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LOS ANGELES IS A DIFFICULT CITY to navigate, both geographically and culturally, and more often than not is invoked as the underachieving stepsister of New York City rather than as a creative cultural frontrunner in its own right, despite its undeniable design legacy. This deep-seated bias is steadily changing, however, and an upcoming project at Robert Kuo in New York plans to showcase the very best offerings of decorative art and design from four vanguard Los Angeles dealers who are eager to dispel the misconception.

Robert Kuo Selects: Studio and Found Collections and Represented Artists is on view October 5 through November 21 at Robert Kuo Gallery at 303 Spring Street in Manhattan, organized by Kuo, himself an internationally renowned designer, and Los Angeles–based interior designer Judith Lance. The installation will feature a curated selection of pieces from L. A.’s esteemed J F Chen, Blackman Cruz, Dana John, and Robert Kuo galleries. Original production pieces will stand alongside individual works by artists and designers from the galleries’ diverse rosters, most of whom are not yet represented or available in New York City. A thoughtful punctuation of significant vintage pieces will ground the presentation of the new in a historical framework and design lineage.

The display will highlight Los Angeles’s unique interdisciplinary approach to art and design, a speculative model that sets it apart by blurring any rigid boundaries between the decorative and fine arts; designers, artists, and dealers easily share and exchange roles, while galleries, showrooms, and museums are often interchangeable contexts. The exhibition will present vignettes of objects from each dealer, all the work embedded in a single immersive and experiential installation. The Hollywood- driven landscape is nowhere to be seen in this show: L. A. stands alone as a locus of production and creativity exempt from the empty fanfare of celebrity culture. According to Judith Lance, “There is a freedom to experiment and create here. Everything is available in L. A. within a condensed radius in terms of resources and industry; from material to craftspeople, artisans, and fabricators…the palette is unlimited.” robertkuo.com