of camp makes the hair on the back of his neck stand up. And yet it’s hard to deny that the former Ford house arrives at its extreme refinement via camp’s simultaneously high and low road. With its exploration of the past, its sense of theater and exaggeration, its humorous challenge to conventional ideas of elegance and its almost alchemical elevation of pieces that to a more timid eye might seem démodé or vulgar, the house makes straight-up elegance seem naïve by comparison. ‘‘Interior decoration can be a kind of tyranny,’’ Brown says. ‘‘I’d like to think I’ve provided an alternative to that.’’ Betty Ford’s portrait remains, of course, though now it hangs in the entry near a monumental peach, blue and mint free-form mirror of Brown’s design. On a wall in the powder room hangs ‘‘Tussling Babes,’’ a painting by Patrick Nagel, the ’80s illustrator most famous for his jacket cover for Duran Duran’s ‘‘Rio,’’ beloved of a generation of adolescent boys. In the living room, what Brown calls ‘‘White House touches’’ vie politely with a louche ’80s glamour. There are the gleaming brass ziggurats of the coffee table and the cheetah chenille stretched over a pair of poufs, but the Fords’ original long sofa anchors the space, its pea-green chintz replaced by a swirling grisaille. And yet occasionally, the house’s history prevails. The dining room, with its leafy wall murals and tall, lattice-patterned chairs, provided a perfect time capsule in need only of a dust-off. Damaschke recalls his friends’ initial response to the room, embalmed as it was in 1970s lemon and lime: ‘‘People said, ‘You’re getting rid of this, right?’ We said, ‘Of course not. This room is a complete idea.’ ’’ With a few tactful updates — a 19th-century French chandelier, for example, and a pair of bronze swans that Brown found at the Paris flea market — the room looks like a more vibrant version of itself. ‘‘I think my parents would have thought these guys were the perfect successors,’’ says Steven Ford, one of the president’s sons, who was an actor on ‘‘The Young and the Restless’’ in the 1980s. ‘‘But I can’t believe they kept that dining room the way it was. So retro.’’ Of course all that retroness complements the richly nostalgic pleasures of Rancho Mirage itself. Though the couple doesn’t play golf, for Christmas last year Damaschke bought McIlwee an electric golf cart. And they were pleased, the first time they had breakfast at the country club, to see Carol Channing seated at a table nearby. By neither enshrining the Ford house nor snuffing out its memory, the couple has honored the sometimes uneasy office of stewarding a piece of history. ‘‘We’re fascinated by the past, but we’re not purists,’’ says McIlwee. ‘‘We want things to be the best they can be, or the best they could have been.’’

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CURTAIN RAISER Clockwise from left: the recently reopened neo-Renaissance Columbus Theatre in Providence, R.I., with a bucolic ceiling mural and ornate gold detailing; the upstairs projector room, a relic of the theater’s porn days; the original Wurlitzer organ; vintage posters in the entry for events dating back to the 1950s; the door to the main practice area in the building; the Columbus marquee.

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BACK TO LIFE Clockwise from above: a rotating moth sculpture used during a performance; the green room; the Low Anthem members Jeff Prystowsky (second from left), Ben Knox Miller and Bryan Minto with Tom Weyman (far left), who together make up the Columbus Cooperative, responsible for booking new acts; Jon Berberian, who has run the theater for the last five decades.

