A Vanguard of Four Influential L.A. Galleries Head to Manhattan for an Exhibition at Robert Kuo Gallery, 303 Spring Street, October 5 to November 21

  • LOS ANGELES, California
  • /
  • September 21, 2016

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Cheryl Ekstrom, artist's proof of a Frits Henningsen High-back Wing Chair in Stainless Steel
JF Chen

A quartet of highly esteemed Los Angeles galleries of decorative art and design are lined up for an important exhibition curated by Robert Kuo and Judith Lance. The galleries are partnering to inaugurate an experiential joint presentation of their collections that will create a discourse on contemporary design taking place in Los Angeles.

Titled “Robert Kuo Selects: Studio and Found Collections and Represented Artists,” the exhibition features latest collections by JF Chen, Blackman Cruz, Dana John and Kuo himself, all of whom are presenting at Kuo’s New York gallery, located at 303 Spring Street.

Explaining the impetus for the exhibition, Robert Kuo says: “The city of Los Angeles is teeming with creativity and is one of the undisputed forerunners in the world of design. The goal of the event is to showcase exceptional collections by a selected group of galleries-- studio production pieces, art, and some found items to lend balance to the overall presentation.”

Prominent Los Angeles based interior designer Judith Lance says that co-curating the event with Robert Kuo came about effortlessly and is based on their mutual respect for each other’s body of work and their shared regard for the decorative arts. “We both recognized the curatorial and design skills of each selected L.A. gallery and decided to create a collaborative presentation for a New York event,” she says. “We were pleased that each gallery we approached shared the enthusiasm for the project.”

Smoke Crystal Glacier Brass Side Table
Robert Kuo

Mr. Kuo and Ms. Lance are making their selections from three of L.A.’s foremost galleries for design: JF Chen, Blackman Cruz and Dana John, who will show along with Robert Kuo. The galleries continue to be an inspirational source for celebrities like David Geffen, Angelina Jolie, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson, Brad Pitt, and Will Smith, as well as an international set of designers and collectors, including Atelier AM, Bradley Bayou, Joan Behnke, Jamie Drake, Thierry Despont, Cliff Fong, Tom Ford, Stephen Gambrel, Jacques Grange, Jane Hallworth, Kelly Hoppen, Eric Hughes, Kara Mann, Peter Marino, Alberto Pinto,Yabu Pushelberg, Joel Silver, Michael Smith, Madeline Stuart, William Sofield and Beth Rudin DeWoody.

The galleries are partnering to inaugurate an experiential presentation that will bring together a joint presentation of their collections. In combination, the presentation will create a discourse on design taking place in contemporary Los Angeles.

Says Robert Kuo: “Our goal is to shine a spotlight on the creativity and workmanship that emanate from these Los Angeles galleries.  L.A. is expressing an unique creative energy that is very specific and evidences an important design perspective. Judith and I have a deep appreciation for quality and we possess a clear sense for spotting noteworthy pieces. We understand our clients desire for remarkable works.”

Says Joel Chen, “JF Chen is excited to be a part of Robert Kuo Selects. We look forward to introducing the work of our represented artists to a New York audience.”

Adam Blackman and David Cruz, of Blackman Cruz say they are looking forward to collaborating with Robert Kuo, who they deem as an esteemed Southern California institution. 

Says Dana Lance, “ Being part of the Robert Kuo Selects production is a welcome opportunity to connect with the New York audience in person and to join Robert in addressing an exhibition that represents our Los Angeles point of view.”

Herkimer Table Lamp Patinated Steel and Brass, Silk Shade
Blackman Cruz

About the Robert Kuo Selects participants:

Robert Kuo

Robert Kuo’s story bridges the gap between ancient Chinese and 21st century traditions. The works can be seen around the world, from the National History Museum in Taipei to exclusive hotels such as the Singapore Ritz-Carlton and The Four Seasons New York and some of the most exquisite residences in the world. Called the ‘imperial craftsman of the 21st century,” Kuo reinterprets the past for the present and future and has an avid and enthusiastic base of collectors who await his new designs.

JF Chen

Established 40 years ago on Melrose Avenue by owner and tastemaker Joel Chen, JF Chen offers furniture and decorative arts from eclectic period pieces to masterworks from the 20th and 21st centuries. Chen’s 30,000 plus-square foot galleries and showrooms house collections of museum-quality furniture, lighting, accessories and art. Always ahead of the trends, Chen has the eye and intellectual rigor of a curator and together with his passion and appreciation for fine design, he continues to be a source of inspiration for collectors, designers, and museums.

Blackman Cruz

Blackman Cruz is made up of two adventurous aesthetes, Adam Blackman and David Cruz.  Housed in a 9,000 square foot former gay nightclub, Blackman Cruz is sought out by an international set of design cognoscenti for high end collectible design from their found pieces, the Blackman Cruz Workshop and the various artists they represent.  As noted by Amanda Fortini in her recent New York Times article, “High-low rule breaking in design has become something of a rule in itself, but it was once a novel idea, and Blackman Cruz helped pioneer it.”

Dana John

Prior to opening the Dana John gallery, Dana Lance specialized in sensitive restorations and the building of fine Los Angeles residences. One of his last restoration projects was for William Sofield’s 1910 Laurel Canyon Craftsman house, originally owned by Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks. It was a natural aesthetic progression for Dana to shift his focus toward the decorative arts. Since opening in 2005, Dana John has been a highly regarded source for discerning interior designers, architects and collectors for a collection encompassing a wide range of stylistic references, both found and contemporary, as well as meticulously executed designs from the Dana John Studio collection.

Judith Lance

Judith’s formative years based in Tokyo, Manila, New York and Los Angeles instilled within her a widely informed aesthetic and cultural range that continues to be the basis for her dedication to the decorative and domestic arts. “I witnessed a remarkable convergence of cultures, as well as exposure to a wealth of design influences during a time of the emerging international design culture as we know it today,” says Ms. Lance. “The challenge and joy for me is in editing and interpreting the details into a composition that both inspires and brings my clients a sense of well being.”


For additional information visit www.robertkuo.com.


Marilyn White
Marilyn White Public Relations


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