September 25, 2023

At first look, Maison Lune, an artwork gallery within the Venice neighborhood of Los Angeles, appears to be like precisely like a house. Sure, there are work and ceramics on show, however there’s additionally a mattress, a full kitchen, a tub. And typically you’ll be able to hear the tumble of laundry.

That’s as a result of it is a house.

In early 2022, when Sandrine Abessera and Lubov Azria moved in, they instantly felt it was an area that wanted to be shared.

“We thought it will be very egocentric of us to reside and exist in such an attractive area with out opening it as much as individuals — artists, innovators, all sorts,” mentioned Ms. Azria, 55, the previous chief artistic officer for BCBG Max Azria.

It was additionally about rethinking the standard art-viewing expertise — a departure from the white-cube artwork gallery, mentioned Ms. Abessera, 45, an artist and designer. “We have been drawn to this concept of being an artwork gallery,” she mentioned, however one “the place you’ll be able to sit and it’s not only a clean field.”

The purpose, she continued, is “to essentially expertise these works, whereas having the sensation of being in a house and —”

Finishing her sentence, Ms. Azria mentioned, “To actually reside it.”

Each three months, a brand new assortment of works is exhibited within the three-story residence and gallery, a charcoal-colored constructing that sits subsequent to one of many neighborhood’s canals. The latest present, which was on show within the ethereal inside via July 20, featured works by Wes Aderhold, a New York-based painter. The gallery’s first present, which opened earlier this yr, was a bunch exhibit curated by Gaia Jacquet-Matisse, Henri Matisse’s great-great-granddaughter.

However practically each component within the area can be curated, together with the houseplants, linens, rugs, vases, sofas and chairs — not simply what’s hanging on the partitions.

“You’re primarily going right into a collector’s residence to have the ability to place your self within the place of proudly owning and residing with these works,” mentioned Daniel Sierra Domínguez, 28, the curator and director of Maison Lune. “There’s an enormous hole within the mind-set of individuals consuming artwork; they see it as this esoteric factor that’s so past attain.”

Nothing right here is past attain: Guests can inquire about shopping for not solely the artwork, but additionally any of the ornamental objects, that are rearranged for every present. The hand-knotted silk rugs by Henzel Studio are impressed by the erosion of natural supplies, with holes and uneven traces working via them. The vegetation are from Vegetation & Areas, which makes a speciality of uncommon vegetation potted in customized vessels. The gallery can be engaged on a perfume to be offered within the type of a candle or incense.

“It’s 360-degree aesthetic consumption: odor, texture, sound, all the things,” Mr. Domínguez mentioned, evaluating what the gallery is doing to the custom of French salons, the place artwork was mentioned and critiqued in residential settings. (One other comparability that involves thoughts: a gallery like The Future Perfect, which sells furnishings out of a townhouse in New York, an condo in San Francisco and a home in Los Angeles.)

In fact, it isn’t straightforward to maintain a residing area pristine sufficient to exhibit artwork and design objects there. Nevertheless it helps that they haven’t any younger kids, no pets and “somebody to assist on daily basis of the week,” Ms. Abessera mentioned, with housekeeping.

The 2 ladies met whereas working collectively at BCBG, the style firm based by Ms. Azria’s husband, Max Azria, who died in 2019. Even then, Ms. Azria was often called a beneficiant host.

At their 17-bedroom Holmby Hills mansion, the Azrias held rollicking Shabbat dinners attended by a trendy crowd of pals and celebrities. “Lubov and Max had tons of of individuals coming for Shabbat dinners, strangers they by no means met,” Ms. Abessera mentioned. “That feeling of utterly opening your doorways was already very established in Lubov’s home.”

That residence, which Ms. Azria nonetheless owns, is called Maison du Soleil. Maison Lune, the 2 ladies’s major residence, is considerably quieter and calmer. (Thus the reference to the moon — which was additionally impressed by the spherical window above the bath.)

However they do maintain their share of gatherings on the gallery: Latest examples embrace a night cocktail hour through the Frieze artwork truthful in February and a magnificence grasp class in Could with Tata Harper, the founding father of the pure skin-care model.

Finally they hope to increase, with related idea areas in cities like Paris, Miami or New York. For now, it’s all about Venice, an space lengthy identified for attracting artists and different artistic residents. That bohemian spirit has been more durable to seek out in recent times, as luxurious retailers and high-end eating places have moved in and actual property costs have soared.

Leaning into that historical past is central to the gallery’s mission, Ms. Azria mentioned. Maison Lune is an area the place individuals “in all totally different fields” ought to be capable to “share their work and join,” she mentioned. “That’s what it was once like in Venice.”

She added: “We haven’t skilled that, however we’ve solely been right here for a yr.”

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