HE COLUMBUS THEATRE in Providence, R.I., was designed

to look outdated. In the late 1920s, while the rest of the country was doing Art Deco, this vaudeville house was a 19th-century Italianate palace. It still is. The aesthetic of revivalism has always held a special appeal for artists with an interest in old forms — and so it was for the folk musician Jeff Prystowsky from the band the Low Anthem, who in the summer of 2011 began to wonder why the Columbus had been closed for years, perpetually ‘‘Opening Soon.’’ Jon Berberian had been in charge of the Columbus for nearly 50 years, ever since his father, an Armenian immigrant who made his money in liquor stores, bought the building in 1962, when celebrated movie theaters like the Palace in New York were already losing audiences to TV. Berberian set aside his ambitions of being an opera singer to manage the theater, programming second-run movies, a few operas and recitals. When multiplexes appeared in Providence, the Columbus switched to porn. In 2011, when Berberian opened the doors to Prystowsky, the young musician found himself standing in the vast hall, gazing at pastoral murals on the proscenium arch, walls painted a rich damask-silk red and a dome with swirling gold surrounding pudgy, horn-playing angels. He was in love. The two men worked out an arrangement: Prystowsky and his bandmates Ben Knox Miller and Bryan Minto, along with a few other friends, would program concerts in the space, paying Berberian rent. Since it reopened in 2012, the Columbus has presented Wanda Jackson, Bill Callahan and Iron and Wine, among others. Now a rollicking fixture on the Providence touring circuit, the Columbus also features a recording studio. ‘‘Every corner of the building that we go into is a rabbit hole,’’ said Miller, the group’s lead singer who, with Prystowsky, was in the middle of producing an album by a Cretan lutist in one of the upstairs rehearsal rooms. Fifteen bands have recorded here so far. ‘‘The only downside is that our own record hasn’t come out,’’ Miller said. One could view the goings-on at the theater as part of a series of recent changes to Providence’s Federal Hill, which has historically related to the city’s wealthier neighborhoods the way New Haven relates to Yale. But there are easier ways to wring money out of real estate than with folk concerts, and the Low Anthem has no plans to modernize the space. ‘‘The room plays a collaborative role in the success of the performance,’’ said Bonnie ‘‘Prince’’ Billy, who played here not long after the theater reopened, calling it ‘‘the ideal of a building to sing in.’’ Berberian can now be found watching sold-out folk shows with a bewildered fatherly pride. As the actor John C. Reilly, who has played the Columbus with his band, John Reilly and Friends, explained in an email, having musicians run a concert hall is ‘‘sort of like the inmates running the asylum. In a good way . . . A very pleasant change of pace from the usual disgruntled-roadie and sketchypromoter vibe of many rock venues.’’ One night he played, the actor Joaquin Phoenix was among the revelers who hung around after the show. ‘‘We listened to records, had some refreshments, looked at a giant oscillating moth sculpture in the dark and composed free jazz poems while accompanied on upright bass,’’ Reilly wrote. ‘‘You know, the usual Providence stuff.’’

The happy saga of a vaudeville-turned-movieturned-porn venue.

