Una Malan Opens a Design Dreamhouse in the Hills, and Other News

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Una Malan. Photography by Douglas Friedman

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Una Malan Opens a Design Dreamhouse in the Hills

West Coast design fans have called Una Malan’s La Cienaga showroom home since it opened in 2016. Now, they can venture just up into the Hollywood Hills to her 1930s mansion tucked behind Bougainvilleas and hedges. She’s calling it Una Casa Privada. With its kitchen of Monogram appliances and bathroom fixed with Kallista, it functions like a dreamhouse, and hosts a full calendar of creative and wellness events. But it’s also a gallery, as evidenced by art advisor Carlos Antonio’s careful selection of contemporary work. That includes 40 vendors and collections including Rose Uniacke, Gabriel Scott, Designs of the Time, Loro Piana, and tailored sofas, chairs, and beds made in-house. —Jesse Dorris

Installation view of “Heroes & Monsters: Jean-Michel Basquiat, The Thaddeus Mumford Jr. Venice Collection” at the Orlando Museum of Art. Photography by Macbeth Studios

The Orlando Museum of Art’s ousted former director says he was “scapegoated.”

Aaron De Groft, the Orlando Museum of Art’s embattled former director who faced controversy over an exhibition of alleged fake Basquiats and was subsequently fired and sued by the museum, has filed a counterclaim. De Groft contends that the museum’s allegations are a baseless lie concocted by its board of trustees to scapegoat him for their own failures. He places blame on the museum’s former chairwoman, Cynthia Brumback, who he claims approved the exhibition despite knowledge of an FBI subpoena related to the artworks. De Groft seeks more than $50,000 in damages for wrongful termination and harm to his reputation. OMA has not commented on the matter, and negotiations for a potential lawsuit settlement are reportedly underway.

The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis launches a new collectible design platform.

The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis has launched the Idea House 3 collectible design platform. The retail concept combines limited-edition furnishings, lighting, textiles, and accessories within themed domestic settings such as the kitchen, bedroom, living room, and office. The curated selection features works by Deborah Ehrlich, Studio Proba, and Frank Gehry, promoting experimental design that reinterprets traditional craft traditions. The initiative aims to bridge the gap between museum-quality presentation and retail, inviting visitors to bring home the latest design innovations The inaugural exhibition, “Midwest Design Here & Now Guest Room,” showcases regional talents and aims to dispel the notion that cutting-edge design is limited to East and West Coast cities. 

Yasmeen Lari. Image courtesy of the Heritage Foundation of Pakistan

Yasmeen Lari is on track to build one million flood-resistant homes across Pakistan.

In 2022, following devastating floods in Pakistan that displaced 33 million people and caused $30 billion in damage, architect Yasmeen Lari pledged to build one million flood-resilient homes. The Heritage Foundation of Pakistan, founded by Lari, recently provided an update, stating that they have built 333,000 homes for flood-displaced individuals as part of their rebuild program, which aims to reach one million replacement homes by 2024. These resilient homes are built using locally sourced materials like earth, lime render, and bamboo, utilizing vernacular building methods to withstand future floods. Lari’s approach, known as Barefoot Social Architecture, promotes self-build methods to support marginalized communities, and it has already earned her the RIBA Gold Medal for her achievements in this field. 

A Swiss museum’s plan to sell Cézanne paintings to avoid insolvency sparks criticism. 

The Museum Langmatt in Baden’s plan to auction three Paul Cézanne paintings, including Fruits et pot de gingembre, has sparked criticism over violating industry guidelines. The Swiss institution cited financial necessity for the sale, with estimates ranging from $35 million to $55 million. Recent research revealed evidence that the painting was likely sold under duress in 1933, leading to an agreement with the heirs of the Jewish art dealer, Jacob Goldschmidt, who once partly owned the work. The museum aims to raise 40 million Swiss francs ($44 million) to establish an endowment fund for its survival.

New York’s attorney general sues PepsiCo over plastic pollution in the Buffalo River.

Earlier this week, New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit against PepsiCo, alleging that the food and beverage giant has both harmed the environment and deceived the public regarding its commitment to reducing single-use plastic in its packaging. The lawsuit claims that much of the plastic waste in the Buffalo River can be attributed to PepsiCo’s products. James seeks unspecified damages, a solution for the contamination caused by PepsiCo’s products in the Buffalo region, and a reduction in the company’s plastic packaging entering the river. She also demands that the company cease selling or distributing single-use plastic products in the Buffalo area without “adequate” warning labels. In response, PepsiCo stated its commitment to plastic reduction and recycling efforts.

A 1655 engraving of a cabinet of curiosities. Image courtesy of Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles

Today’s attractive distractions:

LACMA shows how cabinets of curiosities helped lay the foundation for museums.

The value of NFTs has plummeted, but Dairy Queen has opened an NFT pop-up.

TikTok quickly roasts an apartment redecoration for its “sad beige” color scheme.

Witches, shamans, and the occult are currently in high demand in the art world.

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