BRIGHT LYONS: November 2011

30 November 2011

Alexander Girard Pillows

Now that these pillows have been re-issued by Vitra and Urban Outfitters and god knows who else, it may not be that impressive to see these pillows. But these 4 are the real deal. Half a century old, sold at Girards T&O shop in 1961, essentially pre-dateing pop art.

29 November 2011

John Wesley at the Brooklyn Flea

This great John Wesley silk screen turned up at the Brooklyn Flea the other day. Its from the 1967 "11 Pop Artists" portfolio and is in an edition of 200. The last one that came up got $3700 at Phillis De Pury.  I paid $200. The women that sold it to me had an other one but I encouraged her to keep it.

22 November 2011


Here is a sneak peek at a project we just started with our friends at the store Rogan in the city. This will be our first foray into Manhattan. As the little sign posted above says, we are basically installing 25 things ( art, furniture, books, ephemera ) in their store on the corner of Bond and Bowery. More to come on this. We hope to have the whole thing up and running by "Black Friday" .

CSS Install

I've assembled these things about 30 times and it still doesn't get any easier. Even with the help of Gary Dias ( who once won second place in the annual Lansing Michigan CSS assembly Olympics ) its still a massive pain in the ass.

16 November 2011

Taylor McKimens Studio Visit.

I went by Taylor McKimens's studio today to drop off a sculpture and check in on a painting that Mandy and I commissioned a while ago. Its the one of the plants in the tub and is about 90% done. Check out the X-Mas tree he is building\painting.


If there is one question that Ive been asked numerous times over the years its "Paul,  just what is it that makes your Ultimate Nachos, "Ultimate"". I made these nachos for "Ultimate Fight Night" at my place over the weekend and everyone was really impressed. The trick to making your nachos Ultimate is not the number of ingredients you use, its in the layering of the ingredients. You want to lay down the chips, vegies, ground beef, beans, and cheese but then repeat the whole process until the nachos are about 4" deep. Once the first layer is eaten there will be a second layer I like to call the "bedrock" that can be put back in the oven for a second round.

One other important point. On the top of the first layer you must add hot peppers and spices. Otherwise you'll just end up with "Extreme Nachos" and nobody wants that.

11 November 2011

Saarinen Pedestal Base Dining Set. Knoll 1960

Our friend "Guitar Frank" the picker who has the whole Hudson Valley locked down, just dropped off this nice old Saarinen set.

10 November 2011

Good Art Show

I just went to see this art show today. This gallery has had some good shows in the past with people like Jason McClean and Joe Grillo. My friend Eric White has a piece in this show so I went to take a look. But there is also a Eddie Martinez painting in the show. I love his work. He is one of the most naturally gifted painters in NYC. But every time I think I will be able to afford a painting the fucking prices go up. This one is $15,000. WTF. Really? I bought about 100 pieces of  art from 2001 to 2009 all from NYC artists associated with Dietch and Kathy Grayson and Clementine and ATM and CANADA and that whole crazy group of people and I love everything that I bought. But here are the 3 that I never could get. Eddie Martinez, Tauba Auerbach and Joe Bradley. I know Joe now and think I will end up getting a nice piece by him, Tauba I have given up on, but Eddie Martinez will haunt me for sure.

Rich Jacobs

I had lunch recently with my old friend Rich Jacobs. In a lot of ways Rich is a perfect human being. Anyone out there that knows him will know what I mean. Gentle and generous yet opinionated and angry at the same time, he has being a great source of inspiration for me over the years. Amongst other things, Rich is a curator and a draftsman. He has been a master of both for as long as I have known him. Over the years I have been involved in a number of projects with him, mainly relating to bringing his art to Canada. I used to have a gallery in Canada and above are pictures of the last project we did together. I think it was called the Minor Threat Billboard or something like that. It is what it is. Its a billboard of a drawing Rich did of the Minor Threat family tree. I can't believe we pulled this one off. I mean come on! Its a fucking full sized billboard of every person or band ever associated with Minor Threat installed on a city street and in the gallery. Thanks Rich!

Erector Set Furniture

Check out this crazy "Erector Set" furniture that Ivey-Selkirk is going to be auctioning off. The estimate is $1000 to $1500. Im going to bid $1550. Im sure I'll get it.

Dirty Photoshoot

I got this picture today from Norman Hathaway who is the gentleman designing out Girard catalog. I was skeptical about shooting a lot of the material in my dirty, disgusting, roach infested basement, but it actually ended up looking pretty good. I was literally crawling around on my back on the floor trying to set up this stupid table, which sucked, but old Daisy-face cheered me up.

08 November 2011


These credenzas have been floating around NYC for decades and its always been a bit of a mystery as to  who designed and manufactured them. Often they are sold and attributed to Florence Knoll which is totally understandable as they are virtually identical to her iconic 1960 credenza that I think was first used in Saarinens's CBS building. These credenzas are never signed, the tops are a tiny bit thicker than the Knoll ones and the metal base is constructed differently. Everything else is the same. I've gone through piles of design books from the 60's pertaining to mid century office furniture and here is what have come up with.

These credenzas almost aways have some sort of connection to Skidmore Owings and Merrill buildings. Many of them have Chase tags still in them. The Chase buildings were such massive projects ( the tower downtown was the biggest in the world at the time ) that I think office furniture was custom made for them. The person in charge of interior design for many of these projects was Davis Allen. Allen was one of the main figures within Florence Knoll's Knoll Planning Unit throughout the 1950's. He was surely present and involved in parts of the design process that gave birth to the credenzas that would be a staple within the Knoll catalog for years to come. By the 60's Allen's affiliation had switched from Knoll to SOM as their in house interior designer and the projects for Chase were some of the most ambitious of his career. 

It seems odd that Allen and SOM would blatantly copy the work of his old boss at Knoll. It seems more likely that the Chase jobs were so big and required such a large quantity of product, that a custom credenza was created for the job and manufactured separately from the almost identical Knoll pieces. I can't imagine that Florence Knoll was not aware of these pieces and that she did not give Allen and SOM her blessing to manufacture these them. 

This of course is all one big educated guess on my part. I could be wrong but until there is information out there stating something else, this is my story and Im sticking to it. Normally I am pretty strict about only have Knoll and Herman Miller stuff in the shop, but Ill make an exception for these. They have enough of a connection to Knoll and Im always interested in anything relating to SOM. 

05 November 2011

3 from the basement.

There are piles of books, art and ephemera in our basement that really need to be gone through and organized but I don't want to do it right now. Once and a while we dig out a few weird or interesting things. Here are 3 good ones. The first 2 are just great old European design journals, but the other thing appears to be a 1938 photo album of skiing Nazis. How f'ed up is that? I don't really want it, its creepy. Will someone trade me something for it?