FOLK REVIVAL

BY JESSE BARRON PHOTOGRAPHS BY JESSE BURKE


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PHOTOGRAPHS BY MARY RUSSELL


A MOMENT IN TIME

MARY RUSSELL IS the insiders’ insider. Try to research her

online and very little turns up. But during the 1960s and ’70s, as a fashion reporter and photographer based in Paris, Russell wrote about, and more memorably, photographed, Europe’s cultural elite: fashion designers, photographers, musicians, actors, artists and aristocrats. Her subjects, who were often her close friends, included everyone from Roman Polanski to Rudolf Nureyev to Jane Fonda, Grace Jones, the Velvet Underground and the Rolling Stones. Russell photographed in black and white, on 35-millimeter film, preferring natural light and candid situations. She often shot in private homes or gardens, from within a closed, insular world inaccessible to anyone who wasn’t a member. The resulting images are characterized by an un-selfconscious intimacy rare among photos of the famous, rich and frequently documented. Russell had charisma to rival that of her subjects, as well as that of the powerful editors and publishers who employed her. While reporting on the comings-and-goings of A-list Europe for John Fairchild, Alexander Liberman, Grace Mirabella, Diana Vreeland and Carrie Donovan — nearly the entire pantheon of fashion greats — at Vogue, Elle, Women’s Wear Daily, Glamour, The Herald Tribune and The New York Times Magazine, she led a private life as vigorous as her professional one, socializing (and occasionally living with) her subjects. In the process, she acquired a wardrobe of couture clothes she has since donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Pierre Bergé/Yves Saint Laurent Foundation in Paris. Russell, who still takes pictures, and is now, as she puts it, a ‘‘doting grandmother’’ in her ‘‘70s-ish’’ dividing her time between Paris and Miami, was not born into the beau monde. She was the third of five children in a military family from Marblehead, Mass.; her father was a U.S. Navy captain and her mother a housewife who loved fashion and art. She moved with her family to Nice when her father was stationed there, and for two years studied art and design at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs. Russell came to New York City as a newlywed in the late ’50s. There, a friend of her mother’s introduced her to Diana Vreeland, at the time editor in chief at Harper’s Bazaar. ‘‘I had always loved clothes and fashion, and wanted to get a job at a fashion magazine,’’ Russell says, remembering that she wore ‘‘a slim dress, a neat chignon and fake confidence.’’ Vreeland called Glamour magazine’s fashion editor and told her to hire Russell because ‘‘this girl looks the part, speaks French, is willing to do anything and is ready to work for next to nothing.’’ In the mid-’60s, Russell opened a small Glamour magazine office on the Place du Palais Bourbon in Paris. ‘‘I was paid a pittance,’’ she recalls. ‘‘But I managed to pull myself together — black-black-black clothes, perfect grooming and a good French haircut.’’ Throughout the next three decades, Russell styled photo shoots for renowned fashion photographers like David Bailey, Helmut Newton, Lord Snowdon and Steven Meisel. She reported on the high life in Europe. She was editor in chief of the shortlived Taxi magazine. And she played as hard as she worked. Her romantic conquests included Count Giovanni Volpi di Misurata, the owner of an Italian racing team whose financier father had founded the Venice Film Festival, and Gunter Sachs, the undisputed king of the playboys, before he married Brigitte Bardot. ‘‘Europe was filled with fabulous, well-off bachelors in the ’60s and ’70s,’’ she says dryly. ‘‘I got to know a few of them.’’ But her real love affair was with her life in Paris. ‘‘The world in which I navigated was private and closed to outsiders,’’ Russell says. ‘‘There was no media frenzy, no social media. Politically correct behavior was yet to be invented. We drank champagne, and we were very naughty — everyone I know flitted from affair to affair. We owned Paris. We luxuriated and played in it. I was in love with love, life, my jobs and the freedom of those times. Most of all, I loved taking pictures. My camera went everywhere with me — I took photos of almost everyone I met. I don’t think anyone ever objected.’’ What distinguishes Mary Russell’s photographs is the personal connection she had with her subjects, her camera’s warm and affectionate eye. She is now putting together a book of her images and letters, ‘‘a scrapbook of those extraordinary times.’’ Recently, she recounted them as she opened her archives for T. — MARIAN MCEVOY

In an era when private moments were in fact private and snapshots truly intimate, Mary Russell partied with and documented Europe’s beau monde. For T, she opens her rarely seen archives from the 1960s and ’70s and speaks about those days.

Helmut Newton and Gunilla Lindblad jumping along La Croisette in Cannes, 1976 ‘‘I adored working with Helmut. He was a total perfectionist with a wicked sense of humor. Helmut was always courtly and quite shy with models when off-camera. Once behind the lens, he barked orders and dictated suggestive poses. Gunilla was one of Helmut’s favorite models — he had this thing about tall blondes. The two of them are literally jumping for joy after finishing a Vogue shoot in Cannes. We’re on our way to a lavish lunch which was underwritten, as always, by Condé Nast. Helmut was notoriously cheap.’’

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Karl Lagerfeld in mirror, mid-1970s ‘‘Karl always surrounded himself with talented people who fed him ideas. Like Machiavelli, he manipulated them, and sometimes would back them financially and lavish them with extravagant gifts. Karl has always been known for his generosity. He was a loner, a huge book collector, and he was obsessed with competing with Yves Saint Laurent when he was designing at Chloé, way pre-Chanel. He was always a fashion genius.’’

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Candice Bergen at Peter Beard’s house, 1975

Andy Warhol and gang, 1965

‘‘This photo of Candy was taken at photographer Peter Beard’s decrepit Montauk mill house before it burned down. Candice was one of the many famous women enamored of Peter — she was at the peak of her career here.’’

