Monday, January 19, 2015

New Art and Design Directions: Provocative Gallery Show

‘The Designer as Artist’ a new and exclusive curated show opens January 29 at the Oliver Hawke Gallery in San Francisco.

Created and shaped by San Francisco art curator Philip Bewley, the exhibit features the art of top San Francisco interior designers Martha Angus, Gioi Tran, Stuart Gilchrist, and Matthew MacCaul Turner. This quarter is among the most admired designers in California.

In addition to creating highly individual interiors, each also work as an artist, presenting highly individual contemporary art. 

San Francisco-based art curator Philip Bewley told me that his first idea for the show began months ago when he passed Martha Angus’s downtown San Francisco design studio and noticed a series of contemporary aquatints she had recently created. “We are working designers and working artists,” Angus informed him.

Subsequently, Bewley attended a gallery show at Arthaus in San Francisco featuring paintings on canvas by designer Gioi Tran. At about the same time, Matthew MacCaul Turner designed a room for the San Francisco Decorator Showcase with art curated by gallerist Lisa Chadwick who incorporated one of Turner’s own works of fine art photography for this collection.

“I discovered that Matthew had a hidden talent and background as a photographer,” said Bewley. “I saw his series shot in Paris on Polaroid side film and these outstanding works of photography should be shown. I became familiar with Stuart Gilchrist’s drawings on social media, and I agreed with his legion of friends and fans that these superb interior renderings, illustrations and pencil on paper drawing should have a gallery exhibition.”

The result of Philip Bewley’s far-ranging explorations and discoveries will be on display at the new Oliver Hawke Gallery, opening January 29.

“My background is in period antiques and I’m familiar with the design world. I am now working as a fine art consultant and curator. All of these designers, top in their field, have a dedicated background in creating art. Art is their first love. It is what they have always done. Now their work as artists creating original works of fine art is being recognized. 

“This is a golden moment in San Francisco with an explosion of new ideas in art and tech and design, and many new art galleries, world-class art fairs, and an underground art scene. It is a potent atmosphere of artistry and vibrant creative expression. It is thrilling to be in this moment and to be a part of it all. — Philip Bewley

Martha Angus

About Martha Angus

Martha Angus is the principal of her own design firm, Martha Angus, Inc. Angus has designed residences for clients such as Ralph Lauren, the Lauder family and tech families in Silicon Valley. Martha shares her passions for design and contemporary art in her blog, Post and Grant, and she brings an artist’s eye and perspective to the interiors she designs. Martha studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and École des Arts Decoratifs et du Batiment in Grenoble prior to earning a B.F.A. in painting at Carnegie Mellon University. In New York City, she studied with portrait painter Nelson Shanks at the Art Students League. For this exhibition, Angus displays a series of aquatints she made while attending several workshops at Crown Point Press led by master print maker Emily York. Martha considers art her first love, both as an artist, educator and collector.

“While I have been a designer I have always been making art. 
As a designer here in San Francisco I was always buying art for clients at Crown Point Press. I saw they had a summer workshop and quickly signed up. Professionals, teachers from all over the world, attend these workshops. That is where I created this series of aquatints on fine paper, now framed, that will be in the exhibition. I have recently been creating these illuminated lightbox transparencies. The first one sold right away and I have presold another for Palm Springs –to be installed in the entry of a private home that is hosting a party for the Modernism Show. This is all I ever have wanted to do—creating art—and I am still doing it.” — Martha Angus

Stuart Gilchrist

About Stuart Gilchrist

Stuart Gilchrist is a designer and artist and founder of his design firm, Stuart Gilchrist. He has designed residential interiors for leaders in the motion picture industry such as manager Benny Medina, actor Will Smith and producer Scott Rudin, and recently social media founders. The Mimi London Showroom showcased Gilchrist’s original furniture collection. Gilchrist’s ability to confidently sketch and produce complex drawings of great artistry became apparent at an early age. Gilchrist employs his drawing skills in producing his designs, as well as creating original work of fine art illustration in pencil on paper. Stuart Gilchrist currently divides his time between his San Francisco studio in Union Square and his estate in the California foothills. For this exhibition Gilchrist displays his twelve drawing series produced to commemorate the one hundred year anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, selections from his Russian Hill Series, and Views of San Francisco, and a select group of vintage interior renderings.

“Every job has been a direct result of my ability to sketch. Besides providing renderings as an exclusive feature for my clients, I draw for pleasure. I am continuously learning from my drawing. In the past my drawing was very detailed but now it is about the line. “The Titanic Series” that I produced as a series of twelve drawings in commemorate the sinking of the Titanic was an exercise of discipline. I was my desire to complete a storyboard of a concept other than interiors.  
“Sketching is how I communicated as a child and I continue to use this technique as an adult. Now I take iPhone images as a way of filing away imagery for later drawings. My drawing is not separate from my work and my art. Drawing is integral to my life in every aspect.”—Stuart Gilchrist

Gioi Tran

About Gioi Tran

Gioi Tran is an interior designer and fine artist with his residence and design and art studio in San Francisco. In 1999 Tran along with Vernon Applegate established Applegate Tran Interiors, a design firm specializing in residential design with projects in France, New York, Hawaii, Panama City and Vietnam. In 2007 Tran launched a furniture line that is now represented in San Francisco, Chicago and Los Angeles. As a fine artist, Tran’s original paintings on canvas have been exhibited in various galleries including Arthaus in San Francisco. For this exhibition, Tran presents new works commissioned for this exhibition, including large-scale paintings on canvas and works of sculpture.

