Bedayat installation by Designlab.
Photo: Roberto Conte

The Artful Life: 6 Things Galerie Editors Love This Week

From a striking installation in Saudi Arabia to the new Nordic Knots flagship in Stockholm designed by Giancarlo Valle

The Georgian in Santa Monica recently reopened in time for its 90th anniversary. Photo: Douglas Friedman

1. The Georgian Hotel in Santa Monica Undergoes Glam Makeover

Just in time for its 90th anniversary, a beloved architectural icon in Santa Monica has gotten spellbinding makeover worthy of its Hollywood pedigree. Once a hot spot for Tinseltown legends such as Clarke Gable and Marilyn Monroe, the Georgian Hotel first opened in 1933 and is known for its beach-facing turquoise exterior, which blends Romanesque Revival and Art Deco influences. Over the past year, the eight-story landmark has undergone a painstaking renovation led by Blvd Hospitality, interior design practice Fettle, architects HLW, and Corso Marketing Group, which included a refresh of its 56 rooms and 28 suites as well as several public spaces. Among them are a pair of restaurants, gym, library, and gallery—the last of which will be programmed with the help of local and international talents. —Geoffrey Montes

Bedayat installation by Designlab. Photo: Roberto Conte

2. Designlab Experience Creates a Striking Installation for Saudi Arabia’s Founding Day

Responsible for crafting immersive environments around the globe, architectural studio Designlab Experience (DLE) took over a 6,000-square-meter helipad in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, for a one-night-only celebration in honor of the Middle Eastern country’s founding day. For the project, titled Bedayat, DLE drew inspiration from Saudi heritage and royal history, installing a steel and textile dome-like structure weaved with PVC fabric in two colors to match the night’s changing ambiance. In the center, a 156-ton central ring was filled with over 1,000 LED light fixtures to offer 360-degree projection to create a multi-dimensional experience. —Shelby Black

G-Timeless Moonlight. Photo: Courtesy of Gucci

G-Timeless Planetarium. Photo: Courtesy of Gucci

3. Gucci Launches Whimsical High-Watches Inspired by the Golden Age of Space Travel

Gucci is blazing a trail in the world of High Watchmaking, debuting five signature collections that are inspired by space travel: G-Timeless Planetarium, G-Timeless Dancing Bees, G-Timeless Moonlight, Gucci 25h, and Grip. A masterful mix of contemporary flair and exceptional craftsmanship, these artful watches feature an assortment of exceptional and rare stones. The G-Timeless Planetarium, for example, is a collection that showcases the “Dancing Hours Flying Tourbillon, GGC.1976.DS,” named after the Orion Nebula NGC 1976, which is one of our galaxy’s brightest nebulas and is visible to the naked eye. The tourbillon is centered on the dial and set with a diamond-studded star. A start-and-stop function on the crown activates a rotation of 12 precious stones—one with Ethiopian opals against a translucent blue background, and another featuring a dreamy mix of topaz, peridot, amethyst and Ethiopian opals. Another standout is the “G-Timeless Moonlight,” where a client’s specific place, time, and birthday are uniquely depicted on the watch, which features an aventurine glass dial layered over a thin mother-of-pearl disc. —Lucy Rees

V&A Decorative Papers Collection by 1838 Wallcoverings, Photo: 1838 Wallcoverings

4. The V&A Decorative Papers Collection by 1838 Wall Coverings Launches in the U.S.

For anyone who has ever dreamed of raiding the Victoria & Albert Museum’s archive for wallpaper patterns, that fantasy has just become a reality with the launch of 1838 Wallcoverings collaboration with the revered institution. Looking to the V&A’s vast holding of textiles and papers, the fourth-generation family business was able to assemble a collection of nine patterns in 30 colorways, which are launching in the U.S. this week. Although the resulting assortment may be mined from the past, they each possess a certain timeless quality that fit perfectly within the current taste for maximalist decor. While slight tweaks to design have been made from the historic documents, the spirit of the original works by such legends as the 18th-century illustrator and calico printer William Kilburn, wood engraver Walter Crane, and Arts-and-Crafts wallpaper creator Lewis Foreman Day. —Jacqueline Terrebonne

Inside the Nordic Knots flagship in Stockholm, designed by Giancarlo Valle. Photo: Magnus Mårding

5. Giancarlo Valle Designs Nordic Knots First Flagship in Stockholm

Connoisseurs of Nordic Knots refined Scandinavian rugs now have an equally elegant space in Stockholm to peruse the collection. For the company’s debut flagship, Nordic Knots founders, husband and wife Fabian Berglund and Liza Laserow, selected a former early-20th-century theater, collaborating with New York architect Giancarlo Valle to conjure a dashing showroom that also preserved the structure’s distinctive period details. “From the offset, we knew that we wanted to bring the essence of New York City to Stockholm, something a little unexpected and a sense of intrigue that felt so familiar to us when we lived in the States,” says Laserow. “We also knew that we had to exhibit our rugs in the most imaginative way possible.”

Valle transformed the grand foyer into a showplace for a rotating display of Nordic Knots rugs and installed significant design pieces, including sculptural lighting from Carlos H. Matos, as well as a gentlemanly coffee bar. “Sweden, to me, represents one of the richest and most sophisticated design cultures in the world; it has a deep history of decorative arts and always manages to move itself forward in new and original ways without losing its roots,” says Valle, whose relationship with the brand started with a four-piece rug collection introduced in February. “Swedish attention to craft, detail, material, and proportion is something we wanted to respect, but at the same time, we wove it together in our own way.” —Jill Sieracki

Anastasia Samoylova, Breakfast with Saul Leiter (1959), 2017 Photo: Courtesy of Laurence Miller Gallery, New York, NY

6. AIPAD Opens 42nd Edition of The Photography Show

The Photography Show presented by AIPAD returns to Center415 this Friday. The longest-running fair dedicated to the photographic medium celebrates its 42nd edition with a special exhibition devoted to large-scale works. “Monumental Moments” will showcase more than 15 photographs by artist such as Sebastião Salgado, Mickalene Thomas, and Michael Wolf, highlighting the possibilities of scale in fine art photography. Forty-four galleries will be exhibiting among presentations by major photo institutions Aperture, International Center of Photography (ICP), and Fotografiska. —Stefanie Li

Cover: Bedayat installation by Designlab.
Photo: Roberto Conte


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