‘‘These shots were taken at a raucous romp during a trip Andy Warhol and his Factory pals took to Paris for his second solo exhibition there. They posed in bed and in the bathroom of the Hôtel Bourgogne, next door to my Glamour office. The whole crew showed up pretty regularly in Paris in the mid-to-late 1960s. Andy, who is not wearing his trademark platinum wig in this photo, was not well known in France then, but his fame was growing. He was always looking for rich clients who wanted their portraits done. Andy, Edie Sedgwick and the rest of his entourage spent every night at nightclubs, including Le Sept, Castel’s and Regine’s with a cast of French aristos, models, handsome gigolos and essentially anyone good-looking enough to get in the front doors.’’


Peter Beard in Montauk, 1975 ‘‘I knew Peter when he was a starving hippie character from a good family. In this photo, taken at Peter’s mill house, he had just discovered the model Iman in Kenya. Peter and I flirted a bit, but I guess I wasn’t rich or famous enough to garner his attentions for more than one night of dancing at Castel’s nightclub in Paris.’’

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Helmut Newton photographing Charlotte Rampling in Cannes, 1976 ‘‘Vogue sent us to a villa high in the hills overlooking Cannes to photograph the actress Charlotte Rampling — she was the scandalous star of the moment, who had been involved in a ménage à trois with two men. Helmut was deeply impressed with her politeness and reserve, and he was taken with her lavish sensuality. He deferred to her as a little boy would. She was a different subject for him, because he was accustomed to directing inexperienced, compliant models.’’

Egon and Diane von Furstenberg with their two children, Alexander and Tatiana, at the Lido in Venice, early 1970s ‘‘I rented a flat from Egon in the early ’70s, after he and Diane moved to New York. Egon was such a huge catch — he was handsome, rich, related to the Agnellis, quite crazy and so much fun. Diane snagged him with fierce determination — she brought her charismatic, electric energy to the couple. They were very much in love here. And they adored each other after they divorced. They were among the most daring and avant-garde couples in Europe at that time.’’

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Yves Saint Laurent in Venice, early 1970s ‘‘I took this snap of Yves at Giovanni Volpi’s cabana at the Lido during the Venice Film Festival. Yves was one of the most mischievous friends I have ever had. He was extremely naughty and very endearing and sensitive.’’

Jerry Hall in Paris, 1970s ‘‘Jerry was the queen of Paris’s hottest nightspot, Le Sept, during the ’70s. She’d dance, and loudly, proudly proclaim in her highpitched Texas drawl, ‘I’m gonna be world famous someday — y’all just watch!’ Jerry was smart, ambitious and a true playgirl. She hit the jackpot in every way.’’

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The actor Hiram Keller on the island of Mykonos, 1970s ‘‘Hiram was the most beautiful male animal ever. He starred in Fellini’s ‘Satyricon,’ and when it came out in 1969, Hiram rivaled Nureyev as the most desirable creature of the period. He whisked me off to Mykonos for a romantic weekend, which is where the photos were taken. Hiram was bisexual, and had affairs with people that I can never reveal. Years later, he died young. Sad. But I’m glad to have this photographic memory of him.’’

Jane Birkin sitting at Serge Gainsbourg’s piano in their Rue de Verneuil house in Paris, 1970s ‘‘I took this picture during the time Jane Birkin was the It Girl in France. The French adored her tiny, high little voice and her distinct English accent. She is sitting at her husband’s piano in a white Agnès B. jumpsuit — we all had at least one of them — with her signature ubiquitous straw-basket purse at her feet. She probably didn’t imagine that a luxurious Hermès handbag would someday bear her name!’’

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Pierre Bergé, Yves Saint Laurent and François and Betty Catroux in the garden of YSL and Bergé’s Paris Apartment, 1960s ‘‘Yves and Pierre were well known for their intimate Sunday lunches in the garden of their Place Vauban apartment during the 1960s. Everybody wanted an invitation, but few got them. Betty Saint had married aspiring decorator François Catroux. She has remained a warm and loyal friend to this day.’’