“As a child growing up in Vietnam in the early 1970’s we used pen and ink to do our lessons in school. We came to the U.S. as refugees. My family did not want me to pursue a life as an artist. In my heart, though, this is what I always wanted to do. I studied design and then established my own firm with Vernon. About five years ago I was asked to show my paintings at a gallery and that launched me on my second career as an artist. I create art at the same time that I have a design business. I have a studio in an industrial building here in San Francisco. It has high ceilings and a concrete floor. My dog Luigi hangs out there with me while I paint at night. I kept the design business and my artwork for galleries separate until recently a new client said he wanted my painting incorporated in the interior design.”
“My design work is rather different from my art as the environments I create for my clients are very tranquil, serene and often monochromatic. When I paint my work is just the opposite: It is big and bold with saturated colors. It is a kind of release for me, my escape.”

 — Gioi Tran

Matthew MacCaul Turner 

About Matthew MacCaul Turner 

An architect & interior designer, Turner believes that an ordinary space can be elevated to the level of art through thoughtful design scale, proportion. Current projects include a residence with sweeping views over the city of San Francisco, that Turner is transforming into a light-filled aerie, with an enfilade of salons filled with period antiques and contemporary art. As a fine art photographer, Turner is presenting a series for this exhibition shot in Paris, previously exhibited in Atlanta in the exhibition titled, ‘The Architect’s View”, as well as a selection of new works in fine art photography. (Check the ARCHIVE of THE STYLE SALONISTE for several projects designed by Matthew.)

“My work as a photographer assists me in design. It gives me a heightened sense of how pieces would work in a room, and assists me in making artistic choices in design creating a livable work of art. When I am creating works of photography I am doing this for my own explorations without the constraints of a client or the concerns associated with the scope of a project. That is liberating.” — Matthew Turner

The Details

Oliver Hawke Gallery is a pop-up art gallery and art exhibition space producing monthly group shows in the South of Market district of San Francisco. The gallery is affiliated with The Artillery SF, a film, visual graphics and animation studio. Oliver Hawke promotes new and emerging as well as established artists working in various media including painting, video art, photography, illustration and mixed media.

Oliver Hawke Gallery provides a dynamic alternative art space where artists exhibit and sell their art, to show new artists and ideas in art, and to encourage the creative arts community of San Francisco. 

Philip Bewley (center) at the Oliver Hawke Gallery

Philip Bewley is the curator of the Oliver Hawke Gallery, a pop-up exhibition space in San Francisco. Bewley is also a fine art advisor for private individuals and corporations. Bewley was formally an antiques and art specialist with Therien & Co., a leading period antiques gallery. Philip's personal portfolio includes original fine art photography.

‘The Designer as Artist’ features four top interior designers who are also artists, creating original works of fine art.

Martha Angus: limited edition aquatints were created by Angus at Crown Point press.

Stuart Gilchrist: original pencil drawings on paper.

Gioi Tran: paintings on canvas and works of sculpture were commissioned for this exhibition.

Matthew MacCaul Turner: a series of fine art photography.

Oliver Hawke is a fictional character.


Exhibition opens January 29, 2015, 
6:00 to 10:00 pm. 
The exhibition viewed by appointment until closing February 15, 2015. 

Oliver Hawke Gallery
1545 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Philip Bewley, Curator

(415) 407-2863

Gioi Tran’s artwork by Christopher Stark.
All other photography by Philip Bewley.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Celebrating Chic Adornment: San Francisco Vintage Jewelry Specialist Susie Hoimes Showcases Her Alluring Collection of Chanel Jewelry

For the New Year I’ve rediscovered the genius and individuality of exceptional vintage jewelry collections by Chanel, dating from the forties until recent seasons.

Coco Chanel, of all the opinionated and chic fashion designers and trendsetters of the twentieth century, is by far the most influential and relevant.

This week, I’ve selected Susie Hoimes’ Chanel costume jewels for inspiration—and a quick style recharge. Some pieces are pure fantasy—and others could be worn with a gala gown for a convincing injection of style and sparkle.

Susie Hoimes has become the top-secret source among San Francisco, Montecito, New York, Dallas, London, and Los Angeles fashion trendsetters for her superb collections of rare and elegant vintage jewelry. Among her recent treasures are early Chanel necklaces and cuff bracelets, Tony Duquette necklaces, Miriam Haskell pearl earrings and necklaces, and Elsa Schiaparelli necklaces.

