California Gains a Striking Design Gallery in Maison Lune, and Other News

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Maison Lune. Photography by Ye Rin Mok

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California Gains a Striking Design Gallery in Maison Lune

Long regarded as a hub for Los Angeles creatives, Venice is now home to Maison Lune, a new art and design gallery from Sandrine Abessera and Lubov Azria. The 4,000-square-foot residential-style gallery features art, collectible design, and objets, all of which were curated by Gaia Jacquet Matisse. For its debut exhibition, works by Matisse’s mother, Sophie, along with those by Bobbie Olivier, Jeannie Weissglass, Edson Fernandes, James Fischetti, Angela Damman, and Santiago Martinez Peral will be on view through the end of Frieze L.A. 

“We want to build an alternative to traditional galleries, which are often perceived as too elitist and intimidating,” Abessera and Azria told Dezeen. The duo worked with interior designer Gabriella Kuti to convert the space, formerly a private residence, into a “dream home, where beauty rules,” in their words, making it the warm and inviting gallery it is now. Jenna Adrian-Diaz

Paul Bettany as Andy Warhol and Jeremy Pope as Jean-Michel Basquiat in “The Collaboration” on Broadway. Photography by Jeremy Daniel

Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat’s friendly rivalry stars in a new Broadway play.

“Who will win the title of “Greatest Painter in the World Today”? That’s the premise at the heart of a vibrant new Broadway play that examines how two of the 20th-century’s greatest artists competed for supremacy while working together. The Collaboration, which opened Dec. 20 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, explores how Andy Warhol, then an aging has-been in the latter portion of his career, and Jean-Michel Basquiat, the art world’s latest rising star whose semi-abstract canvases injected new life into painting and sold handsomely, planned a joint exhibition. Billed as a match between two heavyweights, the pair donned boxing gloves to advertise the show—a clash between the old guard and the new.” [H/T ARTnews]

Elena Xausa, an in-demand illustrator renowned for her whimsical style, dies at 38. 

“Elena Xausa, who was sought after by top publications and companies for her vibrant and whimsical illustrations that evoked joie de vivre even among the most seemingly everyday subjects, died on Nov. 27 at her home in Marostica, Italy. She was 38. Her death came as she was gaining ever wider recognition, with her work appearing in The Economist, The New York Times, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, and The Washington Post as well as in campaigns by Apple, Nike, and other advertisers. Ms. Xausa’s illustrations were known for boldly outlined minimalist shapes filled with bright, solid colors. They were often visual metaphors accentuating the irony of a situation.” [H/T The New York Times]

Mexico City, UNESCO, and Airbnb form an alliance to promote creative tourism there.

“Mexico City, UNESCO, and Airbnb announced an alliance to position the city as the capital of creative tourism and remote workers in Latin America. The announcement was made known through the Mexico City Government’s social networks and Airbnb’s news section. UNESCO unveiled the strategy with the intention of “contributing to the reactivation of tourism in a responsible and sustainable way in Mexico, and extending the benefits of cultural and creative tourism to more communities. Mexico City joins the list of 20 cities around the world, along with other destinations such as Dubai, Lisbon, Buenos Aires, Palm Springs, and Queensland, to become a host destination for remote workers and digital nomads. This initiative is part of Airbnb’s Live & Work Anywhere campaign that was launched in May.” [H/T ArchDaily]

Munger Hall proposal at the University of California, Santa Barbara

A new review of Santa Barbara’s “megadorm” calls for sweeping design changes.

“A new independent review produced by a 13-member panel made up of faculty and community members at the University of California, Santa Barbara has outlined a host of health and safety risks inherent in the contested Munger Hall megadorm design proposal. The report cited the need for Covid-safe ventilation techniques, safer egress routes, and the psychological toll taken on students as factors to be considered in a “robust redesign” that would follow the changes made previously in response to a torrent of community feedback. It also decried a lack of outside input early on.” [H/T Archinect]

An Iranian artist unveils artwork outside Tate Modern honoring victims of Khamenei.

“From a distance, there’s a festive look to the red, white, and green streamers fluttering in the riverside breeze in front of Tate Modern. But move closer and you see that these strips of crepe paper are interspersed with signs declaring ‘Say Their Names’ and multiple images of men, women, and children. Red, white, and green are also the colors of the Iranian flag, and the people whose faces and names are on display are the 400-plus Iranians who have been killed by the regime since the protests erupted with the death of Mahsa Amini in September. Say Their Names is an ongoing project instigated by the Iranian artist Anahita Rezvani-Rad, who has lived in London since 2004. The project came from a desire to record and commemorate those who have died in the recent uprisings.” [H/T The Art Newspaper]

Vandals destroy a 30,000-year-old Aboriginal artwork at Australia’s Koonalda Cave.

“In a devastating hit to world heritage, vandals struck South Australia’s Koonalda Cave on Nullarbor Plain, destroying 30,000-year-old artwork at the national heritage site. The cave is considered sacred by its owners, the Mirning people. “This is quite frankly shocking,” South Australia Attorney-General and Aboriginal Affairs Minister, Kyam Maher, told Australia’s ABC Radio. “These caves are some of the earliest evidence of Aboriginal occupation of that part of the country.” He called for a “severe penalty” for those responsible. Under the law, damaging an Aboriginal site could lead to six months jail time or a fine of $6,700.” [H/T Artnet News]

The portrait in Joan Didion’s apartment. Photography by Albert Watson

Today’s attractive distractions:

Lionel Messi winning the World Cup is now Instagram’s most-liked picture.

Titanic’s greatest unsolved mystery involves a bowl of PCP-laced chowder.

No one has known the mysterious origins of a Joan Didion portrait until now.

Lizzo’s SNL performance paid homage to a famous Annie Lee painting.

All Stories