Bianca Jagger and Elsa Martinelli in St.-Tropez, mid-1970s ‘‘Bianca and Elsa both had strong and dominant personalities. They were extremely competitive with other women and each other — I gave them both a wide berth. At this moment, Bianca was married to Mick, whom she wed in St.-Tropez in 1971. Elsa was married to her longtime husband, the photographer Willy Rizzo.’’

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WALLED GARDEN The grand sitting room of the main house that dates from A.D. 1000, on the property of Nicola Del Roscio, Cy Twombly's archivist and close companion, in Gaeta, Italy, with 18th-century frescoes thought to be by the artist Sebastiano Conca, a sofa from Andy Warhol’s home in Paris and terra-cotta tiles on the floor, handmade in a nearby village.


CULTIVATING GENIUS Cy Twombly painted some of the 20th century’s great works in the hilly Italian coastal town of Gaeta. All the while, Nicola Del Roscio, who watched over him, quietly created his own Eden.

BY STACEY STOWE PHOTOGRAPHS BY SIMON WATSON

NICOLA DEL ROSCIO’S FIRST memories of Gaeta, an Italian coastal

village wedged into the hills some 60 miles north of Naples, were formed when he was a teenager, in the 1950s. He spent summers there with his parents, and the landscape — pale green grasses, fishing boats in the harbor, full-spectrum sunsets — had forever imprinted itself on his imagination. In 1979, when he was in his mid-30s, Del Roscio, who was for

PAINTED SKY A view of the Tyrrhenian Sea from the terraced garden surrounding the home of Nicola Del Roscio in Gaeta, Italy.

almost half a century Cy Twombly’s assistant, archivist and close companion until the artist’s 2011 death at age 83, came back to Gaeta, bringing Twombly with him. He has never left. Now 70, he is still enraptured by his ancient house on six acres and his lush garden with a collection of 142 species of palms from all over the world. Twombly, who famously split his time between Italy and his native Lexington, Va., stayed in a local hotel and later in his own


Twombly’s house was a 20-minute walk down the hill from Del Roscio and visible from the terrace of his dining room. When it was time to go to dinner, Del Roscio would wave a small Turkish flag out the window.

CLAIM TO FAME In the dining room, a Twombly copy of a Picasso, done on top of one of his own works, above a Gothic chair found at a flea market in New York City. 192


nearby home and studio during the several months each year he was in Gaeta, looking out at the Tyrrhenian Sea and painting some of the most important canvases of the 20th century, including the ‘‘Four Seasons’’ series. Aided by the important art world figures invited to visit over the decades, he helped put the frayed fishing village on the cultural map. Del Roscio, still slender and spry, climbs the hills without getting winded. The time he spends in Gaeta (he also keeps an apartment in Rome) is a respite from the pressures of running the Cy Twombly Foundation, worth an estimated $1.5 billion, where he is president of a five-member board. The foundation’s headquarters, in a refurbished Beaux Arts mansion on East 82nd Street in Manhattan, will open in the fall. But even in Gaeta, Del Roscio oversees four assistants in a small office on the property as they digitize images of the artist’s work. His leisure is to tend the seemingly endless garden he created

IDYLL TIMES Above from left: in the garden, rare and exotic plant species, including, from left, South African white bird of paradise, Palma de Pasobaya from the high Andes, Alexander palms from Australia and palo borracho from South America; Del Roscio in a small sitting room, with a painting of the Brazilian wilderness circa 1830.