Susie Hoimes

“My clients love the fine craftsmanship, drama and character of really fine vintage jewelry,” said Hoimes, who is originally from London. She is also a co-founder and partner in the new and highly popular jewelry collections for Dallas-based BuDhagirl.

“The vintage jewelry pieces I sell at MDVII in San Francisco are classic and glamorous, never trendy,” she said to me recently. “Chic California women today wear vintage Chanel or Yves Saint Laurent with their favorite diamonds, just as the Duchess of Windsor wore Kenny Lane frankly costume jewelry with her precious jewelry.”

Chanel’s influence is evident among jewelry connoisseurs who heed Chanel’s opinion that style is more meaningful than cost or status. Sometimes beautifully crafted costume pieces can be more dramatic, elegant and chic. Chanel’s Maltese cross bracelets, Byzantine looks, cabochon stones in many hues, and ropes of simulated pearls are among Hoimes’ selections. They celebrate the beauty of fine craftsmanship, rarity, and originality.

“Costume ornamentation often looks more beautiful as Chanel turned the world of precious jewelry upside-down,” noted Hoimes. ‘She worked closely with Verdura and Gripoix and others to make some of her most memorable and important designs, sometimes inspired by her own collections of precious jewels.”

Also in the velvet-lined display drawers at MDVII are sixties Christian Dior and Pierre Cardin dazzlers, early Lanvin and YSL pieces, and hard-to-find Coppola y Toppo forties to sixties beaded necklaces and bracelets.

Susie is also on speed dial for many of New York’s leading fashion stylists and style editors, including accessories and fashion editors at Elle and Vanity Fair and Vogue. Look for her jewels in star portraits of upcoming issues.

“Everyone is collecting over-the-top Kenneth Kay Lane Egyptian-revival pieces, and they love Boucher, William de Lillo, Goossens, Schreiner, and Hobe,” said Hoimes, who has a roster of top-secret international sources and is ultra-discreet about her clientele. “Chanel is essential for vintage jewelry collectors, as her designs cover such a wide range of materials such as Gripoix poured glass and faux emeralds and sapphires.”

It’s not all costume. Hoimes also sells antique Indian handcrafted gold and enamel jewelry in the kundan style, along with exquisite rare pink conch pearl necklaces and earrings, and pieces she has collection in Bangkok, Paris,

“Chanel and Hermes recently showed very beautiful Indian-inspired fashions and jewelry in Paris. I’m expecting an increased interest in Indian styles,” said Homes. “But I don’t really follow trends, precisely. I prefer timeless styles, classic pieces, and designs that have lasting quality and allure. My clients love one-of-a-kind pieces, and most of my vintage pieces were either singular designers or were made in very limited collections.”

Chanel called her costume jewelry ‘vrais bijoux en toc’ (real jewels that are fake), and mixed them with real pearls and diamonds, in a style she called ‘nonchalance de luxe’. She introduced this style in 1924. It was fantasy, artfully alluding to precious pieces, and was beautifully allegorical, and often convincingly ‘real’. Chanel and her collaborators loved movement, drama, and irony—and were seldom sentimental about nineteenth-century styles. Modern was her watchword.

Susie Hoimes vintage jewelry from $200 for a pair of sixties Cartier-style Ciner earrings. Prices on request.

A note from Susie, sent from Hong Kong recently:

“At MDVII and at my trunk shows I present virtually all the important costume jewelry designers. My brother founded the jewelry department at Spink in London (now owned by Christie’s) and is an expert in colored stones, as a result I have access to very special pieces of fine jewelry along with important costume jewelry

“Peter Truman also advises me on important pearls, Peter is a fourth generation jeweler in London whose family started in the mid 19th-century making mourning jewelry for Queen Victoria and high society in London after Prince Albert died. They made Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother’s wedding ring and still make exquisite jewelry for top jewelers internationally today.

Peter Truman is also a world-recognized authority on conch and natural pearls (Peter’s grandfather and President Truman were brothers).” 

Jewels at MDVII:

Among the designers Susie offers are rare pieces by Hermes, Christian Dior, Yves St Laurent, Christian Lacroix, Isabel Canovas, Gripoix, Lanvin, Alexis Lahellec, Hervé Van Der Straeten, Dominique Aurientis, Miriam Haskell, Kenneth Jay Lane, Hobe, Boucher, Philippe Trifari, Hattie Carnegie, Ciner, and Pucci, as well as many others, including leading Italian designers.
Susie’s charming boutique, filled with rare Venetian glass, quirky and chic antiques, and a treasure trove of jewelry, is located on Russian Hill and not far from Pacific Heights. I propose: call ahead and make an appointment as Susie is often traveling to find new wares, or visiting her private clients throughout the country.
1507 ½ Vallejo St. (near Polk Street)
San Francisco, CA
(415) 250-2283


Chanel jewelry images courtesy Susie Hoimes, used with kind permission. Note that most pieces are stamped ‘Chanel’.

Portrait of Susie Hoimes by Barbara Vaughn Photography, Barbara Vaughn Photography, 415-515-5112,

Photography of Chanel jewels: 
Patrik Argast