from scratch, which pours over 15 terraces with thousands of shrubs and trees, as well as palms, many endangered, from every corner of the earth and a raft of orchids and irises. Still, his most dedicated cultivation is Twombly’s legacy. ‘‘We want to do the correct thing for Cy,’’ he says, brushing his still thick hair from his face, a face that Arthur Danto, the art critic for The Nation, once likened to that of ‘‘a Caravaggio youth who had taken good care of himself.’’ ‘‘We feel a moral responsibility to do the right thing.’’ Del Roscio was a 20-year-old university student in Rome restoring and selling old apartments on the side when he met Twombly, or at least first glimpsed him, in 1964. From the window of his place on the Via di Monserrato, Del Roscio could see across the narrow street into a spectacular palazzo, arrayed with 18th-century furniture, antiquities and wall-spanning art, where the artist lived with his wife, Tatiana Franchetti, a portraitist and sister of Baron Giorgio

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By the time Del Roscio and Twombly arrived, the place had become ramshackle, but the lack of pretension suited them. Gaeta was perfect for an artist whose references were a unique mix of classic mythology, sexual innuendo and urban scrawl.

Franchetti, a patron of Twombly’s. (The couple married in 1959 and had a son, Alessandro, now an artist in Rome.) Del Roscio recognized the well-known visitors coming to the 36-year-old Twombly’s apartment to look at his work. A few months later, a mutual friend introduced Del Roscio, who describes himself at the time as ‘‘undisciplined, anarchic,’’ to Twombly, who appreciated the young man’s ability to recognize painters’ styles after only a brief exposure to their work. ‘‘I had a good eye,’’ says Del Roscio, looking out the kitchen window in the house in Gaeta. ‘‘It increased me in his estimation. He wouldn’t give you his friendship just like that.’’ Twombly gave him his first job in art, cutting a canvas, before asking him to frame a painting for a client. Within a couple of years, he was working full-time for Twombly (he later began dealing museum-quality antique frames). Although the two men never lived together, their lives were perpetually intertwined. Twombly and Tatiana, who died in 2010, never divorced and remained friends. ‘‘Cy’s and Nicola’s personalities were so similar, so close, they almost became the same person,’’ says the art dealer Larry Gagosian, who began representing Twombly in the ’90s, and who still sails his yacht to Gaeta yearly to see Del Roscio. Through Twombly, Del Roscio gained entrance to the rarefied world of international art and design. The men were guests at Robert Rauschenberg’s Fish House on Captiva Island and at Philip Johnson’s Glass House in New Canaan, Conn. Jasper Johns, Willem de Kooning and Andy Warhol were among the artist’s intimates. Twombly, whom the artist Julian Schnabel, also a friend, called ‘‘a big child,’’ needed to be looked after. He didn’t drive or cook, and business bored him — so Del Roscio took care of the day-to-day annoyances, hosting guests and planning exhibits, meeting with dealers and gallery owners and editing catalogs. Sometimes Twombly — a rangy 6 feet 4 inches tall — would sit on Nicola’s shoulders to paint the uppermost corners of the larger canvases. ‘‘Cy had a kind of naïve laziness,’’ Del Roscio says. ‘‘Sometimes he couldn’t do very practical things or he didn’t want to.’’ Although Twombly had lived in Italy since the late 1950s (in addition to his apartment in Rome, he had a 17th-century villa in Bassano in Teverina, north of Rome), it was Del Roscio who brought him into the world of Gaeta, which influenced so much of

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STILL LIFE Top: on a table in the grand sitting room, mementos including a poster for a Twombly exhibition in St. Petersburg, a Ross Bleckner painting, red coral and a leaf from the Seychelles, and a portrait of Del Roscio as a child by the artist Pasquale Di Fabio. Opposite: a rarely used sitting room in the main house, where the furniture is covered in muslin sheets and an antique mirror keeps cold air from entering through the fireplace.

his later work. The painter regaled visitors with tales of how Hadrian had owned a villa in the town, how Catullus had pals there and how Cicero was buried nearby. It was a sort of East Hampton 2,000 years ago, he joked. By the time Del Roscio and Twombly arrived, the place had become ramshackle, but the lack of pretension suited them. Gaeta was perfect for an artist whose references were a unique mix of classic mythology, sexual innuendo and urban scrawl. When, after years of staying in a local hotel or with friends, Twombly bought a house and rented a studio in Gaeta in the early 1990s, it was a 20-minute walk down the hill from Del Roscio and visible from the terrace of his dining room. Guests would always stay with Del Roscio — Cy, he says, was ‘‘anguished by the flood of people and his only desire was to paint before he could not anymore because he was getting old.’’ Twombly didn’t have a TV, rarely used a phone and eschewed the army of assistants that most artists of his stature employ to complete large-scale works. Danto recalled that on one visit, when everyone was ready to go to dinner, Del Roscio would wave a small Turkish flag out the window. ‘‘Cy was reliant on Nicola as someone for whom he had great trust and with whom he could discuss ideas,’’ says Nicholas Serota, the director of the Tate. ‘‘They obviously enjoyed each other enormously. They had a shared interest in literature and an enormous respect for language and poetry. It is one of the things that made them such good companions from the point of view of the work.’’ Del Roscio would gather bits of wood, vines and other natural things for Twombly’s sculptures. Despite their linked lives, Del Roscio never let the artist subsume him or define him. Even now, he worries that what is written about the two men will be too ‘‘gossipy’’ or stray too far into intimate territory. ‘‘It’s important to note that Nicola had a life independent from Cy,’’ Serota says, ‘‘pursuing his own passion for the palm garden, creating an environment and a house that is singularly Nicola, with his strong sense of color and textiles that he managed to combine in a very effective way.’’ The white stucco house with green shutters includes a grand sitting room, with 14-foot ceilings and walls frescoed in garlands and flowers of pale pink and blue. When the muslin sheets are removed,


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there are sofas and chairs, upholstered in yellow or cream silk. There is a bedchamber with a massive armoire and downy linens. The rooms are spare but their views are voluptuous, to the sea and the sweep of the coast in the village below. The original structure dates to roughly A.D. 1000, and over the centuries it was used by a Spanish ambassador and a cardinal, but by 1979, the rooftop was almost collapsing; just one frescoed room escaped the bombing of World War II. ‘‘There were cracks so big that you could look to the sea,’’ says Del Roscio. He runs his fingertips around a varnished door, and laughs. ‘‘I spent all my life to restore this place and when I finish, it will collapse.’’ Fourteen years ago, Del Roscio bought a second house to complete the parcel. (Twombly’s house is owned by his son.) It sits below the old house, and because it is easier to heat, it is where he lives when he is not traveling for the foundation or at his

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LIVING HISTORY Above from left: the entryway of the house where Del Roscio now stays when he is in Gaeta, with a chair by Arne Jacobsen, 18th-century Neapolitan floor tiles and a poster for a Twombly show at Gagosian Gallery from 2008, framed with a vintage Del Roscio find; an orange tree outside the cottage house that stores Twombly’s archives. Opposite: a guest room in the main house, with an original 18th-century bed and doors.

apartment in Rome. On a midcentury glass-topped table with a sculptural teak base sit the architectural drawings of the Villa Malaparte on Capri, where Del Roscio and Gagosian are planning an exhibit for this summer. His personal totems of Twombly’s are stored in a wall-size wooden cabinet in the foundation office on the Gaeta property. There are private letters, original Polaroids, correspondences with dealers, workaday notes requesting paint colors, Twombly’s eyeglasses, paintbrushes — ‘‘things I collected for 50 years,’’ Del Roscio says. But he doesn’t open the cabinet for a visitor. Some things belong under lock and key. In Gaeta, says Schnabel, Twombly ‘‘lived the poetry of his work,’’ an evocation, he says, of the Ezra Pound lines: ‘‘Let the wind speak/that is paradise.’’ ‘‘Nicola,’’ he says, ‘‘lived it with him.’’


Twombly regaled visitors with tales of how Hadrian had owned a villa in the town, how Catullus had pals there and how Cicero was buried nearby. It was a sort of East Hampton 2,000 years ago, he joked.

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Document

Flowers in Vases ‘‘Amateur Gardening: Picture Book of Flower Arrangement,’’ by Violet Stevenson, published by Collingridge, 1968. Part of a series of paintings from books, by Leanne Shapton for T magazine.

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T: The New York Times Style Magazine


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